Originally published in The Sylva Herald on May 28, 2020.
As a kid, Mark Zoran built model cars from his favorite movies and TV shows with his father, Daniel. Now he recreates them in full scale in his Whittier shop.
Zoran and his wife, Angela, founders of Razorfly Studios, replicate iconic movie cars such as the Jeep from “Jurassic Park” and Bumblebee from “Transformers.” Razorfly Studios was recently featured in the June issue of Car and Driver magazine, but this isn’t the first time they’ve received national recognition.
“We were on CNN on June 21, 2015, for their ‘Back to the Future’ day with our DeLorean,” Mark Zoran said.
Mark Zoran doesn’t drive what most consider “normal” cars.
“My movie cars are my weekend drivers,” he said. “I get in those and go to Asheville. I can’t tell you how many times I pull up at the Walmart in Sylva just to go grocery shopping in the time machine. I did that this weekend actually. I drove the time machine out; somebody was like, ‘Man, can you get us out of 2020 and get us into the future?’ I was like, ‘Man, you don’t know what the future holds, I’d rather go back.’”
Reactions to the couple’s exotic cars are one of the reasons he does what he does. “It’s awesome to see the look on people’s faces,” Mark Zoran said. “There have been a few comic book conventions, and I’ve had people sobbing because it was a childhood dream to sit in one of the cars. I appreciate the emotional response to it, but to see people’s responses, we know we’ve done our job right and done it so authentically to the movie.”
When having a car replicated by Razorfly, he usually tells customers it will take a year.
However, much of it depends on the type of vehicle itself and the props that go along with it.
“The DeLorean took me about six months because of the custom work in the car itself, so there was less detail in the vehicle itself, but there was more detail in the props that went on it,” Mark Zoran said. “We had to cut the roof off, repaint the entire vehicle with a custom paint job, so it really depends. Our ‘Jurassic Park’ Jeep, there wasn’t much to it, took me about a month to be done with it. It can be something simple and really straight forward, or it can be something super-involved like the time machine or the Batmobile.”
The cost of these cars can range from as little as $16,000 to upwards of $100,000 depending on what a customer wants replicated. Museums buy many, along with private collectors. Razorfly Studios also has cars available for event rental.
“The rentals are anything from weddings to graduations,” Mark Zoran said. “We had people hire us just to drive them off for their wedding. We have a couple set up right now where we’re supposed to take them to their anniversary party, meaning that we picked them up for their wedding, took off and then they said ‘We’ll see you in five years so we can do their fifth-anniversary party’ and then we’ll drop them off like we did for their wedding, so it looks like they actually came through time.”
Razorfly Studios have also made appearances at corporate events for companies such as CNN, Five Guys, IBM and Western Carolina University.
Next up is a replica of the AMC Pacer from “Wayne’s World.”
“The 1982 Jeep truck, which is the same truck from ‘Twister’ that gets flipped by the tornado, we’re building that one next,” he said.
Other goals include opening a museum in Western North Carolina and having his TV series produced, currently titled “Wrenchmen,” which will detail the process of sourcing, restoring and building the screen-replica cars with his “wrenchmen” Will Lathrop and Cory Hartman.
To learn more about Razorfly Studios, go to razorflystudios.com.