The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Lincoln Futura

Sat 30th Nov 2019

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Lincoln Futura
While modern Hollywood movie versions of the Batman legend have created a new era of souped-up, highly-craved supercars driven by the Dark Knight through the streets of Gotham - the original Batmobile remains the car of boyhood dreams for a generation of fans from the 1950s and 60s.

The Batmobile used in the 1966 TV Series was based on one of the most celebrated concept cars of all-time, regarded as Lincoln’s finest ever concept, the Futura. Created by Ford motor company’s lead stylists Bill Schmidt and John Najjar and handbuilt in Italy by the legendary Ghia coachbuilding company. The Futura did not come cheap, in 1955 the project cost $250,000, which by conservative estimates is $2,300,000 in modern money.

The car’s debut came at the Chicago Auto Show in 1955 and blew the minds of many who saw it. A double-bubble clear-plastic canopy top and exaggerated hooded headlight pods were complemented by oversized tailfins, perhaps the one element which lent itself to the Batman legend.

However, before Batman begins, the Futura had already made its Hollywood debut, in a 1959 movie starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford, with a new all-red paint-job allowing it to stand out in the black and white movie.

The Futura was a major success for Ford and Lincoln, gaining great publicity for the firm and though never considered for production it certainly inspired elements of the Lincoln Premiere and Lincoln Capri, it was also deemed futuristic enough six years after launch to be used in a 1961 promotional film for Ford,

Amazingly, the Futura was sold for just $1 dollar to auto customiser George Barris, though it was left idle behind Barris’ shop, not deemed insurable as it didn’t actually have a name.

History was made when Barris was invited at short-notice to build a car for the Batman television series and believing that the unusual winged-shape of the Futura was ideal, adapted his vehicle to the black and red Batmobile we know today.