From Salvage To Savage: Timeless Twin-Turbo LS-Swapped DeLorean

Growing up in the 1980s definitely had its advantages. We didn’t have electronic devices or the internet, so kids had to fend for themselves for entertainment. And when it comes to TV and movies, you would be hard-pressed to find an era with more cars as the star of the show. TV shows like The Fall Guy, Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Magnum PI, to name a few, are what sent some of us down a path that ultimately led us to a career in the automotive aftermarket. Of course, movies were another influence as well, with films like Mad Max, Batman, Ghostbusters, and The Cannonball Run. But one of the most iconic cars used in a movie to this day is the DeLorean from Back To The Future. 

While the DeLorean DMC-12 used in Back To The Future certainly looked futuristic for its time, this machine had some problems. For starters, the car was seriously underpowered with only 132 horsepower and didn’t handle very well. The company was also plagued with manufacturing problems, delays, and in 1982, John DeLorean was arrested in October on drug trafficking charges, and soon after, the company collapsed.

While at SEMA, we had caught wind of an LS-swapped DeLorean, but unfortunately we ran out of time to locate the vehicle. Luckily, 1320 Video did and was able to get a video of this wild creation in TOYO’s booth.

Like us, Tim Moceri, the lead fabricator at Salvage To Savage, has been obsessed with the DeLorean since it hit the big screen in ’85 and wanted to build one. And to give you an idea of the value of these cars, Moceri said he bought the cheapest one he could find in the US. He paid $11,500 for the vehicle, and it was a complete basket case and had even been painted red. 

Moceri started the build by having Khyzyl Saleem, a self-taught concept artist, render a custom DCM-12. All the team had to do was bring it to life, which was no small task due to a custom wide-body kit, engine swap, custom turbo system, lighting, among other features. 

For the driveline, currently, the engine is a 5.3-liter LS with dual Garrett turbochargers, matted to a 996 Porsche gearbox. The machine also has one-off billet intake manifolds, custom intercoolers, and a plethora of fab work in the engine bay. Moceri plans on fitting the car with an LS7 in the future with a dry-sump oiling system and a different turbo system. 

Moceri said that this build was not intended to be a race car but rather a cruiser. He said, “I built it for people to get inspired and fall in love with.” And while we were in love with this car in 1985, we’re even more so now. Congratulations to Moceri and the Salvage to Savage team on building a killer machine that Marty and Doc would be proud of. 

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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