A small number of the "time machine" cars made famous by the Back to the Future film trilogy could be produced by next year, the DeLorean Motor Company said.

The DeLorean's silver gull-wing door design was immortalised by the Hollywood films starring Michael J Fox a few years after the collapse of the original manufacturing firm in Northern Ireland.

It has emerged that around 1,000 doors still exist from the factory in Belfast and they are sitting in a warehouse in the US.

Now a US government initiative allows new models to be made for the first time in 35 years.

An electric version of the DeLorean was unveiled in Belfast last year

DeLorean chief executive Stephen Wynne told Texas radio station KPRC: "It is fantastic. It is a game-changer for us."

Around 2,800 parts make-up a DeLorean and the Texas-based company, which has no connection with the original firm or the estate of John DeLorean, has over 99% of them. It reproduces or rebuilds the rest using the original drawings.

The Back to the Future films have ensured the cars retain a cult following after the hero Marty McFly used one to travel back in time.

The first Back To The Future last year celebrated it's 30th anniversary. On its release in 1985, it raked in millions in ticket sales and became the highest-grossing film of the year and picked up three Oscar nominations.

The film was released three years after the closure of the original factory in Belfast. Fewer than 9,000 cars had rolled off the production line at the Dunmurry plant.

The unused stock, including millions of spare parts like nuts, bolts and washers, was sold and eventually bought by the new DeLorean Motor Company.