Okay, so a 26-year-old graduate student in San Francisco wants you to pledge him money so that he can finish building his -- are you ready? -- Delorean hovercraft. Matthew Riese, who says he owes this childhood dream to "Back to the Future," is totally serious. If you donate at least $50, he'll give you a ride over San Francisco Bay in it. While we can't vouch for the intentions of this young man, Matthew is more than halfway to his goal of raising $5,500 through the website KickStarter and has until July 20 to become fully funded.

Let Matthew tell the back-story: "I was in awe of that movie," which starred the stainless steel Delorean sports car-cum-time machine. "I've never been in one but I've spent my whole life savings, plus whatever else I could get, on this project."

Matthew's version began to take physical shape two years ago in the garage of his house and he's been reshaping and refining it ever since. The hovercraft uses a 16-hp, two-stroke Briggs and Stratton industrial motor to operates a fan that pushes air under the craft, lifting it up, and a second engine/fan combination to push air rearwards, which provides propulsive force. Rudders turn the vehicle -- which is already officially registered with the state of California as a boat -- and Matthew says he expects that top speed should be about 45 miles per hour.

Because the craft is a Delorean -- sort of -- the color is key, Matthew says. "It will be silver," he said. "Getting the right paint took me a really long time, I found an industrial bridge paint, the most metallic paint I could find."

"I'm guessing I have about three months of work left on it," he said, in between his summer catering job and his return to graduate school at San Francisco State University in the fall.


Share This Photo X