Posts Tagged ‘Back to the Future

02
Apr
15

Carcheology : building a Marty McFly 1985 Toyota Truck

The StarCar virus keeps growing and changing, and as I have found out is very contagious! From before the dawn of the World Wide Web, I have been hunting, building, restoring and writing about famous on screen vehicles.  So over the last 30 years or so, and mainly thanks to the internet most famous cars and their storied histories have come into light.   Some cars are harder to sort through than others, but all the iconic cars now have fan clubs, builder sites, replica forums etc.

So what is a “Patient Zero”  like me supposed to do?  I still enjoy the “Carcheology” (tm 2003 Nate Truman) “The discovery of the history of a vehicle by digging through it and discovering what has happened to it over the years”

But I don’t want to do the same car twice.  After the Batmobile, the Keaton batmobile, the A-Team Van, Austin Power’s Shaguar, buying and adding a audio-animatronic dinosaur to a Jurassic Park Explorer, KITT from Knight Rider, and at the same time “collecting” and locating hundreds of famous move and TV cars around the world there wasn’t much left to find or make that interested me.

Then a pal of mine sent me a message about how 2015 was the “FUTURE” that Marty McFly went to, in Back to the Future.  I worked at Universal and I was often on set for “BTTF” back in 1985.  I remember them shooting in the Town Square, and seeing the Delorean time Machine tear around the back lot.   It was a great time at Universal Studios for cool TV and Movie Star Cars!

Fast forward to today, aka the FUTURE, and I have too many pals with Delorean time machines, and building one would just be redundant at this point.  But this is the FUTURE! So I sat down and watched the movies with a new set of eyes, laughing at what they envisioned 2015 was going to be like and hoping to be inspired!  2015 was going to be the last big hurrah for the BTTF trilogy, and I wanted to do something that wasn’t all ready done to death, packaged and sold on ebay.

Marty McFly 1985 dream truck

Marty McFly 1985 dream truck

It didn’t take long for the movie to remind me of one special vehicle, Marty McFly’s dream truck, that appeared in all three films! There were two trucks used in the film and they have both been tracked down and are restored, one is owned by Universal Studios, and the other is in the hands of a big fan, who also has a Delorean and a Lybian VW bus! That’s OK, that is where the originals should be!

So I was off on a quest to build an accurate replica for myself. After several failed attempts to find a 1985 Hilux Extracab 4×4, I didn’t give up.  I kept searching, first all of Los Angeles, then Southern California, then country wide.  I gave up on finding a black one after a while. Apparently all the 2wd trucks have been used as gardening trucks and have 400,000 miles on them and just as many dents.  The 4×4’s suffered a worse fate.  Due to the fixed front axle the 1985 trucks have been sacrificed to the off road world.  Cut, rolled, smashed, engines blown, all in pursuit of a good time out in the wild.

I am sure there are still a few “correct” trucks out there still banging around, but understand these trucks have been used, abused, and tossed away.  There is a tiny group of 4×4 fans that try and keep theirs alive by cannibalizing other trucks.  There is no “restoration” catalogs for these babies!  Just junk yards that are stripping old trucks, and then one by one the trucks still limping around fall, and are set upon by those still running.  I watched a group of guys tear into a “new” truck at a junk yard and it was stripped in a matter of minutes!  Some wanted parts, most were selling “organ transplants” on craigslist.

When we weren’t looking, these iconic trucks have just disappeared, like the Pinto, Vega, K Car…

After abandoning my hunt for the “perfect” donor car, finally found one with the right “bones”. 1985, Check. Toyota 4×4 Stick-shift. Check. Even had a Smitybilt rear bumper all ready on it.  Grey Interior with bucket seats? Check. Finally I had a new project!

A McFly Truck is similar to a Herbie or General Lee, if you can find the right year make and model, the rest is restoration, parts hunting and paint.  Rust has killed many a dream of a star car builder, and these Toyota’s after 30 years fall into that category as well.

