Meet the man who wants to run his DeLorean on Tesla motors

If you're gonna build an EV, why not do it with some style?


We’ve all seen Back to the Future, right? The 1985 Robert Zemeckis classic which sees Michael J. Fox influence the sound of 50s rock music and Christopher Lloyd turn a DMC DeLorean into a time machine with the help of some Libyan plutonium?

Alright, those might not be the focal points of the narrative, but the DeLorean, named after company founder John DeLorean, has developed quite a large cult following. Though there are relatively few in Australia, you’d be hard pressed to find one which isn’t surrounded by kids of the 80s at a car meet.

With its Giugiaro-styled, stainless steel body and gull-wing doors, the DeLorean was one of the most futuristic looking cars of its day but the Peugeot-Renault-Volvo developed V6 engine left a lot to be desired.

Engine swaps have been commonplace to improve power, torque and reliability (honestly, do you really trust an 80s V6 developed by the French?), mostly resulting in Chevrolet’s jack-of-all-trades LS V8 finding its way into the back of DeLoreans worldwide.

However, Melbourne local Daniel Yun had a slightly different approach to cure the DeLorean’s biggest failing, and is chronicling the story of turning his film hero into a design icon with modern comforts.

Dubbing his car FLYDMC (in reference to its Victorian registration and 80s hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC), Daniel is getting a Tesla powertrain in his DeLorean. Doc Brown would approve.

The genesis of his idea comes from the desire to go green after driving around in a 2009 Ford Mustang GT (a car which was never sold in Australia through Ford), and even though hybrid/EV options like the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Toyota Prius existed, his heart wasn’t set on any of them.

With less than 6000 DeLoreans still existing in the wild, and only a limited few in Australia, Daniel put his Marty McFly fantasy on the backburner. Enter the power of Facebook.

Through DeLorean owners’ groups he was able to get in touch with the ‘Aussie DeLorean Guy’ in Mildura and floated the idea of offering his Mustang as part payment, all the while finding someone to potentially undertake the EV conversion.

Fast forward a year to January 2021, and Daniel is getting his Mustang picked up with a DeLorean put in its place, finally getting the plan off the ground like the car at the start of Back to the Future Part II.

Giving the reigns of the project over to Melbourne business Electric Car Cafe, Daniel details the plans for the build and what he expects from the finished product.

“The idea was to make the fastest DeLorean in Australia,” he said.

“There are talks about putting in a Hyper9…or a Nissan LEAF…but something stirs inside me. It has to be a Tesla.

“The Tesla technology is some of the best EV tech in the market – and as good as the other ones are, Tesla is going to give the performance to the DeLorean that I want.

“I thought to myself – if I’m going to do it, I’ll do it with the best technology on the market today – it’s what the legendary car deserves.

“What if you could have green energy, style and power – wrapped up in stainless steel?

“It’s a little nostalgia with BIG electricity!

“So here we are – the Tesla DeLorean is currently in development and being worked on. I’ve asked for Apple CarPlay, new speakers, proximity unlocking, car alarm with immobiliser, interior blue LED lights on the gull wing doors, LED replacements for the bulbs and much more to modernise the DeLorean, but keeping it still true to its immortal design.”

Tesla batteries were originally in the plan but the team at Electric Car Cafe has opted for the Nissan Leaf units, providing a potential range of 150-200km on a single charge.

It’s not the first Tesla-powered DeLorean in the world, nor the first EV DeLorean in Australia, but FLYDMC encapsulates Daniel’s long-held dream to not only own a cinematic cult classic but also turn futureproof it.

By implementing mod-coms and utilising modern technology with a shedload of aftermarket support, he’s essentially preparing the car so it can keep going for another lifetime without having to worry about any future regulations surrounding internal combustion engines – something we’ll all have to be conscious of in the not too distant future.

You can keep track of the build on Instagram by following @tesladelorean or check out Electric Car Cafe’s YouTube teaser.

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