The True Story of The Batmobile

Batman Adam West in The Batmobile, 1966-68
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

When you think about Batman, you probably think about a few things… Robin, the Joker and his other foes and of course, his iconic Batmobile. It remains one of the most beloved cars on television and in movies, right up there with the Love Bug, the Delorean and KITT. These days, several museums and movie studios around the country hold the Batmobiles, once used onscreen.

The Batmobile was originally designed by George Barris, who designed and built many custom cars in Hollywood. His most famous work was the Batmobile, created from a customized Lincoln Futura in the ’50s. Barris once wrote, “It’s not a production car. The Futura was the product of designer William Schmidt and the car was released to me when I was with the Ford Custom Caravan. I would take these experimental cars that come from the division and use them for film work. In this case, I wanted to use the Futura because it already had the double bubbles. All I had to do was remove a part of the central section and keep the fore and at. Then I put in the arches, lights, and everything else. Using the Futura enabled me to save a lot of time and I only had three weeks to build the car!”

390604 04: The Batmobile is displayed at the Peterson Automotive Museum auto auction June 15, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA

Jason Kirk/Getty Images

Prior, the very first Batmobile shown in a film was a black 1939 Cadillac Series 75 convertible. In the 1949 film, Batman and Robin drive around in a 1949 Mercury. The car was inspired by the comics, of course, and the first mention of a Batmobile was in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). It was originally just an ordinary red car but over the years, got more and more creative and technologically advanced.

A view of the Batmobile from "The Batman" World Premiere on March 01, 2022 in New York City

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

In the 2022 film The Batman, the car is a ’70s-style Dodge Charger and was inspired by the 1983 film Christine to make the Batmobile more ominous. Tell us, which is your favorite version of the Batmobile?

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April 2018

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