When Doc Brown took his DeLorean Back to the Future, he didn’t need roads.
However, John McAulay isn’t shy of taking his historic futuristic car on some of the north-east’s busiest routes, much to the surprise of other motorists.
It may not be able to reach the required 88mph to activate its flux capacitor on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road.
But its sleek lines, pop-up doors and distinctive grill on the rear is still enough to turn heads across the region when he is filling it with petrol, driving to see family or even shopping at Tesco.
And after achieving a childhood dream in buying a DeLorean, the financial planner wants to share his pride and joy with as many enthusiasts as possible.
DeLorean imported from Florida
Back to the Future was the favourite film for John, 35, when he was growing up.
It was the story, it was the music and, of course, it was the thought of travelling to the future in a DeLorean.
And after spotting one for sale on E-bay in Florida he just had to have it.
John said: “I bought it more than 17 years ago now. I was just obsessed with the movie growing up and curiosity got the better of me in the end. I wondered how much one would be and whether I could still get one.
“The car itself cost about $15,000 (about £7,500 in 2006), but then it cost an extra $1,000 to get it shipped from Florida and another $2,000 or $3,000 in duty.
“Exchange rates were much better at the time. Getting it from Florida to my driveway cost about £11,000 or £12,000.
“There’s been an explosion of interest since then though. Today, if you wanted something running, it would cost you about £40,000. Then you’d have to add any shipping on top of that.”
Supermarket shopping with a DeLorean
John’s DeLorean recently reached its 40th birthday, officially qualifying it as a classic car.
It means it’s now exempt from needing an MOT or road tax on like all other vintage vehicles.
Over the last decade and a bit John has taught himself, with the help of YouTube, most of the skills he needs to keep it running smoothly.
Before that though he would have to drop it into a garage near his home in the Oldmeldrum area, much to the delight and enjoyment of mechanics.
It’s a reaction that John has got used to over the years and one he has experienced himself.
He said: “Every so often I’ll see that somebody is videoing me or puts a photo of it on social media. One person did it once and said my indicators weren’t working, which was handy.
“The best way I can describe it is that people see you and then do a double-take because they can’t quite believe their eyes.
“I take it to Tesco in Inverurie sometimes. One time when I was filling up with petrol one of the ladies came on the microphone and asked me to go to the booth. She just really wanted a photo of it.
“The only thing about taking it to the supermarket is you have to put the bags in the front boot because the engine is in the back.
“It’s happened the other way round once too. I saw a DeLorean out and about and I just started following it because I just had to tell this person I also had one. It’s like a secret club.
“I was in our other car, so they didn’t know. It went on for quite a while in the end so I thought I better stop.”
Sharing Back to the Future DeLorean dreams
DeLoreans are now incredibly rare. Less than 9,000 of the sleek machines were built in the 1980s.
They quickly developed a bad reputation for being poorly made and offering a bad driving experience and the firm filed for bankruptcy in 1982.
Some of the cars ended up dumped and were only saved by DeLorean enthusiasts after the success of Back to the Future in 1985.
Today it is estimated only about 6,000 survive worldwide with about 600 in the UK.
Given the small numbers, John is keen to share his passion for DeLoreans with others at classic car shows. It was also put it on display at Comic Con Scotland in Aberdeen.
He has even started his own business Great Scot Delorean Hire, giving people the chance to go Back to the Future themselves for special occasions.
John said: “It’s nice being able to share the dream with people. I really enjoy taking it to car shows and letting people sit in it.
“My mother-in-law has MS, so we had it at the MS Society stand at the Buckie Classic Car Show to raise some money for the charity.
“It’s just a bit of fun and you can see how much people really enjoy it.”