The McFly Truck was delivered NEW in the movie, still on the back of a tow truck, and then seen in the garage at the end of the first film freshly polished by Biff.  The second truck was seen on the street at the end of the third installment (with some changes due to time travel) when Marty decided not to drag race Needles. (Aka the Bass player “FLEA” from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, fun fact!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 5.34.22 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 5.35.38 PM

So the goal was a raised 4×4 1985 gloss black Toyota Hilux Pickup with Smitybilt bumpers, KC lights and a roll bar.  Now you may search for a truck, and find one with some or most of the needed elements, but no matter what most everything will be worn out, or headed in that direction.  Either that, or it has been “upgraded” to something “better” or newer, leaving you with the decision to either settle for some detail you know isn’t quite right, or a big bill to find and rebuild the original parts.

Ten or fifteen years ago, this would have been a pretty simple and affordable star car, but add another fifteen to twenty years and the trucks that everyone saw on the road are on their last legs and second or third engine.

After months of searching off and on and discovering it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought, I found one that was pretty darn good.  It was white, but recently painted so I thought would mean less body work. (WRONG!)  I did a few laps in the dark, poked around and looked past the current condition and awful smell. (please, if you smoke, don’t do it in your car!!!)

I knew this truck had a shady past, but I either had to pull the trigger or just walk away.  As my friends know, when it comes to star cars, I am a bit trigger happy!

So cash was laid out, paperwork signed, and I had a new hole to toss money into!

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Wrong front bumper, check!

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Wrong roll bar, Tires, rims and side mirrors? Check!

Well first things first, get it registered.  Quick trip to the AAA and I had the process started.  When talking with the lady at my local office, she asked me “So, you like REALLY old cars?”  I thought to myself, “Sure, like Dusenburgs, and Model “A”‘s?”  Then I realized she was talking about my 1985 Toyota!

To finalize the purchase I had to smog the truck.  No Problem, I had a smog certificate that it had passed three months ago.  Only it really hadn’t.  So off to my trusted mechanic who knows “really old” cars.  Days turned into weeks, then weeks into months.  Apparently he was discovering what I had found out, they don’t make parts for these trucks anymore!  So lots of delays due to finding and buying used parts, only to get them and find they are the same or worse than what he wanted to replace on my truck!  Through persistence he finally got the truck to pass smog. While he was at it he fixed a “list” to the passenger side that I hoped was bad shocks, but was body damage. Cha Ching!

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Does it look $3000 better? Well it is!!!

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The “Not Quite” Lybian Terrorist van and Marty McFly Truck!

Building a McFly Truck is a lot like building any star car from the 80’s.  When looking for parts, you hear the same thing, “Oh, sure, those were everywhere, everyone sold those parts!” “Ok, when was the last time you saw one, or had one for sale?” “Oh, I haven’t seen one for 15 years!”  Tires, bumpers, lights,  all no longer available.  So a big part of any build like this is spent in the quest on craigslist and Ebay.  The front bumper I found near San Francisco,  the single roll bar in Hesperia.  The KC lights in La Mirada, and lots of stuff off the net.  For me, the hunt is the fun part.  When I found replacement 4×4 side badges in Ebay, it was like I won the lottery! A very small lottery.  That I had to pay for.

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Marty McFly starter KIT! Just add a TRUCK!

Now that it was registered and running well, the “Carcheology” could begin!  Everything had to come off the truck as I would be changing the color.  Even though you might not be able to tell, the “hidden” white areas would bug me.  So all the tail lights, grills, mirrors, and the entire interior had to pulled out, reconditioned or replaced, recovered or repainted.

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The next few weeks was spent removing, repairing or reconditioning and setting aside for later reinstall.  During this process I was also making a list of small little parts that I needed to find to bring this truck back as close to “Statler Brother’s showroom” condition as I could!

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2, “THE PAINT JOB THAT COST MORE THAN THE TRUCK”, or “VEGAS OR BUST MY WALLET TRYING!”

18
Nov
13

Nate Truman’s StarCarCentral.com gang at the Long Beach Comic Con Nov. 23 2013!

November 23 (Saturday) – “Long Beach Comic/Horror Con”

Just a quick post to let all the star car fans know that we will have a big group on display this Saturday in Long Beach!

