Damien on… The 1955 Lincoln Futura
A concept car, they only ever made ONE. But even in the Fabulous Fifties, the bubble-topped beauty was too much and it never made production.
However, it did star in a movie. “It Started With A Kiss” was a rom-com/travelogue film, featuring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford, who win the car in a competition and – he having been posted to Spain – go for a drive around Europe in it.
But after this, the car – which had originally cost $250,000 – was virtually GIVEN away to George Barris, a car customiser who stuck it in his yard under a tarp, where it languished for a decade.
Then, commissioned to design the new TV Batmobile and having only a short while to complete the task, George remembered the Futura.
He cut away the wheel-arches (enclosed wheels having long gone out of fashion) took out the mid-sections of the canopy and added a red revolving light, remodeled the front and rear ends – sticking a fake jet engine in the rear – and planted three equally-fake exhaust pipes in the top of the boot.
And despite car fashions having advanced out of all recognition in the intervening ten years, the Futura had been so far ahead of its time in ’55 – it STILL looked futuristic. The fans of the TV series LOVED it.
The original Batmobile (the converted Futura) is in a museum*.
But several fibreglass replicas of it exist today – and even one of the Futura. They also still make Sixties Batmobile toys – but of the 1955 Lincoln Futura, only a Fifties Hong Kong friction toy remains.
Of course, more than half a century on, they are as rare as unicorns. But it just so happens that when I were a wee lad, my Dad BOUGHT me one – and I still have it TODAY. You can view it here…
One last thing – who says Hong Kong toys were cheap crap? It’s over fifty years old and the friction motor STILL WORKS!
* WOW!! Now THERE’S a coincidence (in a World where millions of things happen, it’d be a statistical anomaly if a few of them did NOT coincide). I wrote the above piece YESTERDAY and STAP me if the very car I mentioned – the original ’60s Batmobile – didn’t just get sold TODAY at auction, for four-point-two million bucks!