Famous Trucks: Cars and Jeeps® from Back to the Future

Updated on Mar 29, 2024

One of history’s most beloved film franchises has to be Robert Zemeckis’ three-part saga, Back to the Future parts I–III. These films have it all, from outstanding performances by lead actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd to what were, at the time, ground-breaking special effects. And for the keen-eyed auto enthusiast, the films also showcase their fair share of memorable rides. 

In this segment of our Famous Trucks series, we’re looking back at the Back to the Future franchise’s iconic vehicles, including Doc Brown’s Delorean time machine, Biff Tannen’s Ford Super De Lux, and several other notable extra cars. Along the way, we provide a brief plot refresh and a comprehensive build guide for one film’s futuristic Jeep®.

The Films: Back to the Future

Back to the Future is a hit franchise by filmmakers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, who released three parts between 1985 and 1990. The films follow the absurd adventures of its protagonists, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), as they travel back and forth through time aboard a hodgepodge time machine built from a DMC-12 DeLorean.

Part I

Part I of the franchise follows California teenager Marty McFly as he travels back in time to save the life of his friend and mad scientist, Doc Brown. After Brown loses his life in a botched Plutonium deal, the time machine’s fuel source, Marty incorrectly punches in the year 1955, which sends him back three decades. 

During his time in the past, Marty scrambles to rekindle a relationship with a youthful Doc Brown, avoid bullies, and coax his parents into falling in love to guarantee his mere existence. By the end of the first film, Marty returns to his current timeline after successfully salvaging his parent’s relationship, saving Doc Brown, and positively impacting his timeline.

Part II

Part II of the franchise reunites Marty with Doc and the DeLorean, as the two jump into the future (2015) to save Marty’s son, Marty McFly Jr. After a brief stint in the 2000s, Marty returns to 1985, only to find his timeline in shambles, his father murdered, and his mother married to his nemesis, Biff Tannen. 

After discovering that 2015-era Tannen caused the rift in time, Marty travels to 1955 once more to set history straight, once and for all.

Part III

Part III closes out the franchise with a trip to the Old West (1885). After receiving a decades-old letter from Doc Brown depicting his settling in the 19th century, Marty learns that the Doctor met an untimely death once more. 

To save his old friend, Marty travels to 1885 to prevent the events leading to Doc’s murder in the old West, including evading Biff’s great grandfather, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen, and his outlaw crew. The franchise ends with Marty saving Doc and his love interest, Clara, Marty traveling back to his current timeline, and the DeLorean time machine’s destruction.

The Rides: Cars, Trucks, and Jeeps

Vehicles play a massive role in the film franchise, and not just the DeLorean. Each generation features unique, period-correct set pieces and, in turn, cars (aside from 2015’s flying models). In this section, we’re highlighting some of our favorites across all three films.

Doc Brown’s 1982 DeLorean DMC-12

Of course, we couldn’t start anywhere but the film’s primary set piece: Doc Brown’s heavily modified DMC-12 DeLorean time machine. As if the stainless-steel-bodied, gull-wing-door-sporting DeLorean wasn’t futuristic enough, the screen-used cars feature massive rear thrusters, wires and luminescent cables P-clamped to the stainless steel bodywork, and a mass of tech shoved into the rear hatch, including the ever-important Plutonium-powered Flux Capacitor. 

Plus, we couldn’t help but notice the Goodyear Eagle GT white letter tires, which must have been necessary for those high-speed, 88-mph runs.

Marty McFly’s 1985 Toyota Pickup SR5

Marty’s personal 1985 Toyota Pickup SR5 is another star of the show. It first appears in Part I of the franchise as nothing more than an unattainable dream aboard a dealership transport. By the film's end, the exact pickup sits in Marty’s garage, having been gifted to him by his parents. 

The sleek, black Toyota pickup sports several notable upgrades, including chrome/black steel wheels, oversized tires, a tubular roll bar, tubular bumpers, and KC lighting. Check out its Famous Trucks feature for a complete build guide and background on this ride.

