The 1955 Lincoln Futura: The Original Batmobile

Did you know the original Batmobile from the 1960s television series and Batman: The Movie was a Lincoln? It’s true. The famous superhero car was originally a 1955 Lincoln Futura, albeit, with quite a few bat-themed custom modifications added.

The Lincoln Futura was a single-production concept car produced by the Lincoln Motor Company in 1954 created by Lincoln Styling Department designers Bill Schmidt, Doug Poole Sr., and John Najjar.

The Lincoln Futura prototype was built by hand by the Ghia Body Works company in Turin, Italy. To turn this cutting-edge concept into a three-dimensional, fully operational machine required a reported $250,000, the equivalent of over $2.3 million today. 

The 1955 Lincoln Futura was first revealed to the public at the 1955 Chicago Auto Show. It was decorated with pearlescent Frost-Blue white paint before later being given a fresh red paint job for the 1959 film It Started With A Kiss, which starred Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford.

The 1955 Lincoln Futura didn’t begin its journey to becoming the batmobile until 1966, when it fell into the hands of renowned Hollywood car customizer George Barris. Barris was tasked with transforming the futuristic vehicle into an icon of comic book history just three weeks before the show was set to premiere. In that limited time frame, it took Barris and metal fabricator Bill Cushenberry $30,000 (nearly $240,000 today) to make it happen.  

To give the Lincoln Futura that signature crime-fighting look, Barris repainted the vehicle in a sleek gloss-black with “fluorescent cerise” stripes. In order to achieve that special movie magic, the Lincoln Futura Batmobile was outfitted with an amazing array of bat-gadgets like a theatrical dash monitor and on-board computer, two rear-mounted parachutes to achieve a quick 180 degree “bat-turn,” a smoke emitter, and a nail spreader. During filming of the iconic series and film, the car was given a new steering wheel and new tools like a bat-tering ram and a rear-facing camera.

In 2013, George Barris, who had retained ownership of the vehicle for its entire series run and in the years since, announced that the 1955 Lincoln Futura Batmobile sold for $4.2 million at the Barrett-Jackson car show in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Since we’re on the subject of advanced Lincoln automobiles, you should check out the all-new inventory of upcoming Lincoln models like the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, coming soon to Carman Ford Lincoln!

Categories: People, News