The Lincoln Futura wis a concept caur designed bi the Lincoln diveesion o Ford Motor Company. It wis built bi Ghia entirely bi hand in Italy at a cost o $250,000 an displayed on the auto show circuit in 1955.
Futura's stylin wis extravagantly impractical even bi the staundarts o the '50s, wi a double, clear-plastic canopy top, exaggeratit huidit heidlicht pods, an vera lairge, ootward-cantit tailfins at baith ends o the vehicle. Nivertheless, the Futura haed a complete pouertrain an wis fully operable in contrast tae mony show caurs then an nou. Its oreeginal color wis white, an wis ane o the first pearlescent color treatments, uisin grund pearl tae achieve the paint effect. The Futura was pouered bi a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine an pouertrain; the chassis wis that of a Lincoln Mark II.
The Futura wis a success as a show caur, garnerin a great deal o favorable publicity for Ford. It wis released as a model kit an a toy, an in a muckle mair subdued form its heidlicht an tailfin motifs woud appear on production Lincolns for 1956 an 1957. It even played a prominent pairt in a movie, 1959's It Started with a Kiss, starrin Debbie Reynolds an Glenn Ford. For the movie, it wis paintit red, as the pearlescent feenish did no photograph well.
Efter that, though, the caur woud logically hae been forgotten an perhaps destroyed, as maist show caurs o that time wur. Housomeivver, it wis somehou sauld intae the hands o George Barris, ane o the great auto customizers. As the caur wis niver titled an wis therefore uninsurable, it wis parked ahint Barris' shop whaur it sat idle for several years an wis allaeed tae deteriorate.
In 1966 Barris wis requestit tae design a theme caur for the Batman television series. Barris then contractit stylist Dean Jeffries tae build a caur for the show. Jeffries worked on the design an initial fabrication for the Batmobile, uisin a 1959 Cadillac, but when the studio wantit the caur faster than he coud deliver, he turned it back tae George Barris. Wi the short notice, Barris thought the Futura micht wirk well, an uisin Jeffries initial caur, decidit that its unuisual winged shape woud be an ideal stairtin point for the Batmobile. Barris hired Bill Cushenberry tae dae the metal modifications tae the caur.
Barris went on tae build three fiberglass replicas uisin the frames an runnin gear frae 1966 Ford Galaxie caurs for the show circuit, three o which wur covered wi a felt-like flockin finish in the 1970s. Barris later acquired a fowert replica, a metal caur built on a 1958 Thunderbird.
In the 1990s, Bob Butts (unner George Barris' consent) made replicas o the Batmobiles. He teuk ane o the Barris-built replica Batmobiles an made a mauld o it. Based on pictures frae when the Futura wis shown in the 1950s, he retrofittit ane of his Batmobile replicas intae the Futura. He ae creatit ane copy an since the oreeginal Futura became the Batmobile, this is the ae kent Futura in existence.
See an aa
- Designing the Futura
- A very comprehensive Futura page
- It Started with a Kiss at Yahoo movies
- Batmobile page showin model kit
- Futura/Batmobile toys
- George Barris interview
- Original Batmobile at Barris' own website
- Volo Auto Museum Hollywood collection page