As I am in California once again, for the pre-tour opening of “Jekyll and Hyde” in La Mirada, I will soon be seeing my L.A.-based buddy Christopher Kiss. Chris and I go back 20 years now. We both met as dancers in the National Ballet of Canada (and subsequently worked together in the Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera) and hit it off instantly. Chris introduced me to the designer Philippe Starck (not literally, although Chris himself has met him), who’s work I developed a real interest in, and a shared sense of humour and fondness for the same design aesthetic, cars, music, motorcycles and movies (a conversation never goes by without a few Star Wars or Indiana Jones quotes) has ensured that we have always kept in touch over the years despite the fact that Chris moved out to the west coast about 10 years ago.
One day a few years ago, Chris called me up out of the blue and said “I just bought a Delorean”.
…Now, Chris always was one for surprising me by finding and buying various super-cool objets d’art, but this really was the ne plus ultra of the bombshells he’s dropped on me. I was blown away. Of course, he didn’t have to tell me what he was talking about: The Delorean or “DMC-12”. The brainchild of General Motors Executive John Delorean. The stainless-steel supercar built in Belfast, Ireland in the early ’80’s and made infamous by it’s creator’s spectacular downfall in an FBI cocaine-trafficing-sting. It would be hard to imagine that John Delorean’s ultimate achievement would ever outlive the scandal. But it has. When film director Robert Zemekis decided to scrap the idea of using a refrigerator as a time-machine in his upcoming film project, entitled “Back to the Future”, he decided on the idea of a Delorean. It’s futuristic looks (specatacular Giorgetto Giugiaro design) and spaceship like appearance (gull wings & stainless steel body) made it the perfect choice, and it’s presence in the film became as indispensable as it’s stars Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Imagine if the film had been made as originally planned: with Eric Stolz, John Lithgow …and a fridge? As impossible to conceive of now as Tom Selleck playing Indiana Jones.
In any case, my good buddy Chris had done what many only fantasize about: actually bought one. Of the approximately 9000 Deloreans that were produced, many survive and have aged beautifully (stainless – doesn’t rust). And Chris has a superb example – so good that it was recently featured in Automobile Magazine (August, 2011). I’ve had a few road-trips with him in the DMC – he’s let me drive it – and let me tell you: it is a total blast. Just a super-fun, super-cool experience. Be warned, though; if you don’t want every single person you pass on the street – and in other cars – to instantly pull out their cell-phones to take your picture, then don’t take a Delorean for a spin. I especially warn you: At all costs, do not drive into the “Back to the Future” Twin Pines Mall location (still there!), where there is now a busy Starbucks, in a Delorean. …People go nuts.
Ladies and Gentleman, may I present to you my good buddy & the proud owner of this immaculate 1981 Delorean DMC-12: Christopher Kiss.
Chris, all I can say is: “Genius of the Restoration… Aid our own Resuscitation!!”.