1955 Ford Futura (and original Batmobile car)
The Lincoln Futura was a concept car designed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. It was originally designed by Ford Motor Company lead stylists Bill Schmidt and John Najjar Ferzely and built by Carrozzeria Ghia SpA entirely by hand in Turin, Italy, at a cost of $250,000 (2014 equivalent: $2,200,000) and displayed on the auto show circuit in 1955. In 1966 the car was modified by George Barris into the Batmobile, for the 1966 TV series Batman. The Futura’s styling was original by the standards of the 1950s, with a double, clear-plastic canopy top, exaggerated hooded headlight pods, and very large, outward-canted tailfins at both ends of the vehicle. The Futura had a complete powertrain and was fully operable in contrast to many show cars then and now. 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 was that of a Lincoln Mark II.
The Futura was a success as a show car, garnering a great deal of 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.