'Back to the Future' fan gets ticket for going 88 mph in 1982 DeLorean

Spencer White was driving with his 65-year-old mother when he was ticketed.

ByABC News
May 30, 2017, 2:35 PM

— -- A California man received a nearly $400 citation for driving 88 mph in his 1982 DeLorean, the car and the speed made famous by “Back to the Future.”

Spencer White, 36, of Santa Clarita, California, was taking his mom for a drive in his newly purchased dream car last Friday on a local highway.

When a car stopped in front of him, White said he had to quickly downshift and merge into a new lane.

“The car just kind of took off on me,” White told ABC News. “DeLoreans are kind of known for being slow and this one wasn’t.”

When White looked up at his speedometer he saw it read 86 mph, close to the 88 mph speed that, in the “Back to the Future” movie, would send Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean time machine traveling through time.

“I turned to my mom, who is 65, and said, ‘Want to take it up to 88?’ and she said, ‘Oh yeah, of course,’” White recalled. “As a kid in the family station wagon, I’d always tell my mom to take it up to 88.”

He added, “It was the magic number.”

As soon as White hit 88 mph, he saw police lights behind him and was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer.

“I had to open up the door, which is always an event, and he’s kind of got a big smile on his face,” White said of the officer. “He said, 'I got you on the radar gun. You’re going 88 mph.'

“I started laughing and my mom was laughing harder than I was,” White recalled. “The cop said, 'Do you want to look at the radar gun? Do you want to take a picture?' Which of course I did.”

PHOTO: A California Highway Patrol officer’s radar gun clocked Spencer White’s DeLorean at 88 mph.
A California Highway Patrol officer’s radar gun clocked Spencer White’s DeLorean at 88 mph.

White thought the uniqueness of his speeding infraction might get him out of the ticket, but he received a nearly $400 citation for speeding above the 65 mph speeding limit.

“It was probably one of the most pleasant experiences you could have had being pulled over,” White said. “I’m not planning on contesting it. I was caught.”

He added, “I don’t glorify the fact that I was speeding. It was wrong and it is dangerous, especially in an old car.”

Officer Joshua Greengard, a California Highway Patrol public information officer, confirmed White’s account of the citation.

“It’s one of those funny incidents,” Greengard said. “The officer said Mr. White was super nice.”

Greengard added, “Hopefully he got it out of his system and he doesn’t continue to do it.”

White, who was born just a few years before “Back to the Future” was released in 1985, saved for four years to purchase the DeLorean.

He said he is thinking about framing his speeding ticket but not continuing to speed, saying, “I’m going to be keeping the speed light from now on.”