Biff Tannen’s 1946 Ford Super De Luxe

In the film’s current timeline, Biff Tannen is nothing more than a washed-up high school athlete operating an auto detailing business, and Part I showcases the roots of his automotive interests: a pristine 1946 Ford Super De Luxe. The convertible's gloss black paint job, red accents, and red interior steal any scene it’s featured in, even when it's covered in manure. 

The car appears in several memorable scenes, including multiple heart-pumping chase sequences between a young Biff and Marty.

1981 Jeep CJ-7

Though only appearing for a brief moment in Part I, the Slate Blue Metallic CJ-7 makes a lasting impression. The Jeep appears in a brief sequence in which Marty skitches on the Jeep’s rear tailgate, holding onto the Jeep while being towed on his skateboard. 

If for no other reason than the Jeep’s striking color combo, including a spice interior and white steel wheels, the CJ-7 earns a spot on this list.

1987 Jeep Wrangler YJ

In an homage to sequences from the first film, including the aforementioned ‘skitching’ sequence, Marty grabs onto a thruster-equipped Jeep Wrangler YJ while hoverboarding away from Griff Tannen, Biff’s grandson and future Hill Valley bully. The vibrant, tiger-striped Jeep fits in perfectly amongst the film’s other redressed 80s rides and makes a lasting impression.

Build Your Own Back to the Future Part II Inspired Jeep Wrangler YJ

As with every Famous Trucks and Jeeps feature, we’re capping this one off with a build guide. Arguably the most fitting build, considering our focus on trucks and Jeeps, is the futuristic 1987 Jeep Wrangler YJ from Back to the Future Part II. Though we don’t carry thrusters or hover car conversions, we offer just the products for a replica build.


While the screen-used Jeep is a modified 1987 Wrangler YJ, any year from the generation will work just fine. The YJ generation stretched from 1987–1996 and covers any square-headlight Wrangler. 

For the sake of power and reliability, we’d recommend a 91+ model with the legendary 4.0-liter, fuel-injected, inline 6-cylinder engine mated to a manual AX-15 5-speed transmission.


Though the Jeep is overwhelmingly stock, it features some notable modifications to the body. First and most evident is the screen-used ride’s tiger-striped paint job, featuring a desert tan base coat and brown stripes. Just about the entire Jeep shares the same matte tan paint job, including the wheels, roll bar, and fender flares. 

Aside from the paint job, the body features some bolt-on gadgets and gizmos to resemble future tech, which will likely require a DIY solution. However, none of the add-ons look overwhelmingly tough to piece together using some ingenuity and scrap material.

Wheels and Tires

The screen-used Jeep features a unique thruster/wheel combo of large, disc-shaped wheels without notable details. While we don’t have a part number for this hover car kit, we have the next best thing. 

We recommend outfitting the replica Jeep with simple, spokeless wheels, like the Black Rhino Matte Black Solid Wheels. Paint these wheels desert tan and wrap them in a modern all-terrain tire, like the Nitto Recon Grappler, and you’ll have a semi-futuristic setup offering exceptional traction and sleek looks.


Though the screen-used Jeep seems to ride on stock suspension, judging by its ride height, that doesn’t mean upgrades aren’t in order. Consider boosting your Back to the Future-inspired Jeep’s ride quality with a set of premium Superlift Shadow Series Shocks.

Upgraded Lighting

Lastly, the screen-used Jeep features various accessory lights, including dual round lights on the bumper and two rectangular lights mounted to a simple roof rack. 

To duplicate this setup, we’d recommend outfitting a replica with two Rugged Ridge® 7" Rectangular Off-Road Lights mounted to a Go Rhino® SRM500 Roof Rack. Though the Jeep in BTTF appears to run factory bumper-mounted fog lights, KC HiLiGHTS Apollo Pro Series Lights are an excellent substitute. 

With the accessories on this list ordered you’ll be well on your way to piloting a replica Jeep YJ from Back to the Future Part II.

As always, we offer all the parts and know-how to piece together this build and countless others at RealTruck®. For additional information, check out the rest of our articles on RealSource, and don’t hesitate to contact the experts.

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