Back to the Future – no flying cars…yet…

Tom Moran, Head of Localisation for the Manufacturing and Engineering sector, wonders why there are no flying cars yet…

Great Scott! It’s 21 October 2015 and that means that Marty, Doc and Jennifer will be appearing out of nowhere somewhere in California any day now…

Like most people my age, Back to the Future was, and still is, one of the greatest movies of all time. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I have had the perfect excuse to watch it whenever it’s on (which is pretty much every other weekend!) and the music still gives me the chills whenever I hear it – that has to be the best movie theme music of any movie in the history of movies and theme music!

For me, it was all about the car – the Delorean. The noises it made when it sparked into life, the gull-wing doors, the millions of buttons, the flux-capacitor! As a kid, there was absolute hysteria in my small town in the South of Manchester when a replica was on show for the day outside our school (at the time, I fully believed it was the real one, but as I have grown wiser, I struggle to believe that Universal Studios would send it all the way over to Stockport for a load of grubby kids to have a go on)!

There is NO WAY Marty would have got up to 88 miles per hour on that tiny high street in Hill Valley. No. WAY!

The real story behind the Delorean Motor Company is, sadly, less exciting. Lasting only 7 years, the Detroit based company quickly fizzled out into bankruptcy, but the cars themselves were manufactured near Belfast. An inexperienced workforce meant that the cars suffered serious quality issues – something you would want to avoid when your doors open upwards. Then came economic problems as they failed to hit their targets, followed by some questionable import choices by John DeLorean that got the FBI ‘checking his boot’ so to speak, and the company went bust with only 9,000 cars produced.

The car itself cost a whopping £36,000 in today’s money – which is a great deal, considering it only managed 0-60 in 10.5 seconds! At that speed, there is NO WAY Marty would have got up to 88 miles per hour on that tiny high street in Hill Valley. No. WAY!

There are many things that the movie got right about 2015 – screens everywhere, video calling, thumbprint recognition, augmented reality, smart-glasses, drones, even hover-boards (MS Word doesn’t recognise that as a word yet but it will soon!) are pretty much sorted. But thankfully no Jaws 19 and sadly, no flying cars. I was convinced I’d have a flying car by now…

What Next?

Tom has been part of Capita TI for over 3 years, managing the business development team. His interests are music, books and adventure! (and books about music and/or adventure).


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