1955 Lincon Futura Concept
What became the iconic Batmobile used in the 1966–1968 live action television show was in fact a customized, 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, created by Ford lead stylists Bill Schmidt, Doug Poole Sr., John Najjar and their design team at the Lincoln Styling Department.
The Futura prototype, built entirely by hand by the Ghia Body Works, made its debut in pearlescent Frost-Blue white paint on 8 January 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show. In 1959, sporting a fresh red paint job, the Futura was featured in the film It Started with a Kiss.
In 1966, with only three weeks to finish the Batmobile, George Barris who had taken over the Batmobile project, decided that, rather than building a car from scratch, it would be relatively easy to transform the distinctive Futura into the famous crime-fighting vehicle. Design work was conducted by Herb Grasse, working as an associate designer for Barris.
When filming for the series began, several problems arose due to the car’s age: it overheated, the battery died, and the expensive Mickey Thompson tires repeatedly failed. By mid season, the engine and transmission were replaced with those of a Ford Galaxie. The most frequent visual influence of this car is that later Batmobiles usually have a rear rocket thruster that fires as the car starts up.
This Batmobile’s other gadgets included a nose-mounted aluminium Cable Cutter Blade, Bat Ray Projector, Anti-Theft Device, Detect-a-scope, Batscope, Bat Eye Switch, Antenna Activator, Police Band Cut-In Switch, Automatic Tire Inflation Device, Remote Batcomputer—radio linked to the main Batcomputer in the Batcave, the Batphone, Emergency Bat Turn Lever, Anti-Fire Activator, Bat Smoke, Bat Photoscope, and many other Bat gadgets. If needed, the Batmobile is capable of a quick 180° “bat-turn” thanks to two rear-mounted ten-foot Deist parachutes. Other changes were made during the run of the series, including different license plates (TP-3567; BT-1 and BAT-1), removal of the Futura steering wheel and substitution with that from a 1958 Edsel, and the addition of extra gadgets such as a net in the trunk, remote-controlled driving, a rear-facing camera under the turbine exhaust port, and the Bat Ram.
Source: Batmobile – Wikipedia
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