Holy Lincoln Prototypes, Batman!
The real-live and original Batmobile is going on the auction block in January. But did you know the car in the TV show was originally a spectacular show car in its own right?
George Barris created the Batmobile from the 1954 Lincoln Futura. The Futura was a prototype designed by Ford’s Lincoln Styling Studio.
There were three others built for the TV show- but most had no engine- that were fiberglass copies. Years later these were “flocked” with a black felt-like fuzz. That was a short-lived trend, especially on Volkswagens, in the Seventies. But the story behind the fuzzy Batmobiles is more utilitarian- it was reportedly to hide stress cracks in the ‘glass bodywork of the clones.
But the Futura was awesome in its own right, even if less well known. The handbuilt beauty was constructed by Ghia in 1954 for a staggering $250k. It toured the auto show circuit, made one movie appearance, then ended up being sold to Barris for $1.
Over the years I’ve always wondered what would be more valuable- the first Batmobile or the Lincoln Futura in its original condition? Both are one-offs, and both are iconic automobiles. Alas we may never know.
I imagine people screaming when Barris chopped it up to make a TV show car. Or maybe not?
Interested Batbidders can learn more at Barrett-Jackson Auction Company.