The Original Batmobile Revisited!


We have all been fans of the Batman series and it has managed to capture the attention of comic and movie fans and enthusiasts for ages. Batman is an iconic character of sorts, one that has managed to stay almost immortal all throughout our childhood and growing up years. We simply keep on passing the baton to generation after generation. Batman is a cult character and his cool accessories also count as major attractions. One of the best things about the Batman series is the strikingly attractive vehicle used by Batman, namely the Batmobile. This was a powerful behemoth packed with the latest features and could transform into a rocket or even a motorcycle whenever required. This was one of the most futuristic and innovative cars ever created by story writers and designers.

Here we take a look at the original 1966 Batmobile which was crafted by George Barris, the famous customizer of cars. This promises to be a huge grab for car enthusiasts and fans of the heroic character. The original 1966 Batmobile is every bit the car shown in the Batman series apart from the fact that it cannot transform into a rocket or motorcycle all of a sudden. Alongside, this car was put up for auction last year in January and this witnessed a huge flurry of buyers willing to pay huge amounts for a prized piece of cinematic history. As legends go, the entire car was built in only 15 days though there is no official information regarding the same. George Barris was given a budget of $15, 000 to build this car in 1966 which was a huge amount at the time.

Batmobile - 1966

Batmobile – 1966

He got a Lincoln Futura which he had bought way earlier and had it repainted in shining black. CGI effects were not in vogue then and all the fabulous gadgets and crime fighting tools had to be incorporated into the car by Barris. These included the Bat-turn Lever for emergencies, the Bat Beam, the Bat phone and Batray. Alongside, the car also had to be fitted with the Bat-tering Ram and a parachute. Loads of gadgets had to be packed into this car, making for a tough job indeed and it is to Barris’ credit that he handled it superbly in the end. How many of us get to build Batman’s car in reality? This was one of the most fascinating assignments handed to Barris throughout his long career.

The car made use of the V-8 390 cubic inch Futura engine and this dished out 330 horsepower once incorporated into the car. The output specifications were not made formally available. The car also had a bubble roof concept and design inputs that were radically futuristic. Barris made huge money by selling this car at the Scottsdale auction last year. This car represented one of the greatest pieces of movie history and the humble Lincoln Futura concept became a platform for the development for this unique Batmobile.

The car was used in the movie adaptation which starred Adam West and was also used regularly for the television series on Batman. This car went on sale only for the second time last year. The Ford Motor Company originally manufactured this 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. The Lincoln Styling Department also had their own design team contribute to the entire design process. This two seater was approximately 19 foot long and followed a grand touring bubble-topped prototype as mentioned earlier. This was built totally by hand courtesy the Turin based Ghia Body Works and the Frost-Blue finishing in white paint made it a head turner at the famous Chicago Auto Show in the year 1955 where it was originally unveiled. There were various instruments incorporated onto the steering wheel along with a transmission system that worked with the push of a single button. There were also microphones placed at the exterior which could pick up traffic sounds and transmit information to passengers and the driver inside. There were various other devices housed in the car.

This car was labeled as a rolling laboratory by the company, which made this concept car the basis for all their future experiments with new technologies and other innovations. This car was used as a foundation for incorporating latest technology into commercial production models from Ford. The Futura got a fresh coat of paint and was seen in the film titled It Started with a Kiss starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds, starting off its tryst with the big screen. The car was then snapped up by George Barris who kept it idle in his own garage for many years. However, in 1966, he was contacted by Greenway Productions owned by William Dozier and 20th Century Fox Television with regard to creating a Batmobile for the television series to be aired shortly. Barris took on the challenge of creating the iconic Batmobile within 15 days with a budget of $15, 000 and chose the Lincoln Futura for this purpose. The rest as they say is history indeed!

According to the CEO and Chairman at Barrett-Jackson, Craig Jackson, this is one of the most famous cars in Hollywood and has become a popular icon in its own right. It has been used across generations and is especially significant for the fabulous Bat logo that sits on the middle of the car door and became the star of multiple television shows and films. The car also comes with a Hydro B&M automatic transmission system and other gadgets include an anti-theft device, police band cut-in switch, Batscope, Cutter Blade, Automatic Tire Inflation Device, aluminum cable cutter mounted on the car nose, anti-fire activator, Bat Photoscope, Remote Batcomputer, Bat Eye Switch, Bat Smoke, Antenna Activator, Detect-a-scope and could also take 180 degree turns all of a sudden.

This is one car that has captured the imagination of countless Batman fans from across the globe and has managed to stand out as one of the most iconic cars ever made for the silver screen!


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