(First of all - kudos to WadCheber for inspiring this question)

When the DeLorean is first revealed, we see it exiting from Doc's Truck:

In the image I've given below, you can see there isn't much room to spare in the truck:

DeLorean exiting truck

Bearing in mind the Delorean has gull-wing doors, how did Doc:

  1. Get into the DeLorean in the first place (we later on see him exit out, so he wasn't remote-controlling it), and
  2. Operate the ramp (perhaps by remote control)?
  • 2
    I guess Doc could've also invented a transporter and not mentioned it - what's a transporter when you've got a DeLorean time machine anyway :P Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 2:47
  • 1
    If this answer is correct, the DeLorean would be unnecessary if the Doc had a transporter. The only reason the DeLorean has to go 88 miles per hour is that the temporal field created by the flux capacitor only exists for the amount of time required for a DeLorean to travel its own length. With a transporter, you could simply open the temporal field, then transport yourself through the field.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 2:52
  • 8
    Maybe he drove it in and remote-controlled the truck Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 2:56
  • 1
    HOW DID I FAIL TO REALIZE THAT MARTY ASKS THE DOC IF HE IS WEARING A DEVO SUIT? That's my new favorite part of Back to the Future.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 3:03
  • 3
    @AnthonyX that's an interesting thought. Perhaps even the side of the trick flips open... Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 0:41

4 Answers 4


I'll answer this in the most likely answer there can be. Someone screwed up in the we didn't think this out because it just looked cool department.

While the door/ramp looks to be on a winch(s) (the extra ramp parts have red wheels as seen at 0:18, to allow them to fully extend), unless Doc could remote control the box truck, there is no possible way for him to get in and back out the Delorean.

Movie goofs, they happen.

There is only one explanation for how he could have done it, and it's almost Rube Goldberg in its nonsensical construction, even for Doc. He would have had to move the truck, lowered the ramp, got into the back, closed the ramp, climbed into the Delorean through an open window, allow the Delorean or something else to fill the cabin and the open windowed Delorean with smoke, closed the window, then open the ramp again to pull the Delorean out, all before the smoke dissipates. Even Doc isn't that freaking pointless or convoluted (I hope).

But as @WadCheber has linked to, the Delorean window is about the size of a bread box, making even that convoluted idea impossible without magic.

enter image description here

  • 1
    @Hypnosifl If both are at atmospheric pressure (14.7 psia), steam and boiling water are both at the temperature of 100C or 212F. If it was steam, Doc would have atleast second degree burns considering the closed space and the amount of screen time in the smoke. At best its fog, or some sort of movie smoke. At worst its actual smoke, but steam would have left him sweating or scolded.
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 4:40
  • 2
    @WadCheber that's the window? HAHA. Edited.
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 4:41
  • 1
    @Wad Cheber - I didn't realize that the whole window didn't roll down, only that little section. But Doc made plenty of modifications, I suppose you could always imagine he altered it so the whole window rolled down, or folded in, or was removable, or something.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 17:44
  • 1
    @Hypnosifl doc wasn't sweating or moist after stepping out. His clothes atleast would have gotten damp from that much Steam. And for the window, at no point do we see any window modification, so that's pointless speculation.
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 17:52
  • 2
    The door doesn't need much space to open, this answer makes the false assumption that it does
    – Ryan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 0:10

A Delorean is 6'1" across. A Semi Trailer is at least 8' across. The door could've easily been opened enough for him to climb in. You only need about 7" to open it due to the rotation of it. Note the door in its full open position doesn't even go out from the side, because the hinge is inside.

Here's a video further showing this:

Still from the video showing a man exiting the vehicle about 12" (30cm) from a wall:

  • 2
    Myth....Busted :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 0:23
  • Literally Cinéma Verité! Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 13:58

My guess is that the Doc loves to put on a show and always goes over and above with his inventions and when he is presenting ideas. Remember the intricate model set he designed in both this movie as well as the 3rd part of the series? He likes to do things with class.

This is the pinnacle invention, something that the Doc has been working on for nearly 30 years and has finally succeeded. Why not unveil it to Marty in a classy and memorable way?

My guess is that he likely used a remote control to control the back of the truck, drove onto the truck, closed the door just before Marty arrived and re-opened it again to roll out with a touch of pizazz. The smoke could have been from the DeLorean, or he could have wanted to add more to the effect with a bit of artificial smoke (such as a smoke machine generates). This would also explain why he wanted Marty to come to the Mall car park at such a specific time.

Either that or he used his other secret invention, the shrink ray, and got in through a window. :)

  • Going through a window wouldn't work. See the photo of a DeLorean window in cde's answer to learn why.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 21:34
  • Or just check out this photo. The tiny little section at the lower middle of the window is the only part that opens.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 22:39
  • 4
    This is my +1. He tells Marty to be there at a very precise time.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 21:26
  • If he did it to impress Marty, why was he surprised by Marty when he stepped out of the DeLorean
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 22:00

I'd say he got into the car while it was outside the van, then he drove the car inside the van and waited for Marty to arrive (that's why they had an appointment and doc even called him up to remind him..) allowing a few minutes delay he drove out to make Marty a surprise.

before that, doc obviously drove the car into the truck by remote to get it from his lab to the mall and then drove the truck to the mall.

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