Back to the Future Flies Through the Bay

By Josh Keppel
|  Thursday, Sep 23, 2010  |  Updated 5:17 PM PDT
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Back to the Future in San Francisco

Josh Keppel

A DeLorean time machine stops in the Bay to raise funds for Parkinson's Research.

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Great Scott!

Visitors to the Walt Disney Family Museum were greeted to a pleasant surprise Monday afternoon.

The famed Back to the Future DeLorean sat poised for take off in the parking lot across from the museum in San Francisco’s Presidio.  The car startled passersby who did double takes as they reached for their cameras.

“I heard on Facebook that there’s a DeLorean in front of the museum,” said Walt Disney Family Museum Communications worker Andi Wang as she came outside to take a few snaps.

But this wasn’t just any DeLorean; it was a full-on re-creation of the Back to the Future time machine.  It was first built as an homage to the film, and later transformed into a fundraising machine.

Oliver and Terry Holler, a married couple from Myrtle Beach who are big fans of the movie, found a 1982 DeLorean for sale in 2001.  Terry Holler simply stated he “bought it and turned it into a time machine.”

The couple said they spent the better part of a year working on it. They hand fabricated everything while watching and pausing a VHS copy of the movie. “We had to freeze the VHS because the DVD wasn’t out yet,” Oliver Holler said referencing the shaky picture that made the details a little harder to work out.

But the story doesn’t stop there. 

The couple decided to up the ante with their project and take the time machine on a 50-state-tour raising money for Team Fox, a non-profit dedicated to raising money for Parkinson’s Research. Fox of course is after Michael J. Fox, who stars in the movies and has Parkinson's.

“We loved the movie, made the car and joined the foundation,” said Oliver Holler.  To raise money, they installed a white plastic device called “Mr. Compassion” in the spot that was used to put banana peels into the car to fuel it at the end of the first film.  Difference is, now they ask for dollars instead of trash with the money going to Team Fox.

A number of different sound clips cycle through as each donation comes in.

“It works!  It works!  I’ve finally invented something that works!!!,” screams a recording of Christopher Lloyd’s voice as Doc Brown from the film when my cash is dropped into the Mr. Compassion canister.

“$40,000 so far, just the two of us,” said Terry Holler.  “We fund the trip and everything that goes into Mr. Compassion goes to Team Fox.”

The pair was brought to the Bay Area last weekend to take part in Danville’s Concours d’Elegance.

They took in the Walt Disney Family Museum and drove around the City on Monday and were heading to Muir Woods on Tuesday on their way to Jamestown.

They plan to be back in the Bay on October 2, so keep your eye’s peeled, your cameras charged and a few extra dollars in your pocket in case you are lucky enough for a brief encounter.

“The cure to Parkinson’s is there, in the future, we are just trying to get there sooner,” summed up Oliver Holler.  The front page of their website ( http://www.tothefuture.org ) reads, "What if you had a TIME MACHINE and could travel to the future - to cure Parkinson's disease?" 

Fingers crossed, your “density” just might bring the time machine to you soon.

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