Original Lincoln Futura to Today

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Lincoln Futura

The Lincoln Futura is a concept car made by the Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Company in the middle of the years 1950.

TheLincoln Futura d’on board , then private public presentation at the Plaza Hotel Congress, Chicago 5-9 January, 1955.

In 1959, theFuture plays an important role in the filmIt Started with a Kiss starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford.

It was originally designed by stylists from the company Bill Schmidt and John Najjar, built entirely manually by Ghia in Turin for the price of 250 000 $ of the time and presented to the public in 1955. The design of the Futura was very original according to the classic stylistic standards of the years 1950 with its double plastic canopy derived from that of military jets of the time, its headlights generously wrapped in the bodywork of the wings and its rear fins.

Unlike many projects or prototypes usually presented as a full-scale model, the Futura was an operational vehicle built on a chassis of Lincoln Mark II and fitted with a Lincoln engine 368 cubic inch which fitted certain models of the Mercury brand.

A single model, this concept car was the subject of reconstructions of varying qualities but a molding was made on the original by Bob Butts and used to create at least one very precise replica. The construction of this functional replica is the subject of an episode of the television series of Netflix Car Masters : rust to gold (Car Masters: Rust to Riches)

Its original color was an iridescent white using cultured pearls as pigments to obtain this optical effect..

For technical reasons, the car had to be repainted in red, the original iridescent color badly passing the image.

Despite its manufacturing cost of a quarter of a million dollars, the Futura was sold to Barris for only a thousand dollars by the Ford Motor Company. Impossible to insure since never approved nor even legally stamped, the Futura stayed outside for several years behind the Harris store, where it deteriorated.

Bill Cushenberry is responsible for making the necessary modifications to the bodywork. Three fiberglass copies motorized by the bodies of three Ford Galaxies 1966 are made by Barris for the series they are covered with velvet-like flocking in the years 1970.

George Barris makes a fourth and final replica, this time in metal and based on a Ford Thunderbird 1958.

Barris said he turned the Lincoln into just 15 days for 15 000 $.

Bob Kane (Batman author) and George Barris

Originally, stylist Dean Jeffries won the final contract 1965 more, unable to deliver the vehicle on time, he loses the project in favor of Barris. In 1966, the Futura is modified by the Designer George Barris to become the Batmobile of the Batman television series of the years 1960 and that of the Film of 1966. After this appearance in the cinema, the car could have been forgotten, even destroyed, like many concept cars of its time. However, it ended up in the hands of George Barris, a custom car designer. Having little time, Barris believes that the general aesthetic of the Futura will do the trick and, on the basis of the car started by its competitor, decides the unusual shape of the Lincoln's fins will make an ideal starting point for the requested Batmobile.

The film ” BATMAN ” 1966

Photo Copyright by Sergio Goldvarg
Thunderbird (1957)


SOLD 4,62 million from the original Batmobile's 1966 built by George Barris sold at auction by Barret Jackson.

At the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction 19 January 2013, Scottsdale, Arizona, Barris sells the original Batmobile to a certain Rick Champagne for 4,62 millions of dollars.

It is also temporarily exhibited at the Cayman Motor Museum, on the island of Grand Cayman in Florida.

After converting his Futura to Batmobile, Barris remains owner of his car, and rent it to the studio as needed according to filming needs. The finished series, Barris recovers this first Batmobile and exhibits it in his private museum in California.

A real replica with the original molds of George Barris created by Gotham Garage.

Bob Butts, for its part produces a conductive replica of the Futura


Dunham's car even has a little history of television itself, because Racop says it was built by the late Bob Butts for the Viper show. This show quickly featured a Dodge Viper from 1994 which could turn into a police car known as the Defender.

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A replica of the Batmobile

Detroit, USA. Feb 24, 2017. 1966 Indoor Batmobile, a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura concept from the TV series ‘Batman’, on display at Detroit Autorama.

The Batmobile is one of the most recognizable pop culture vehicles in history – an incredible feat for a car that was already ten years old when the show started.

The Batmobile Documentary Livestream Warner Bros. Entertainment


Virginia Maneval

I am the daughter of Jean Benjamin Maneval, famous urban architect who notably created the Bulle Six Coques, a plastic house from the pop years. You can also find me on my Facebook page Bubblemania.fr or on my page La Bulle Six Coques by Jean Benjamin Maneval.

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