MOVIE CAR CONNOISSEUR

Updated: Sep 2

Automobile Enthusiast Lenny Hochteil and his DeLorean Time Machine Replica


Lenny Hochteil, who grew up in New York, later moved to Pennsylvania, and then in 1970 to California, went to Los Angeles City College and majored in Film and TV. He went on to work at NBC, which was where he developed love for the TV industry, but also for film and theater. He was also interested in trains and cars. Lenny soon found a hobby that combined both entertainment and vehicles, and eventually built a replica of the DeLorean Time Machine shown in Back to the Future.


*I am more of a movie car guy than a car guy,” he says.





What are some of your favorite things to do?

I volunteer at the Perris Railroad Museum in Perris, California, as a conductor and motorman, running trolleys and trains. My favorite train is the steam locomotive from the late 1900's. But most of all, I love driving a replica of the DeLorean Time Machine from the movie Back to the Future, Part One.


How did you come up with the idea of building the DeLorean Time Machine, and what does it mean to you?

As they say in Back to the Future, “The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” So, I went out and bought an October 1981 DeLorean and drove it for a while to get used to driving a DeLorean.


I researched various Time Machine builders, and found the one I wanted. This builder’s name is Bruce Coulombe, of Coulombe Enterprises in Florida. Many thanks to his team. They put a lot of love into making my DeLorean Time Machine. To me and my family, it is a dream that I made come true. Both my son Jeremy, who grew up watching the movie and making a DeLorean out of Legos, and I love the movie so much. I said, One day I will buy a car like that. We get so much joy out of driving the DeLorean Time Machine and making people smile. People want to stop and take pictures of the car and they tell me stories about themselves, how they grew up watching the movie and how now their kids like it as well.


How did the movie Back To The Future impact you?

It is the kind of movie all generations can relate to. Growing up, dating, impressing girls, and driving a car. Listening to music from the 1950's and those simpler times. Time traveling, going back in time, and seeing your past or future. This made me think about how cool it would be to own my own DeLorean Time Machine. When I got the Time Machine for the first time, I sat in it and dreamed that I was back in time. You can't help it, it's iconic and it's the star of the movie. It makes people smile and want to take photos of it.


Briefly, what steps are required for the maintenance of your car?

If you are going to keep this type of car in good working order, you must also seek out good mechanics and fellow movie car relationships so you can work on your cars together. Join a car club and watch and learn. Do some of the work yourself if you can and keep your car clean. Like with any car, if you want it to last long, you need to love it better and the car will love you for it. Hey, it’s your baby. Talk to it and it will take you places. Enjoy the ride!

 

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What celebrity has been inside your car?

Most of the cast from Back to the Future has sat inside my car and signed it or at least signed something I can put inside the car. I have been to many Comic-Cons and other conventions, so a variety of famous people, such as Elvira, have also sat inside. Many have stood next to it as well.


Where do you show your car?

Perhaps the most famous showcase is the Hollywood Christmas parade. I’m also at Comic-Con, other conventions, trade shows, and car shows such as the one in Pebble Beach, as well as in magazines. The car has been a part of Hollywood premieres, documentaries, and TV pilots. I do charity events to benefit special causes or those with special needs.


What is one of your most memorable experiences with the DeLorean Time Machine?

I have taken this DeLorean to many of the film locations from the movie. They are all memorable, but here are perhaps four that stand out:

The backlot of Universal Studios where it was filmed, next to the clock tower. This was like taking it home again, taking it to where it all started.


The Puente Hills mall, called the Twin Pines mall in the movie, alongside the Doc Brown Truck. We recreated the scene where the DeLorean comes out of the truck and Doc Brown shows off his invention.


Doc Brown’s house, which is called Gamble House, in a scene set in 1955. It was a wonderful day with Doc Brown inviting people to see his house and show off his Time Machine on the front lawn.


A scene set in 1885, where a steam locomotive pushed the Time Machine up to 88 MPH. This was from the third part of the franchise, and it was up in Jamestown, California, or Hill Valley in the movie.



What is your involvement with the famous Star Car Central club and the Hollywood Christmas Parade?

Star Car Central has over 40 movie and TV cars. Some are screen-used, but most are replicas, and some are tribute cars. So, this was the perfect club to join and show off my DeLorean Time Machine replica from the movie Back to the Future, Part One. We all share the enjoyment of showing off our “star cars.” We bring happiness and excitement to our communities, so that people can smile and feel good and get an up-close and personal look at their favorite car from a movie or TV show.


The Hollywood Christmas Parade is one of the largest and greatest events to be in. It’s an honor to drive our cars and show off in front of millions of viewers. This is a dream come true. Who would think I would drive down the streets of Hollywood in 1970, and much later drive a famous movie car in an incredible parade? The car is the star.


Where can the public contact or follow you?

You can follow me on Facebook under 1.21 Gigawatt Guys. My email is 1.21gigawattguys@gmail.com . See you in the future, or maybe in the past.




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