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Your Basic $1 Batmobile

The car that was to become the Batmobile in the 1960's BATMAN TV series has a bizarre history that few know about. In 1954, Ford Motor Company contracted with the Italian Ghia Body Works in Turin to design a futuristic Lincoln design called the Futura. In 1955, this futuristic concept car was displayed at auto shows around the U.S. The total production costs of this concept car were $250,000, which was a staggering cost at 1954 prices. But within a few years this concept car became essentially useless to Ford Motor Company, and eventually auto customizer George Barris offered to buy the car, which was sold to Barris for the price of just one dollar.LincolnFutura.jpg

The concept car set idle in the collection of cars owned by Barris for several years. Then in 1965, ABC TV contacted Barris about building some sort of custom car for their upcoming BATMAN TV series. However, ABC put impossible pressure on Barris to have a car ready in just three weeks time. The only way that Barris could build a car in this short of time was to do a face-lift on the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that he purchased. So with some minor cosmetic changes, and a special paint job, the Batmobile for the campy 1960's TV series was born.1966batmobile2.bmp

Strangely, this unique 1950's concept car Lincoln became the beloved 1960's Batmobile and has continued to tour the nation in custom car shows years after the BATMAN TV series was cancelled after several popular seasons run on TV.

Theoretically, the Batmobile was supposedly powered by a fire breathing jet turbine engine with jet exhaust visible from huge single jet exhaust port on the back of the body. However, in real life, the car was actually powered by 330hp Ford designed V8 engine of conventional design. And at 227 inches long, the car was just as large as any existing Lincoln as well. The car had a long 126 inch wheelbase as well.

Perhaps the Batmobile is the most beloved $1 car in the world ever built. And is still considered to be way cool these days. Strangely, a few persons have actually built some homemade cars to resemble the Batmobile because the car is so desirable.Javelin batmobile.jpg

Strangely, even a AMC Javelin was used by one guy to build a homemade Batmobile. But VWs and many other car brands have been built into what is perhaps the most desirable nerd toy ever. Believe it or not!Batmobile2.jpg

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Rating: 5/5 (1 votes cast)

Comments (3)

Doubting Thomas:

These are great - amazing what you can do with sheet metal and Bondo!

Also, don't know if you're interested or not, but this car was a central plot point in the movie It Started with a Kiss.

Paul Hooson:

Thanks so much for your thoughts as well as great link here, Doubting Thomas. I've always been a huge Batmobile fan.

I love to run interesting cultural stories like this much like Rolling Stone is a magazine that comments on culture and politics both. I want this to the be the Wizbang with the cool factor, and not just a political website. Bill Jempty manages to add a little entertainment over at Wizbang which I think is very cool myself.

Christina Viering:

Nothing hotter than a batmobile! Love it!


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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