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Local

Face Time with Marty West

Movie buff Marty West, of DeKalb, stands Thursday with his 1994 Jeep Wrangler that he made into a Jurassic Park cruiser. West spent about 32 hours on the vehicle to drive it to the June 12 opening of Jurassic World at the Midway Drive-In in Dixon.
Movie buff Marty West, of DeKalb, stands Thursday with his 1994 Jeep Wrangler that he made into a Jurassic Park cruiser. West spent about 32 hours on the vehicle to drive it to the June 12 opening of Jurassic World at the Midway Drive-In in Dixon.

If you want to go looking for dinosaurs in the region, Marty West has the perfect mode of transportation for you.

OK, so there aren’t any dinosaurs in the region – not living ones, anyway. But there is a real-life Jeep decked out exactly like the one seen in the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” and this summer’s megablockbuster “Jurassic World.”

West, a cancer survivor, certified nursing assistant and Papa John’s delivery driver in DeKalb, and his brother took a Jeep they bought in April 2013 and replicated the vehicles seen in the movies.

And only a true “Jurassic Park” fan would understand why West keeps a can of Barbasol on the dashboard.

West finished the vehicle June 12, just in time to drive the Jeep to Midway Drive-In in Sterling for the opening night of “Jurassic World.”

Although he keeps the vehicle out of town for security purposes, you can catch West out and about in DeKalb on occasion. Take a picture of it if you want – he’s used to it.

(And yes, if you’re lucky, he’ll deliver your Papa John’s pizza in the Jeep.)

Daily Chronicle reporter Adam Poulisse took a summertime drive with West in the Jurassic Park Jeep, and asked him about his project.

Poulisse: Why did you want to do this?

West: I’m a big movie lover. I enjoy collecting movie memorabilia and started getting in the vehicle market.

Poulisse: Where did you get the stuff, such as the logo and paint?

West: The logo we purchased off eBay, all the rest was painting done by my brother and myself.

I’m more of a movie car guy, he’s just the car guy in general.

Anything that has to do with movies I enjoy.

Poulisse: What’s the reaction you get from the community when you’re out driving the Jurassic Park Jeep?

West: Honking, waving, screaming, getting thumbs up.

There’s a lot of children that ask to get photos taken. That’s one of the best parts about driving it around, the reaction you get from kids.

Poulisse: What did you think of “Jurassic World”?

West: It was just as good as the original, if not a little better.

Poulisse: Got any other projects coming up?

West: We’ll be working on the Jurassic Park Explorer from the first movie. Then once we finish that, the two projects we are looking (at) long-term is the ’89 (Michael) Keaton Batmobile and the original Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters.”

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