Lincoln Futura and Benson Ford. The Futura was a success as a show car, garnering favorable publicity for Ford.
Its headlight and tailfin motifs would appear on production Lincolns for 1956 and 1957.
The Futura was powered by a 368ci Lincoln engine and powertrain. The V8 was rated at 300hp.
The Futura's chassis was derived from a Continental Mark II. It's transmission was a 3-speed Turbo Drive automatic.
It was influenced by the design of modern jet fighters, and that influence is evident in the twin canopy passenger compartment.
The interior was unique. Its aerial antenna had a microphone, allowing the driver to hear outside sounds.
The rear bucket seats were separated by a console that housed a phone.
The 1955 Futura was painted Red and appeared in the movie "It Started With A Kiss" in 1959.
Debbie Reynolds in Red 1955 Lincoln Futura.
Debbie Reynolds sits on the hood of the red-painted Futura as Glenn Ford charms her in a publicity photo for "It Started With A Kiss".
The car became a cultural icon in 1966 when it was given a batlike face, fluted fins, and black and orange paint, becoming the Batmobile.
The customizing crew also added gadgets, such as the “jet drive,” which was simply a butane tank,
There’s even more in the form of a Batphone and an Emergency Bat Turn Lever. Direction changes of 180 degrees are possible thanks to two 10 ft diameter parachutes.
Mario on Jul 16, 2021 said:
The 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept Car was a wild looking Fighter Jet on wheels with its double canopy top and very large outward canted tailfins.
It also had exaggerated hooded headlight pods with a powerful 368ci with 300hp V8 engine. What a pleasant surprise I had researching the Lincoln Futura in finding out the original white car was painted red for a movie. The producers felt a red car would be more photographic in their movie rather than white. The movie starred Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford.
Then the real surprise came in finding out this car became the original 1966 Batmobile designed by George Barris himself!.
I remember watching all of the Batman and Robin TV shows back in the 60’s. POW-ZOOM! The Batmobile lives on today in a private collection having been sold by Barris in 2013 for a whopping $4.62 million.[Reply to this comment]
azmusclecar on Jul 24, 2021 said:
Nice post Mario.........
Looks like George Barris got a lot of credit for someone else's design........
He just modified it.
Since we now know as Paul Harvey used to say:
NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY......
I give the credit to the Lincoln Design Team.
Give credit where credit is due.
Great post Mario. Keep up the excellent work.
We have come to expect nothing less from you.[Reply to this comment]
Mario on Jul 25, 2021 said:
I agree Rob the Lincoln Design Team should have received some recognition when the Batmobile first came out.
I don't ever remember hearing this was a modified car by George Barris from the 1955 Lincoln Futura.
But at least we now know the truth which is why I really enjoyed making this page. And the white car was painted red to be in a movie!
All in all it's a great story and the Batmobile survives today and we all know underneath it is the 1955 Lincoln Futura! Cheers, Mario[Reply to this comment]