The DeLorean DMC-12 is a cultural icon. Not due to its success as a car, but thanks to its use in the Back To The Future films. It was a prop, but what a prop it was, with it becoming firmly embedded in our minds as the time machine we all wants sat in our garage.
Unfortunately, unlike in the film, the DMC-12 could never fly, and it never really drove that well, either. So, designer and artist Matt Riese did something we never expected, he built one that could hover, killing two birds with one stone.
This hovercraft is powered by a 1-cylinder lawn mower engine that’s sat at the front to produce upthrust, and a 2-cylinder utility engine that sits at the rear to provide the forward push. Sadly, there’s no plutonium to be found here, just engines created by Briggs and Stratton that together produce a power figure of 29 horsepower.
Not very much, but plenty when you realise there’s little friction between it and the road. Therefore, it can reach a respectable speed of 31mph under ‘ideal conditions’. Those conditions may include a tailwind, but we can excuse it of that.
The fan used at the front is 24-inches large, with the rear being 36-inches. These aren’t too big, so “hovering in choppy water is not recommended”. But this is a passion project, not one that is funded by a big tuning company or people with expertise. It’s not even a real DMC-12, with the body made from plywood and fibreglass which is mounted atop a styrofoam slab. Despite this, it’s almost identical to the film’s version and even includes the gullwing doors. In total, the hovercraft weight 263kg.