How to Time Travel Without a Delorean

Would you like time travel in a Delorean? In 1981 a Delorean cost $26,000 US dollars. In 2016, the Delorean Motor Company planned to make three hundred replicas of the 1982 Delorean. Each of those vehicles cost approximately $100,000. I don’t know about you, but that is too pricey for my budget. What if I told you how to time travel without the Delorean? In fact, what if I said you needed a Ford or a Studebaker? Would you still want to travel into the past?

When writing a novel, the right details create a verisimilitude that helps your story take on a life of its own. This is especially true when writing an alternate history like My Soul to Keep. Thank goodness I learned the secret of time travel and a way to make a new, alternate America. By now you’ve guessed the secret to time travel—the internet.

Not participating in WWII, America would be a bit slower coming out of the depression. So when I looked for vehicles I looked for those that were around ten- to twenty years earlier than the 1960s when Miranda’s story takes place. I found a treasure trove in antique and classic car sales websites.

Time Travel to Old Cars

The first victim of the Azrael drove a Studebaker, like this one.

My time travel device even allowed me to hear what the Studebaker sounded like.

During their escape, Miranda and Beryl travel in a red, two-door Hudson Commodore V8.

A brief search even yielded the owner’s manual.  From the manual, I found out the fuel capacity of the Hudson. But I wanted to know how many hours it would take to get from Kansas City, Missouri to near Lynchburg, Virginia. I needed information about old highways.

Time Travel Old Highways

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 on June 29, 1956. This act authorized the Interstate Highway System we have in the US today. Oops. That Act wasn’t going to get passed in Miranda’s world. She and Beryl would have to travel without any Interstates. Google Maps to the rescue!

Google Maps allows you to add destinations. You can also exclude the highways, toll roads, and ferries that Miranda’s world would not include. I made maps of each segment of the trip, calculated the time, and the gas mileage.

A dark Ford Sedan

…and a Chrysler chase them through the streets of Louisville, Kentucky. The Chrysler crashes.

How to Time Travel Without a Delorean by Lynette M. Burrows--creating the world of My Soul to Keep

This Police car is from the San Diego Police Museum’s fleet. Beryl had to walk past one that looked like this while on the run in Lynchburg, Virginia.

How to Time Travel Without a Delorean by Lynette M. Burrows--creating the world of My Soul to Keep

Of course, on such a long trip they’d have to make stops. They’d go to places like the once popular Lazarus Department Store, diners, and gas stations. I researched them all. Not all my research ended up in the novel. (Aren’t you glad!)

Figuring out how to time travel without a Delorean was fun. My thanks to Webeautos, Classic AutoTrader, Imcdb, the San Diego Police Museum for the fantastic images. I hope it this short time travel trip was fun for you, too. Next week I will conclude my exploration of creating My Soul to Keep. I also hope to make an announcement or two. Stay tuned!

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