GEORGE & JONNIE ON THE ORIGIN, Concept & Design of TV's Legendary "Batmobile", which began years earlier as Ford Motor Company's "Lincoln Futura" Concept Car, and became the most famous car ever created for Television & Film !
Built at the Barris shop, many soon-to-be legendary customizers like the BILL CUSHENBERY & DICK DEAN (who have since passed away), were involved with the build of the original Batmobile...and its clones.
The "Batman" TV Series debuted on January 12, 1966, and the "Batmobile" became an instant star helping to power the show to the Top of the Ratings !
These RARE, seldom seen photos, along with this exclusive Interview recorded specifically for our WebSite, truly give an inside-look at one of the most unique vehicles in the History of Motion Pictures & Television. It has also become one of the most viewed/listened-to Pages on "The Hall Of Fame Legends" Site.
THE LINCOLN FUTURA was one of the most beautiful Concept Cars EVER created, and one of my personal favorites of all-time. But, by its customization, and the subsequent new Media Phenomenon it became, it was transformed into a whole new lifeform that still exists today !
OVER TWO WEEK'S WORK went into getting the Audio & Visuals put together for this production. This Special Page, like this entire on-line Series, is truly a labor of love for me, and I constantly strive to bring you only the highest quality, so that all of these Pioneers & Legends can be honored to the fullest.
I've also re-cut the audio to give you a mini-intro into the Origin of "Batman" himself, from a super-rare album by Jan & Dean simply titled: "Jan & