The Original Batmobile 1966


The 1966 Original Bat mobile

History:

In 1955, Ford’s Motor Company Lincoln division chief stylist, Bill Schmidt designed and built a futuristic concept car called the Lincoln Futura. It was built entirely by hand in Turin, Italy at a cost of $250,000 and was built by Ghia. Like many concept cars, sadly it was never put in to production.

Bill Scmidt inspiration came from Inspired a scuba-diving encounter with a shark, Bill Schmidt sketched a low, long, wide, and flat vision of the future with a predatory full width grille, hooded headlights, and shark like tail fins. It only took three months to develop the concept car for its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in January 1955.  From there, the futuristic Lincoln was driven to a show in Detroit.  On March 3rd, just before the NY Auto Show, with Benson Ford at the wheel and Schmidt in the passenger seat, the Futura cruised from the United Nation’s building through Central Park to the Tavern on the Green restaurant for a much hyped photo session.

In the mid 1960’s, George Barris of Barris Kustom City bought the car for $1 directly from Ford.

In August 1965, the Batman TV show producers approached George to ask him to build a new Batmobile for their new upcoming show. The only downside was the car had to be ready for filming action in just three weeks. George thought about it and noticed the bat-like qualities that his Futura already had, George instinctively knew it was the perfect answer to the problem 20th Century Fox had created for him.

In October of 1965, the new Batmobile was completed and delivered to Fox where it made its television debut on January 12, 1966.

The car was such a huge success that George Barris and the producers of Batman show decided to build copies of the Batmobile in fall of 1966. Barris and his crew created a mould from the original (Futura) based Batmobile and created 3 fiberglass copies. These fiberglass replicas were displayed at car shows and dragstrips and also made appearances where the fans could see them. Forty Five years later the 1966 TV Batmobile is still one of the most iconic and popular cars in the world.

Courtesy of John Haig

 Specifications:

Dimensions
Curb weight 5500 lb
Wheelbase 126 in.
Length 225 in.
Width (Front) 84 in.
Width (Rear) 79 in.
Height 48 in.
Fins 84 in.
Engine and Tranmission
Engine 390Cid V-8
Transmission B&M Hydro 3-speed automatic (2nd transmission)
Layout Front engine/rear drive
Body Construction Steel
Wheels & Tyres
Layout Front engine/rear drive
Body Construction Steel
Tires 15″ Firestone Wide Oval
Tires currently in use 235/75R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/A
Wheels currently in use 15×7 Tri-Ribb III by Radir Wheels
Bodywork
Exterior paint colour Velvet Bat-Fuzz Black from Metalflake, Inc.
Trim colour 3/4″ Fluorescent Cerise
Bat knock-off for rims Aluminum bats that were screwed to the Rader rims’ hubs
Safety belts Cumming & Sander impact safety belts
Emergency Bat-turn lever Ansen “T” handle in “Candy Red”
Power Accelerator T-Arm Ansen “T” handle in “Candy Silver”
Gas tank Moon Aluminum tank
Exhaust turbine Made from a 5 gallon paint can
Parachute info 2 Deist parachute packs with 10ft. in diameter parachutes
California License plate Temporary Registration Plate 037
Gotham License plates 4 quantity used during the TV show: TP-6597, BAT-1, 2F-3567, ZEF 451
’65-’66 Steering wheel A modified “U”-shaped steering wheel (originally from the Lincoln Futura)
’67-’68 Steering wheel In April 1967, an uncut 1958 Edsel wheel replaced the original

The pictures I have taken here I have no doubt is one of the 3 fiberglass copies made at the time of the show. This one comes from the London Motor Museum. The interior seems a little different too, but the bodywork is the same.

3 Responses to The Original Batmobile 1966

  1. goddessriss says:

    Ooh, shiny! I saw this at one of the Comic Cons, very impressive.

    Like

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