A local travels “back to the future” in his legendary DeLorean.

Jon Miller stands next to his DeLorean Time Machine (with an old Toys R Us sign in the background). (Photo by Stephanie Faughnan)

TUCKERTON – No wonder Jon Miller is so into cars. Nobody would expect less from the owner of a popular auto detailing center in the heart of Tuckerton.

At 40, Miller is part of the generation that made Back to the Future a box office hit. The film turned the time machine in it into a star – the DeLorean.

“The DeLorean was my generation’s muscle car,” Miller said. “It was either a white or red Lamborghini Countach or a DeLorean.â€

DeLorean only built 9,000 cars and an estimated 5,000 have survived after more than 30 years.

Miller said he remembered the first time he saw the DeLorean, his jaw hit the ground, and the image burned itself into his brain. He probably wasn’t the only one eager to own the car, with its iconic looks and distinctive gullwing doors. At least that was Miller’s vision, and one he felt was out of reach.

If you’re going to put a time machine in a car, why not do it in style? (Photo by Stephanie Faughnan)

Nothing is further from the truth.

In 2013, Miller began chatting with a mechanic at his shop who was familiar with working on Volvos. The conversation shifted to DeLoreans as the two cars share the same engines and powertrains. A seed was planted as Miller reminisced and wondered again what it would be like to own his dream car.

“I was looking on Craigslist and came up with an ad that was only online for 12 minutes,” Miller said. “It was an absolutely blissful moment and even though the car was in Long Island, I knew it was my car.”

The fact that this particular DeLorean was abandoned in a sorry state and hadn’t driven in ten years turned out to be a coincidence. A show-quality car would go for the highest price, and neglecting this one made it affordable.

Miller used his ASE master technician skills and hard sweat to restore the DeLorean and get it into driving condition. He found himself on cloud nine when he only had what he called a regular DeLorean. Miller signed up for gigs to showcase the car at various events and has enjoyed a variety of appearances.

“In 2015, the anniversary for ‘Back to the Future’ was a big deal,” shared Miller. “I got a job in my DeLorean pushing celebrities down the red carpet at the Washington West Film Festival in Maryland.”

Photo by Stephanie Faughnan

Other DeLorean owners also took the stage, including a guy from Florida who was restoring his vehicle to include a flux capacitor like the one in the movie. Miller’s son Evan was six years old at the time and recommended his father.

“He said, ‘Dad, we need to take our DeLorean apart and turn it into a time machine,'” Miller said. „I said no.“

“I lost,†Miller smiled.

“Then I set out on a mission to get my DeLorean absolutely screen accurate to match the car in the movie,” Miller continued. “No questions, no arguments; it had to be exactly right.â€‌

One of the steps Miller took to get a handle on the details was a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. There he carefully inspected and photographed the DeLorean used on the smash hit.

Miller said the quest to duplicate the original had become an eight-year mission to find all the genuine original parts used on the real-time machine. This included airplane parts and helicopter parts and even things that came from the Apollo space mission.

At one point, Miller was concerned that TSA authorities would flag him for literally bringing home rocket parts.

Photo by Stephanie Faughnan

The focus on detail might be insane for some, but Miller prides itself on being precise. He likened his drive to a Picasso making sure every inch of a painting was perfect.

After the job was completed, Miller’s end product became even more notorious, propelling his DeLorean Time Machine into the national spotlight. And yes, young Evan was involved in every step of the rebuild.

“I was hired by ‘Back to the Future,’ the musical that’s coming to Broadway,” Miller shared. “My car was on display at New York Comic Con to promote the musical. It was a huge, huge honor with over 300,000 people seeing my car.”

When it comes to time machines, Miller estimates the number has gone from 100 to 300-400 worldwide in the last five years. At a regional level, Miller’s time machine ranks as the best.

The DeLorean itself isn’t novel just because of the way its doors swing up. It’s also the only car made out of stainless steel. Miller said he’s careful to avoid the elements, as he would with any classic car, and tries not to take the car out from November through March.

That’s not to say Miller never ventures out during those months. He’s always happy to grant a dream wish to someone who has a special desire to be near a DeLorean.

“Meanwhile, the DeLorean isn’t the only car that has some value in Miller’s life. He also restored a 1986 Pontiac Fiero that holds a special place in his heart. His work on this old favorite earned him the nickname “Fiero Jon” long before he got his start on the DeLorean.

Photo by Stephanie Faughnan

“My grandmother gave it to me as my first car when I was 17,” Miller said. “It was a $700 car that had 130,000 miles on it in 1989. I still have it.”

Miller was already working on his next project related to the movie Back to the Future when he bought a vehicle with the intention of restoring Marty McFly’s pickup truck.

 The pickup truck makes an appearance at the beginning of the film and is something the character desperately wants to own. However, McFly’s family is poor when they go back in time. Only when the character is back in the present does he open the garage door and there is his truck.

Photo by Stephanie Faughnan

As with the DeLorean, Miller is on the lookout for vintage aftermarket parts like roll bars and roll bars. He collected a few things like light covers in an original box that originally sold for around $4 and is now priced at $400.

George McFly had an amazing line in Back to the Future that bears a striking resemblance to the man trying to replicate his truck.

“If you focus on that, you can achieve anything,” McFly said.


Hey, I am Sakib Hossain Sojib, an entrepreneur known as an SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, Blogger, and Content Creator. I have a team of researchers who guide and review products for our audience to help them by providing valuable information to help our audience makes the best decisions for their needs. I love to take care of my cars. So, I like and enjoy car maintenance and automotive research. The provided content is based on my learning, research, and understanding of the topic and its concept. Our extensive experience in the industry allows us to offer unique insights and perspectives on the latest trends and products. We aim to educate and empower our readers by providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their needs.

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