An Artist Turned A DeLorean Into A Strange Eroding Art Exhibit

John DeLorean's eponymous car was already pretty famous prior to appearing in "Back to the Future," but starring in the uber-popular film franchise cemented its place in pop culture history. In the films, the stainless steel sports car-turned-time-machine teleports 30 years into the future, but American artist Daniel Arsham takes us way further than that — the year 3018, to be exact.

You see, 3018 represent 1,000 years into the future from 2018, when the art exhibition debuted. Arsham's goal was to transform contemporary objects into how he envisioned they might have deteriorated over the course of a millennium, what the artist terms as the "future relic treatment." 

Arsham became interested in the concept after visiting with archaeologists at Easter Island in 2011, where he observed the effects of the environment — acid rain, in particular — on tools left behind by prior archaeologists one hundred years earlier. In 2013, the first future relics were created using objects such as cassette tapes, keyboards, and polaroid cameras — all created in plaster molds.

Of course, it's a little difficult to create a full-size car using a mold, so the DeLorean is the real deal — one of less than 10,000 total manufactured in Northern Ireland during the car's 1981-1982 production run. Numerous cavities were then created in the DeLorean's metal exterior and leather seats, filled with materials such as volcanic ash, pyrite crystal, selenite, and quartz.

A few years later, another DeLorean by Arsham surfaced, this time finished in a patinated bronze that mimics the effects of if the car was trapped underwater for a long period of time. It's unclear if the bronze car is an entirely new work, or whether the car from the 3018 exhibit was modified.

Daniel Arsham is definitely a car guy

The DeLorean wasn't the only star car in the 3018 exhibit, though. Clearly a fan of 1980s kitsch, Arsham also gave a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder the "archaeological find" treatment. That's right, the same model that was taken for a joyride and later tumbled down an embankment in the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Needless to say, sourcing the Ferrari proved more difficult than the DeLoeran because of the Ferrari's scarcity. DeLoreans aren't exactly growing on trees, but only 56 examples of the 250 GT California Spyder were made. Today, it's one of the most expensive Ferraris of all time. Arsham wound up working with a replica created by a prop master that worked on the "Ferris Bueller" set.

A similar faux-erosion to the DeLorean and Ferrari — cavities embedded with crystals — was later incorporated by Arsham on a Porsche 911 "Art Car" in 2019, though not as extreme as the 3018 DeLorean, because the Porsche remains an actual drivable vehicle.

If you're feeling particularly flush, the artist released an approximately 1/14 scale model of the eroded Delorean in a limited run of 500 pieces for $2,500 each. It even has functioning gullwing doors, but you'll need to supply your own flux capacitor.