View Full Version : Whatever happened to OFFTO55 ?

11-11-2014, 02:38 PM
Is there a forum for BTTF replica builders anymore?

OFFTO55 used to be it, and I understand there was some drama (let's not go there today, folks). The website is still there, saying taht it is re-organizing, but heavily populated by bots so it is impossible to view anything.

Did it come back in some sort of secret manner?

Mark D
11-11-2014, 03:11 PM
J Ryan used to run Off to 55 until he sold his car to a guy in the UK. Since then he's moved on to other things and most of the other people that contributed to the Offto55 website teamed up with Bob Gale and restored the screen used A car as the Time Machine Restoration Team. We are still working together with Bob as Temporal FX, and also continue to work on our own time machine conversions. There are plenty of other builders out there as well doing their own thing.

12-10-2014, 08:35 PM
So is there a website now that has information, help, advice, etc. on doing a conversion, similar to something like Astromech.net?

Mark D
12-11-2014, 12:30 AM
I don't think there is currently a board up that is just posting all the info. It probably seems selfish to outsiders but the serious builders that were interested in building accurate cars and helping one another got tired of doing all the hard work figuring the nitty gritty details only to have the for-profit types take all that info and benefit themselves.

Either the info was straight up stolen from private FTP servers or info that was publicly posted was exploited by the for-profit guys. For example, if we found a source for a few rare parts and posted the info so everyone could go buy one at a reasonable price there were always a couple guys who would buy up everything and then try to resell it at 10x inflated prices to board members. Or for the more custom designed/fabricated parts there were always people there just mining info and then they'd go slam the other for profit guys and say their stuff was more accurate.

All the money grubbing and greed eventually pushed the hardcore builders group into private forums. We're finally able to get shit done in peace, but this is at a loss to the rest of the fan base who just want to satisfy their curiosity about how the cars were made, or want to build their own conversion.

If you have specific questions I can probably help.

12-11-2014, 05:10 AM
what a sad turn of events, I am in no means going to build my own BTTF car anytime soon, heck I don't even have a DeLorean but I do enjoy reading about how things were made. I would love to know about some of the things that were used on the original car.

12-11-2014, 01:14 PM
Here is what I did.
in 2004, I got in my car and drove it from Dallas to LA.
I got a hotel and a VIP pass to Universal Studios and stayed there for a week.
I paid off park employees to let me see the car up close and take photos.
I looked up the people who worked on the film using IMDB, I attended conventions to meet them,
some of them I hired or payed for their attention to get the answers I wanted.
I paid for a premium server and spent years, yes YEARS working that board to cultivate members and friends
to compile information.
Then, I got out in the garage and built stuff.
Good ol' trial and error.
I bought tools, I worked with fabricators. I hired companies that could make the parts I need.
I probably spent easily $100K on that project.
After 10 years of work and a lot of money and time invested, I have the results I wanted.
That's how it is done.

12-11-2014, 04:58 PM
Thanks for all the feedback guys.
In the R2 community, it's sort of similar to where Bob started - guys taking photos of R2 whenever there was a show somewhere with R2 on display. Lots of photos taken with R2 in his display case, measurements figured out based on surrounding stuff in the photos as well as from the official Star Wars Blueprints, plus trial and error. However, that became the R2 Builders group on Yahoo (like the current Wall-E builders group) and that spun into the astromech.net website. LFL made contact with some of the builders, they developed a relationship, rules were made - i.e. no building and selling of complete droids or kits for profit, sounds were provided in turn from LFL, and so far, for the most part that has worked very well.
Guys in the club come up with new ways to make something, find parts from the movies (either actually find or find references)and make machined replicas then sell them to the rest of the club at cost (like an accurate restraining bolt based on the Arri camera lens), and share how they did something, or post plans that you can use to CNC or laser cut, or machine, or 3D print yourself. So far it's worked great with really ZERO animosity. Guys who do runs on stuff they make works well for those who don't have the time, resources, or talent to scratch build. Only a few times have outsiders built R2's for a paid customer. We didn't associate with them, LFL didn't ding us for it, went after them, etc.
Every good builder (i.e. those who actually design and build vs. put-together) shares new ideas, plans, etc.
Of the hundreds of people on our site, only half or less are actually trying to build an R2 unit or other astromech. And an even smaller percentage have finished droids worldwide. And an even smaller number have one's that have been submitted to LFL/Disney for being sanctioned and then used for commercial work.
It's been a great system so far.

I think the huge difference (and I could be WAY wrong) is LFL (and now Disney) is very protective of their IP, whereas I don't think Universal was so much when people started building Time Machines, as they let the A car rot out in front of the ride and then on the back lot for years from what I understand, and allow businesses to build and sell completed time machines - does Bob or Bruce or Danny pay a license to do so and X amount of dollars to Universal for every car they convert and sell?

I think a site like astromech.net, with forums you need to sign up to and be approved before even being able to view anything (and that's even with getting files), would be nice.

I think all the work Bob, Bruce, Gary, Danny, J Ryan and the whole lot of Time Machine Restoration team members is wonderful, fantastic, amazing, and extremely valuable, and is something that should be shared with those of us who want to do our own build the same way it's handled on astromech.net, who like to BUILD for fun, find ways to do stuff on a tight budget, make things, and at the end be able to say "I did that."

To me there's much more joy and satisfaction in building something as much as possible, getting help from super nice knowledgeable people, and having something you can call your own at the end of the day.

Just my .02 cents.