This 1966 Batmobile is licensed by DC Comics and it is an official replica of the Batmobile that appeared in the 1966 "Batman" television series and the feature length film of the same name. It has actual Bat chutes that were made by Jim Deist using the same bat pattern that he used to make the Bat chutes for George Barris for the original Batmobile.
The chassis is from a 1973 Lincoln Towne Car. The Lincoln chassis was used because the original Batmobile was built on the chassis of a 1955 Lincoln concept car called the Futura. The engine is a Blueprint Crate engine that produces approx. 500 hp and 500 ft. Lbs. of torque. We are using a Monster 700R transmission with a currie positraction reared and an Aiirride airbag suspension.
An Article from Keels and Wheels Concur de Elegance 2015...
MY QUEST FOR THE BATMOBILE
On January 12, 1966 The DC character Batman© leapt off the pages of my favorite comic book and onto my television screen. As a boy of 10 this show captured my imagination. Full of action and suspense with its cliff-hanger endings it drew me in. The show had three stars; Batman©, Robin©, and of course . . . the Batmobile©!
What boy, or adult male for that matter, wouldn’t fall in love with a car that has all of those fantastic gadgets, can drive itself, had a jet engine, atomic batteries . . . and shoots fire out the back?! I knew from the first time I saw this beautiful car that I had to have one.
The first Batmobile that I owned was a scale model kit of the 1966 Batmobile manufacture by the Aurora model toy company of Indiana. I meticulously constructed and painted the kit, including the figures of both Batman and Robin, as accurately as any 10 year old boy could. I have cherished that car since the time that I built it to this very day.
As a teenager my best friend and I planned out how to take my Dad’s model Ninety Eight Oldsmobile and convert it into a replica of the Batmobile, an idea that my Dad did not approve of.
Throughout my life I never forgot that Batmobile and I made it a point to attend any car show that came to town that had “the Batmobile” on display. As a child I didn’t realize that more than one Batmobile had been constructed by George Barris and his team. I thought that there was only one car, which confused me as I attended various car shows over the years and saw significant changes to the car each time I saw it. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that 4 Batmobiles had been constructed, the #1 hero car and three replicas.
In 1985 I had the very rare opportunity to spend the day with the creator of the Batmobile, George Barris. I have been a huge fan of his since I first became aware that he created this car of my dreams. Spending the day with him afforded me the opportunity to learn so much about the Batmobile and the other remarkable cars that he designed and constructed for television, movies, and a host of celebrities. He told me about the flocked Batmobile that was covered in “Bat Fuzz” and the other back up cars that were displayed in car shows and used in the television series. I later visited his shop and saw the #1 car up close as well as the Batmobile that was used in the made for television movie “Return to the Batcave”, and the theatrical movie “Benchwarmers.”
All of these experiences motivated me even more to acquire a Batmobile of my own. After years of hearing me talk about this dream, my wife suggested that I check the Internet to see if there were any full-sized Batmobiles for sale. I combed through a lot of information about the 1966 Batmobile, official and unofficial replicas, kits, and turnkey builds. I spoke to a number of replica builders to learn the differences between their kits and turnkey builds. My goal has always been to have as accurate of a replica as possible. To that end I contact Jim Deist, the manufacturer of the original parachutes for the Batmobile. He told me about being on the set a few times while the series was being filmed and his experiences with the Batmobile. I ordered my parachutes from him just as George Barris had done. I made sure that they used the same pattern for the bat on the chutes as they had used on the parachutes in the TV series.
My quest for the perfect drive train led me to purchase a 1973 Lincoln Towne Car as the donor car. I found what I needed online and journeyed to St. Louis, MO to purchase a car that had the correct wheelbase of 127 inches, the length of vehicle needed to accommodate the 19 foot body of this cae. Upon receiving the Towne Car at my home in Houston, TX, my sons and I began the deconstruction of the Lincoln. I specifically used a Lincoln chassis because the original Batmobile was constructed from a concept car that Lincoln had built for the 1955 Detroit Auto Show. That car was known as the Futura. Because of my desire for accuracy and authenticity my chassis just had to be a Lincoln.
My sons and I stripped the car down to its frame. We then had the frame media blasted and sealed. Over the course of the next 7 years I worked on the car as time permitted preparing it for the day that I would finally select just the right kit for my car. On July 4th 2012 we received our kit and began work on the car! What a great day! Having the kit in my possession was a dream come true. We got the body mounted and began construction of the doors for the car. As the build was progressing we learned that Warner Brothers and DC Comics designated one custom car builder in Indiana as their officially licensed builder of 1966 Batmobiles. Simultaneously WB/DC brought suit against another builder of Batmobiles because he was not licensed. We attempted to gain licensing from WB/DC however we were told that they would only license the one builder located in Indiana. With this development, and considering that it was clear that WB/DC were willing to sue non licensed builders of Batmobiles I contacted Fiberglas Freaks, the only officially licensed builder of replica 1966 Batmobiles, to see if they would be willing to finish our car. They agreed and in March of 2013 my “Batmobile in-progress” was sent to Logansport, IN for final assembly, bodywork, and paint.
My wife and I made a couple of trips to the Fiberglas Freaks shop during the course of their finishing work on our car and in December of 2014 our finished Batmobile arrived back here in Houston!
Our car has a 383 c.i. engine that puts out approx. 500 hp and 500 ft lb of torque, a 700R automatic transmission, a Currie positreaction rear end, Mickey Thompson tires on Rocket Racing rims, Deist Bat-chutes, and of course . . . it shoots fire out the back!
It is “Officially Licensed” by Warner Brothers and DC Comics which makes the car more valuable and it can be advertised as an authentic Batmobile. It has all the original equipment as seen on TV, including the “Batphone” and “Batcomputer”.
I still can’t believe it’s sitting in my garage. My childhood dream has come true. I love the attention it gets when I have it on display. Everyone I meet has a Batman story. People enjoy telling me which character they liked the best or what their favorite episode was. But it always comes back to the Batmobile. For almost 50 years it has been the greatest and most popular of all the vehicles used in any of the Batman series.
It has been an awesome journey so far and we look forward to a lot of great times yet to come!