I was sitting around the other day in a meeting doodling when I knocked up this pretty nice George Barris Batmobile with a piece of A-4 and a black biro.

It’s not totally accurate of course: it was done entierly from memory of the 60’s TV show, the ubiquitous 1960’s-70’s 1/43rd-scale Corgi toy (every boy had one), and the subsequent design in the comic book DC artists modeled after the TV one. And a few cartoon versions in there too.

Not bad I'd say, considering. As I'm always saying about these things; it make's me want to do a whole serise of Batmobiles and Bat-gadgets.

The 1968 DC comics version

It reminded me how much I loved the car, probably one of the main reasons I and thousands of other bat-fans chose Batman as their favorite Superhero growing up.

An early Illustrator image of mine of you-know-who

I loved the TV show; it was long off the air in the city in Australia in the 70’s, but visiting my Grandparents in Rural NSW, the first thing my sister and I would do after arriving in the afternoon was rush into their lounge room to watch Adam West and Burt Ward on local TV station 6,8 & 9 (longest channel name ever) as they duked it out with henchmen and a cavalcade of cheesy performances from guest villains.

Interestingly, any camp subtext was totally lost on us. We thought it was serious business!

Yet Another! I must be Bats-Man!

The Barris Batmobile has an interesting story all of it’s own.

In 1955, the Lincoln division of The Ford Motor Company designed and built a futuristic concept car called the Lincoln Futura. It was built entirely by hand in Turin, Italy at a cost of $250,000 and like many concept cars, was never put in to production. In the mid 1960's, George Barris of Barris Kustom City acquired the car for $1 directly from Ford.

Fast forward to August 1965, the all new and exciting Batman TV show producers approached Barris to have him build a new Batmobile for their upcoming program. The only catch was the car had to be ready for action in a mere three weeks. Seeing the bat-like qualities his Futura already had, he felt it was the perfect answer to the dilemma 20th Century Fox had created for him.

Overviews of the Lincoln Futura

Three weeks later, in October of 1965, the Batmobile was born and television history was made...

Many versions have been built; originals and replicas. But perhaps that's a story for another post...

Same Bat-Tiiiiime; Saaaame Bat-Channel...

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