Come on down and get your photos with the star cars, meet the SCC team members and enjoy a great comic-con!

Lots of great places to eat near by, and cool comic fans and creators everywhere you turn! 

 Show starts at 10 am, 
http://www.longbeachcc.com/

What’s the show about? Go to this link
http://www.longbeachcomiccon.com/

 
We will be out in front of the main entrance to the Long Beach Convention Center.  

  • NATE – JURASSIC PARK EXPLORER!
  • EVAN – MACH 5
  • OSCAR-  MAGNUM PI FERRARI
  • JASON – TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE VAN
  • MARTIN – CHRISTINE
  • ARI – JURASSIC PARK JEEP
  • GARY G – HIGHWAY PATROL
  • PAUL – BACK TO THE FUTURE DELOREAN
  • BRYAN – ECTO-1! YEAH BABY!
  • ALEX – KITT FROM KNIGHT RIDER
  • OBISHAWN – STAR WARS
  • FLOR – POLICE ISETTA
28
Jun
13

4th of July parade featuring the Star Car Central crew!

next appearance of STAR CAR CENTRAL!

JULY 4TH HACIENDA HEIGHTS PARADE
MAGNUM P.I. FERRARI
KNIGHT RIDER SUPER PURSUIT MODE KITT
BACK TO THE FUTURE DELOREAN TIME MACHINE
THE A-TEAM VAN
JURASSIC PARK EXPLORER
KNIGHT RIDER KITT
PEE WEE HERMAN BIKE
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE VAN
JAMES BOND DB5
BMW JAMES BOND CAR
HERBIE THE LOVE BUG
TRANSFORMER’S BUMBLEBEE

The Hacienda Heights 4th of July Parade takes place on July 4th at 9:00 am in Hacienda Heights, CA on Stimson Avenue starting at Colima Road and ends at Steinmetz Park. The Parade consists of bands, floats, equestrian, drill teams, VIPs, local school and church groups AND FAMOUS MOVIE CARS!!!!.

Come out and show your Hacienda Heights support on July 4th at 9:00am.

27
Nov
12

Nate Truman’s starcarcentral.com in the Hollywood Christmas Parade 2012

The biggest group of movie and TV star cars ever assembled for a parade in the world!

19
Aug
11

Star Car Central update! See famous movie and TV cars in August 2011~ to the batmobile!

OK star car fans, I have been asked to post more info on where we will be appearing so here ya go! Here’s the line up for the rest of August!

This Saturday Aug. 20, 2011 join Nate Truman and a big chunk of the Star Car Central gang for a  FUND RAISER for a  youth center in Montery Park.

Show Time: 3pm to 9pm

Location: Praise Alive Worship Center 201 S. New Ave., Monterey Park, Ca. 91755

Star Cars Confirmed so far:

1) Paul – BTTF DeLorean

2) Jason – Ratchett

3) Brian – Herbie or Bond

4) Oscar – Magnum PI

5) Jason – Herbie

6) Jon – Bumblebee

7) Sue – Get Smart

7) Ari – Jurasic Park Jeep

8) Mark – Adam 12

9) Alex – KITT

10) Nate in Batmobile! He’s actually going to bring it out of the garage, even after getting the right rims on his A-Team van! (I’ll believe it when I see it!)

So join us for some music and star car fun this Saturday!

Then on Sunday

AUG 21ST SUNDAY  SCC-SD CHARGER STEVE’S WILD RIDES AND CLASSIC CARS 6AM  
 This Sunday, if you are in the San Diego area, check out these SCC member’s cool movie and TV car rides!

http://www.chargersteve.com/pb/wp_8ca66bb4.html?0.31193643528426784
   BRIAN HERBIE OR BOND
JENNIFER KITT
LEE GENERAL LEE
STEVE SCOOBY DOO
MIKE TOWMATER
ARI JURRASIC PARK

