We’re all used to seeing a dozen videos a day that make us laugh or surprised – but I doubt you’ll see one today that’ll stir such a unique blend of emotions as this one. A fan from Ohio in the US has built a fully operational version of the 1966 Batmobile from Batman: The Television Series. And you won’t simply have to have feelings of nostalgia to be stunned by the results.
Few cars from television history have the same place of affection as this one. Built as an extravagantly designed concept car in 1955, the Lincoln Futura was bought by George Barris who built and customized cars for the film and TV industry. When ABC Television approached him with a tight deadline to provide them with a Batmobile for an upcoming TV adaptation, he employed Bill Cushenbery and between them they customized the Linclon Futura in three weeks at a cost of $30,000.
Unsurprisingly, due the age of the car and the time it took to prepare, there were problems with the performance such as overheating, breaking and battery issues and problems with the tires (by mid-season, the engine and transmission were replaced with those of a Ford Galaxie), but its main function was to look unique and cool which it did in spades.
Those fins, the bubble style cockpits, the red light and the rocket launchers. Job number one for anyone wishing to recreate the car is to copy the design. The real challenge is when it comes to the ludicrously long list of functions the car had; from the Remote Bat-Computer, to a raising antenna which produced electric ray blasts. These were no doubt invented on the spot as the stories requested them as a Deus-ex-machina problem-solver to inspire humor and awe.
What raises the car in this video to a new level is the way “Batcarguy” has sorted through this list of functions to produce his own working interpretation. So instead of having to raise flaps to reveal the control panel, in this new version, the whole panel raises at a touch of a button.
It’s great to see the rota blade glide through a slot at the front of the car, let alone start spinning! Or how about the lever that releases the chutes? They may not allow the car to do a 180 degree turn as it does in the TV show, but it’s amazing to watch them retract again. What about the appearance of guns that flip out the side of the doors? Were you expecting the flaps that fill the gaps. Heck, were you even expecting them to fire?!
Whatever your opinion of the way the 1960’s Batman was the antithesis of the modern Dark Knight, the debate goes quiet watching this video. There have been a few interpretations of the Batmobile from the dragster style of the late 80’s to the tank/dune buggy hybrid of recent years but we can only dream of a cinematic version of Batman where the 1966 Batmobile sits comfortably with the grounded gothic darkness of the modern era.
Be sure to fasten your safety Bat Belt Robin.
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