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George Barris had in his a possession the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which he had purchased from Ford during his time with the "Custom Car Caravan." Ford had used it for many years and then in 1959 leased it to Metro Goldwyn Mayer for the movie It Started With A Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds & Glenn Ford. Fast forward six years to 1965, George and his crew transformed this aging concept car into the Batmobile.
|=INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Responsible for concept, design & name
|William M. Schmidt, Manager of the Lincoln Styling Department
|Schmidt's design inspirations
|Manta Ray and a Mako Shark
|In charge of of body development
|In charge of engineering
|Supervised the design work
|Designer in charge of clay models
|Stan E. Thorwaldsen
|Ron A. Perry
|Ghia Body Works in Turin, Italy
|6 inches at the center of the frame & 7.2 inches at the side rails
|Cost to build
|POWERTRAIN & CHASSIS
|Overhead valve V-8 with a 4 barrel carburetor
|Front Engine, RWD
|A modified 1953 Lincoln chassis
|Turbo Drive Automatic Transmission
|Standard Lincoln ball-joint front suspension
|15x8 Firestone gum-dipped tubeless
|Dual exhaust mounted within the chrome rear bumper
|A compass is mounted on the cowl in front of the driver along with five different colored indicator lights to indicate what gear the car is in. Red for Park, Blue for Reverse, White for Neutral, Green for Drive, and Yellow for Low. A clock is mounted in front of the passenger
Five compartments with flexible roll-down metal doors
|#1- Heater & A/C controls
|#2- Lighting switches
|#3- Accessories including "Wipers" knob and "Top control"
|#4- AM Radio (pic#1) (pic#2)
|#5- Glove compartment
|Lower Dash features
|Hood release lever (Marked A) and Emergency brake handle (Marked B).
|Brake release button on lower dash area
|Steering wheel concept
|The two designs they had in mind for the wheel.
|Black wheel with chrome squares on the back surface, with a "jet pod" on either side to operate the turn signals.
|Steering column binnacle
|Warning lights for fuel (green with a full tank, amber colored with a half tank and red when the supply is low), battery, temperature and high-beam indicator. The lower part of the binnacle contains the speedometer, tachometer and odometer.
|Pedestal armrest features
|Chrome transmission push buttons (Square for reverse and park, and round for neutral and the forward gears), an ash tray and space for a telephone
|Activated by a pedal on the floor
|Fresh air vent
|Located at the top center of the windshield and activated using a lever
|Built-in armrests, chrome accents and a light on each panel. Interior door open levers were chrome balls. Door pulls were flush mounted/flip-down chrome.
|Rear package tray area
|Two clear plastic funnels for the A/C system
|Seat details in '55
|2 Padded bucket seats trimmed with blue-white leather bolsters and pleated black leather inserts. Four-way power
|Seat details in '59
|2 Padded bucket seats trimmed with red bolsters and pleated black leather inserts. Four-way power
|Deep-pile black carpet
|Original color in '55
|Pearlescent Frost-Blue white
|Color repainted in '59
|Plexiglass with chrome trim
|Hinged at the front with the hood release lever inside the car
|Gas Filler door
|Located behind the rear license plate
|Twin air scoops
|Cooled rear brakes & provided air for the A/C system
|Rear deck lid louvers
|Exhaust chevrons for the air conditioning system
|Aerial mounted on the rear deck
|Circular radio aerial combined with an "audio approach" microphone.
|Rear brake lens
|Chrome handles flush with the top of the doors
|Michigan plate in 1955 BP3533; New York plate in 1959 2D7876 (prop); CN7608
|LINCOLN FUTURA TIMELINE
|Original drawings of Futura completed by Bill Schmidt
|3/8 scale clay model of the Futura competed
|Full-sized plaster model of the Futura, a complete set of plans, blueprints and chassis and running gear were sent to Ghia in Turin, Italy to be used for construction of the fully-operable Futura
|Three months after delivery to Ghia the Futura was completed
|January 5, 1955
|Completed Futura was delivered to the Congress Plaza Hotel in Illinois for its debut to the reporters
|January 8, 1955
|Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show. View the Ford Press Release
|Futura shown at the Detroit Auto Show
|March 3, 1955
|Benson Ford & Bill Schmidt took the Futura for a drive in NYC. Benson drove and they went by the United Nations building and through Central Park to the "Tavern on the Green" restaurant.
|"Lincoln" scripts were added to each side of the front fenders
|August 19, 1959
|It Started with a Kiss starring Debbie Reynolds & Glenn Ford released in theaters