The curator of the Alberta Aviation Museum spends a lot of time around airplanes, but for nearly a decade, he’s worked to create his own replica of a special vehicle that also doesn’t need a road.

It would likely be an understatement to say Back to the Future was Lech Lebiedowski’s favourite movie.

“It was very important to me,” the Polish immigrant said. “I grew up in communist country, behind the Iron Curtain, so I had a slightly different perception of that film.”

He said he watched every single screening in his neighbourhood when it opened in Poland – approximately 32 times.

Later on, he got a used VCR, and watched only one tape.

“It wasn’t a film [to me], it was just magic,” he said.

For the last ten years, he’s been collecting parts to create his own version of Dr. Brown’s DeLorean time machine.

“I started gathering parts about ten years ago, but it was just bits and pieces,” Lebiedowski said. “The construction took less than two years, and that’s when I really started going after the authentic parts.”

His search for the perfect 1980s-era parts even led him to the basement of CTV Edmonton, where he found a heat sink and some of the wiring.

“It’s a blessing that you had it in your basement, because you can’t find it, you can’t buy it. It was amazing that it was just sitting there.”

The DeLorean still runs, and Lebiedowski said he’s taken it out on Edmonton streets more than once, but he doesn’t make a habit of driving it much.

“It actually stopped traffic a few times, it’s very difficult to drive it in the city,” he said.

“I didn’t realize how famous the vehicle is; yes it generates way more interest than I can handle."

“It’s so positive, it makes people laugh, and it makes people relive some of the best memories of childhood.”

The DeLorean is on display this weekend as part of Open Cockpit Day, but the project isn’t quite complete for Lebiedowski.

In the two years since he started serious work on his DeLorean, he hasn’t seen the film – and he doesn’t plan on watching it until all the work is done.

“I said I will not watch it until the car is done, it’s still not finished, I’m still not happy with some of the lights on it which are LEDs and it doesn’t match 1980s technology. This is something that I have to replace.”

Open Cockpit Day is Saturday, September 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Alberta Aviation Museum (11410 Kingsway NW).