History

The car's official public debut was on 8 January 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show; it had been shown to the press at the city's Congress Hotel on 5 January. While being displayed elsewhere in the U.S. that spring, the Futura was seen the country's television audience on Today ("The Today Show") on 3 March 1955.

The Futura's styling was original by 1950s standards — with a double, clear-plastic canopy top, exaggerated hooded headlight pods, and very large, outward-canted tailfins.

Nevertheless, the Futura had a complete powertrain and was fully operable, in contrast to many show cars. Its original color was white, and was one of the first pearlescent color treatments, using ground pearl to achieve the paint effect. The Futura was powered by a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine and powertrain; the chassis derived from a Continental Mark II.[citation needed]

The Futura was a success as a show car, garnering favorable publicity for Ford. It was released as a model kit and a toy, and, in a much more subdued form, its headlight and tailfin motifs would appear on production Lincolns for 1956 and 1957, such as the Lincoln Premiere and Lincoln Capri. The concave front grille inspired the grille on the 1960 Mercury Monterey and the 1960 Ford Galaxie.

Media appearance

The Futura played a prominent part in the 1959 movie It Started with a Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford. For the movie, it was painted red, as the white pearlescent finish did not photograph well.

The red-painted car is also seen in Ford's 1961 promotional film "The Secret Door." The film's looking inside Ford's Styling Center includes footage of the Futura on the test track and in the wind tunnel.

The concept car was subsequently sold to auto customizer George Barris. Having originally cost $250,000, the Futura was sold to Barris for $1.00 and "other valuable consideration" by Ford Motor Company. As the car was never titled and was therefore uninsurable, it was parked behind Barris' shop, sitting idle and deteriorating for several years.[citation needed]

The Lincoln Futura was also included in DLC: Vegas Pack of Mafia II as "Jefferson Futura".

The Batmobile from the 1960s Batman' TV series

In 1966 Barris was asked to design a theme car for the Batman television series.

Originally the auto stylist Dean Jeffries was contracted to build the car for the show in late 1965, but when the studio wanted the car sooner than he could deliver, the project was given to Barris.

With the short notice, Barris thought the Futura might work well, and using Jeffries's initial car, decided that its unusual winged shape would be an ideal starting point for the Batmobile. Barris hired Bill Cushenberry to modify the car's metalwork. Barris went on to build three fiberglass replicas using the frames and running gear from 1966 Ford Galaxie cars for the show circuit, three of which were covered with a felt-like flocking finish in the 1970s. Barris later acquired a fourth replica, a metal car built on a 1958 Ford Thunderbird.

Barris retained ownership of the car, both after its conversion to the Batmobile, leasing it to the TV studio for filming and after production of the TV series ended, displayed in Barris' own

museum in California. It has also been displayed in the Cayman Motor Museum on Grand Cayman Island.

Barris sold the Batmobile to Rick Champagne at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction on Saturday, January 19, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona for US4.62 million dollars.

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