He is one of the most well known and loved superheroes of all time, yet he is vulnerable beneath that cape he wears to conceal his identity. Yes, you got it right. We are talking about Batman. The caped crusader who has saved the world on multiple occasions. The superhero has had numerous cool gadgets to assisted him in wars against his nemesis, with Batmobiles standing out due to their awe-inspiring designs and grandeur. Whether you are a ‘Bats’ (as Joker refers to him in most of their encounters) fan or a car collector who loves learning about cool gadgets, read on to learn how Batman’s ride has evolved over the years.
The 60s Batmobile
During the 60s, Batman was just getting started and needed a ride. To design the ride, the producers at ABC chose George Barris, who at that time was turning heads with his custom car designs. The producers wanted the final product handed over to them within three weeks, which made creating a car from scratch an improbable proposition. Then one fine day, Barris found a gem; an old concept Lincoln Futura in his backyard. Legend has it that Barris bought the car for $1. Barris got to work quickly and customized the car by extending the fins, and including a few flashing red lights. At first the car was painted in dull gray and included white stripes. Later, Barris repainted it with coats of black. To gel better with the batcave, the designer also painted orange stripes.
Fun fact: Barris got a ticket driving this Batmobile.
The 80s and Early 90s Batmobile
The Batmobile featured in the first two movies: Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). The Batmobile was hand sculpted, which explains its asymmetrical fins. The car’s top speed was 90 mph and included an armory of lethal weapons such as twin machine guns and hand grenades. The car was designed by Anton Furst and included two chassis (borrowed from Impalas). The car was painted in black with a hint of green. The version was inspired by Salt Flat Racing and Stingrays that used to scorch the streets in the 1950s. To enhance the car’s maneuverability, the chassis was restructured for Batman Returns.
The mid-90s Batmobile (1995)
The Batmobile was used in Batman Forever. Designed by Barbara Ling, the car included ribs and wings like structures that resembled Batman’s cape and bats’ wings. The designing team used blue LEDs red and yellow lights to illuminate the engine panels, wheels, and undercarriage, thereby, creating an effect that the engine was breathing. The car is regarded as one of the baddest and meanest versions of Batmobile and used a 25- gallon propane tank. Other remarkable design elements include separate fenders, jet exhausts and a split cockpit canopy. The wheels were designed such as to keep the Bat logo upright when they (the wheels) are rotating).
The Late 90s Batmobile (1997)
The Batmobile featured in Batman & Robin and was (yet again) designed by Ling. She wanted the car to have a larger than life screen presence and turned to scorchers on the racing track such as the Jaguar D Type and Delahaye 165 for inspiration. With a length of 30 feet, this version was one of the longest Batmobiles ever and had a top speed of 140 mph. In addition to the red, yellow, orange and blue lights (used in the earlier version), this Batmobile also included pulsating lights. The “boattail” rear used in the car made it unique from other Batmobiles, most of which featured a single jet exhaust. The car included six exhausts that were positioned in a way to keep the car pointed straight. The first among its kind, the Batmobile was a single-seat convertible and featured tires covered with bat logos.
The Early 2000s Batmobile
Well, technically speaking this is not a Batmobile (was referred to as Tumbler and not Batmobile) in any of the three movies it was used (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises). The car was designed by Nathan Crowley and Christopher Nolan and is a military prototype. Tumbler was stress tested by an aircraft company, and unlike other Batmobiles (for which CGI was used) were used to perform actual stunts. The vehicle was designed using computer graphics. The car has Hoosier racing tires and Super Swampers (in the rear) and can reach a top speed of 100 mph. The car is deceptively lighter, thanks to the use of tube-framed chassis mated with carbon fiber body panels.
The 2016 Batmobile (aka ‘Kryptonian Killer’)
Zack Snyder (Director of Batman vs. Superman) dubs this version of the Batmobile as ‘slightly battier’ than Tumbler. The car was designed by Patrick Tatopoulos and Dennis McCarthy and measured 20-feet from tip to toe. The designers claim the top speed of the vehicle to be 205 mph. The design is a mashup between the 90s Batmobile and the ones used in the Dark Knight trilogy. Unlike the other Batmobiles, this one features guns in the front.
Fun fact: The tires for this Batmobile were imported from Israel.
Over the years, Batmobile has evolved from a simple machine (with a few modifications) to a technological wonder. If you think, owning one is out of question think again! There are several auction houses that auction different Batmobile models. That said, you must have a deep pocket to afford one of these wonders. You, however, do not need to give up your dream of driving around in a Batmobile of your own. All you need to do is participate in a salvage car auctioned organized by AutoBidMaster, bid on a model of your choice. Once the car is delivered, get to work in your garage to customize the car as your personal Batmobile. If you have any questions about our online salvage auctions, fill out our contact form or simply call +1 (503) 298-4300
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