TONY BANDIT
RICHARD PETTY CAR
Bikini Contests, star cars and great San Diego weather, what more do you want? Check it out!Aug 28th SUNDAY this yr. 9-4 ANIMAL ADOPTION EVENT
Ventura County Animal shelter. event is on August 28.At the shelter in the Camerillo Airport.This will be our 7th year and anywhere from 150-200 animals find homes that day. Event is located at: 600 aviation drive in Camarillo.
The shelter is located on the property of the Camarillo Airport.There will be signs that will be posted they will say adoptathon.Off ramp off the fwy is Los Posas.  Starcars attending as of today: Jon’s Transformer BUMBLEBEE Camaro and Brian’s Die Another Day
007  JAMES BOND CAR!  If you want to adopt a pet and can’t make it, send my pal Craig Nadel an email!
Craig Nadel
ruffbarber@yahoo.com
Thank you for choosing to adopt a special orphan in need of a loving home.
http://www.rescuemeinc.petfinder.com

Aug  31 wednesday SCC-SD Cajon Classic Cruise Star Car Event (The Wed night show) http://downtownelcajon.com/event_ccc.shtml
Back down in San Diego, Charger Steve is lining up some star cars Mid week for all to enjoy!

Gary’s  herbie
Steve Scooby Doo Van
Michael towmater tow truck
Lee      general Lee from Dukes of Hazzard will all be on display!
There are lots of events for the Cajon Cruise, but only this one has star cars!
So come on out and say “HOWDY!”  and bring your camera and friends!
17
Jul
11

STAR CAR NEWS FROM AROUND THE USA AND THE WORLD! GO TEAM SCC! (THAT’S STAR CAR CENTRAL!)

Starcar fans are all around the world, and starcarcentral.com is trying to keep up with all of our members and chapters so you can find the famous movie and TV car events near you!

One of the most active groups outside of Nate Truman’s  Hollywood division is run by Dee up in the upper left corner of the USA!  He has even started a “starcar Concourse”.  After searching for star cars all over the U.S. Dee and Nate found several owners and they all started hanging out together up north!  So heres the info on their upcoming event!

Its time for the big 5th Annual ‘Star Car Concourse Classic” show at the Americas Car Museum.

The show is always the last Saturday in August, this year the 27th, and is held at the LeMay Museum’s Marymount location in the Tacoma/Spanaway area. This will be a ‘sanctioned’ AMCA event, hosted by the International Movie & TV Vehicle Owners Association and madmaxcars.com. The larger event, the LeMay/Americas Car Museum’s “Openhouse” that we are featured at, is a VERY COOL annual event even if it were not for the moviecars contribution, so it is well worth the trip. You can find the basic details on our events page here: http://www.madmaxcars.com/events.shtml

Then out in the middle of the USA Michael Knight has a great group that is now doing Comic cons and features one of the two original Monkeemobiles!  Here’s a few shots of them sharing the star cars with fans of all shapes and sizes at a recent con!

"Robin, you seem.... Different?"

Original Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson showed up to see and sign the Ghostbuster tribute car (Hey, before you point out it’s not the right body style, not everyone can find a 1959 Mercury Meteor Ambulance, ok? )

Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and SCC chapter leader Mike Knight!

Everyone had a great time chatting up Ernie about his time as a ghostbuster, and he even signed their car!

"To StarCarCentral.com, thanks for the cool car... what? I don't get to keep it?"

Like I mentioned before, They also have one of the two Monkeemobiles from the old TV series, and it showed up at a live Monkee show!

Well what did you expect them to be rolling in?

Meanwhile, over in Europe, France specifically, Claude has been hosting a great star car get together each year, and it keeps getting bigger each time!

And an article in the french mag “La Vie de l’Auto” The N°1 for the collectors in France! 🙂

Thanks to guys like Michael, Dee, and Claude – fan boys and girls around the US and the world have opportunities to see and get up close to their favorite movie and TV cars!

Where ever there are two or more starcars gathered in the SCC name, you are sure to have a party with some fun loving people!  So to all those who are lovers of cool creations for the screen,

thanks for being part of the star car movement in your neck of the woods!  TO THE BATMOBILE! Transformers, ROLL OUT!   If you see a star car, or better yet, a bunch of them together,

Make sure you say “HI” and tell them you saw them here first!

24
Jun
11

KITT and Batmobile NOT everyone’s top movie cars! Here’s some rarely talked about star cars!

