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Middletown DeLorean still attracts attention 36 years after ‘Back to the Future’

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Mar 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 16:08:54-05

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Here’s what you need to know before thinking about buying a DeLorean: Even a trip to the gas station will take longer.

That’s because all anyone wants to talk about when they see a DeLorean is the 1985 blockbuster, “Back to the Future,” when the car was converted into a time travel device by retrofitting it with a flux capacitor.

In the movie, the DeLorean required 1.21 gigawatts of power and needed to travel 88 miles per hour to initiate time travel.

John Bridges, 56, of Middletown, said the 1981 DeLorean he’s selling for his father doesn’t have a flux capacitor, but it still transfers people back in time.

“All they ever want to talk about is ‘Back to the Future,’” Bridges said. “It may start talking about the car, but eventually it comes back to the movie. They want to talk, take pictures. Everything relates to the movie.”

Bridges said his father, Jim, built a stainless steel Jeep in 1978 and drove it around Middletown for years. Then in 1985, his father heard about a 1981 DeLorean that was for sale in Lebanon. He bought the DeLorean and “checkered out” the stainless steel finish to match the Jeep, Bridges said.

He said his mother, Judy, drove the DeLorean for about three years. Then it was parked in a garage.

Bridges thought about taking the DeLorean to local car shows last summer, but they were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now the DeLorean is for sale. He’s asking $35,000 and says it has 17,000 miles. He said the DeLorean was produced for three years, 1981 to 1983.

Bridges owns Shadetree Machine, a company that helped build the AK Steel Pavilion, the entrance gate at Smith Park, fountains near the City Building and numerous stainless steel signs throughout the city.

The car is stored in his machine shop in Madison Twp., and every time someone sees it for the first time, the reaction is the same: “Holy crap you got a DeLorean.”

To contact Bridges about his DeLorean, email:

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