Anyone who has ever watched “Back to the Future” knows that the DeLorean is the real star of the movie. In the ’80s the car was already pretty well known due in part to the drama surrounding company owner John DeLorean’s legal woes and the car’s quirky design that included a stainless-steel body and gull-wing doors. Since the car was only manufactured from January 1981 to early 1983 most estimates state just over 9,000 were built, but the 1985 movie rocketed it to international stardom and a ‘must-have’ by collectors and dreamers. The car was originally considered overly expensive and not a performance contender due to its mediocre handling capabilities and a lackluster Volvo sourced 2.7-liter V6 engine that produced 130 hp and 153 lb/ft which propelled the car from 0 to 60 in 10.5 seconds with an automatic. With performance figures like that, it’s no wonder that it took Marty McFly so long to reach 88 MPH (and here we all thought it was to build tension.)
Enter Gale Banks to solve the performance issue, and to improve the car’s zero to time warp capabilities. Since the engine compartment was too small for a Banks 454 twin-turbo Titan that the company was known for Banks went with a smaller 3.8-liter V6 sourced from Buick. The Stage 2 four-bolt main block was modified for dry-sump oiling and fitted with a heavy-duty crank, forged rods, and Banks-designed “Reverse Deflector” pistons. Other goodies were a ported and polished head, a Banks–modified intake manifold, and a 650-cfm carburetor. Of course, Banks adapted a twin-turbo system to top it all off. A modified 5-speed transmission transferred power to the rear wheels. The whole setup was designed to top off at 700 hp with “the wick” turned up. With all this power potential the time to 88 mph was improved so much that the famous flaming tire treads left behind by the DeLorean were not a special effect, but closer to reality.