 

Here is Jim’s list of his favorites, and his reasons for choosing them!

My favorite TV and movie cars: It’s not KITT and the Batmobile

Lists of great movie vehicles are pretty boring because they usually list the same blockbuster choices. Here’s a few from off the beaten path.

1969 Dodge Charger YEE-HAW: The General Lee (a ’69 Dodge Charger) takes a ride. (Photo courtesy of CBS)
The next episode of “Hollywood’s Top Ten” (Friday night at 11:30 p.m. Pacific on ReelzChannel) features viewers’ choices for the coolest movie/TV cars, and you know what they’re going to pick: the Batmobiles, the custom Cadillac Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters,” the jalopy on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” James Bond’s Aston-Martin, KITT from “Knight Rider.”
They wouldn’t give me the whole list — that’s why you tune in — but here are a few of the winners:
  • The Trans Am from “Smokey and the Bandit”
  • The ’69 Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard”
  • The ’56 Thunderbird from “American Graffiti”
Ho-hum. But there are some less-heralded cars out in movie and TV land, and here are my five, very personal, favorites:
Volvo from The SaintThe Saint’s Volvo: The Saint, played by Roger Moore on the 1962-1969 TV show, drove a Volvo 1800S, just like me. Mine was even the same color as his. The Saint was a low-rent James Bond, and the car — a sporty version of the 122S, with nearly identical mechanicals — was no Aston-Martin. The Saint could pursue criminals, but not if they were moving too fast. Switching into “overdrive” provided a powerful visual, but the 1800 topped off around 100 mph. And zero to 60? Well, maybe 11 seconds.
Alfa-Romeo DuettoThe Alfa-Romeo Duetto from “The Graduate”: Another personal connection because I owned that car’s linear descendant, a 1976 Alfa Spider (with a cut-off Kamm tail instead of the Duetto’s rounded example). Alfa even created a “Graduate” model because of the popularity of the movie and the car’s starring role in pursuit of a stopped wedding, with Dustin Hoffman at the wheel. The exposure garnered by this ’66 Duetto 1600 didn’t save Alfa’s fortunes in the U.S., but it probably postponed the departure for a number of years.
Mercedes from Bad TimingThe “Bad Timing” Mercedes: Admittedly not a star movie car, this circa 1959 Mercedes 220S from Nicholas Roeg’s 1980 “Bad Timing” again duplicates one of my own cars — my all-time favorite. It was probably the scene with Denholm Elliot and Teresa Russell, captured in the video below, that stimulated my interest in the car in the first place. Alas, I let mine get away, and now I couldn’t touch a nice one for less than $10,000. If you get a chance, it’s a really good movie (forget what the blurb says) — from the director of “Walkabout” and “Performance.” Kind of hard to find, though.
Buick from Julie and JuliaThe “Julie & Julia” Buick: I’d love to own one, but they’re worth $40,000, so it’s not likely anytime soon. The movie’s production designer describes the car as “a 1947 wooded blue Buick station wagon.” It was nicknamed the Blue Flash, and found in France where they filmed much of the movie. Sorry to disagree with Mark Ricker, but I think it’s actually a later car than 1947. Can I suggest that it was actually a 1950 Roadmaster with a 1949-style two-piece windshield? “It could have been Paul and Julia’s original car, as far as we knew,” said Ricker. Maybe.
1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville from Mad MenThe 1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville from “Mad Men”: Don Draper (John Hamm) brings home this beauty in the second season, at his boss’ urging. It’s interesting that there was no product placement here — instead, it’s exactly the right car for the character at that time. It’s the car Don thinks he wants, even though it turns out all wrong for him. This is the pinnacle of  “Standard of Excellence” Cadillacs, for a guy on top of the Madison Avenue nest of snakes. There were some great Cadillac ads in National Geographic around this time. The Draper-type owner was shown heading into a country club with his fur-bearing wife, looking back at the car that his power and prestige had secured for him.
There’s actually an Internet Movie Car Database you can search by make. Have fun with it. Make up your own list and post your choices below in the comments — I’d love to see what you come up with.



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