Yesterday, a pristine DeLorean exhibited outside of Time on Sansom Street was photographed with an envelope for a parking ticket on its windshield. The picture elicited a reaction of bewilderment and comedy: How could somebody ticket a freaking DeLorean on “Back to the Future” day?

And in a plot twist straight out of Hollywood, the answer is: Nobody. It’s possible no ticket was given. This DeLorean story is a mystery.

Let’s start from the beginning: This whodunit started because the DeLorean, master vehicle of the time-space continuum, arrived a little too early. Jason Evenchik, who owns the car and the bar/restaurant Time, was bringing it for the venue’s hyped Back to the Future bash. He inherited it about a year and a half ago from his grandfather, an eccentric man who bought the DeLorean in 1981, before the first “Back to the Future” movie even came out (“After the DeLorean, he redid his kitchen in all stainless steel as well,” said Evenchik).  

Evenchik arrived at about 3:45 and parked his DeLorean. Only delivery vehicles are allowed to park on the street in front of Time from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. So the DeLorean was parked illegally.

Within minutes, a uniformed official had arrived and started ticketing the car. Evenchik says a beer rep was outside and said to the official something along the lines of, “You’re really going to ticket a DeLorean on Back to the Future Day?” And the person responded with a terse, “yeah.”

Evenchick wasn’t surprised when he found out about the ticket.

“I’ve been in Philly long enough to know the PPA is not very forgiving,” he said.

Then the surprise came. When Evenchik opened the envelope, there was no ticket inside of it. He began assuming three possible scenarios.

  1. The meter maid had a change of heart and withdrew the ticket, leaving the envelope.
  2. Somebody thought the sight of a ticketed DeLorean was hilarious and stole the ticket as a souvenir.
  3. Somebody is stalking him (he’s kidding).

So what happened then?

PPA spokesperson Marty O’Rourke (yes, his first name is Marty) said the ticket did not come from the PPA. He said the tickets are loaded electronically into a system every day and no ticket exists for a license plate matching that of the DeLorean.

The police have no record for a ticket either. The DeLorean was parked within the Sixth District. A spokesperson for the Police Department, Christine O’Brien, said the 6th District had not ticketed a car with the DeLorean’s license plate Wednesday. She said it was possible an officer covering another part of the city ticketed the car. If that’s the case, it could take days for them to be able to confirm the record of a ticket.  

Evenchik doubts it was the Philly Police. From what the beer rep told him, the person looked like a PPA worker — evidently a PPA worker who felt a rush of nostalgia at the last minute and couldn’t ticket a DeLorean.

“I’m guessing they had a change of heart,” Evenchik said.

“They knew about the day.”

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...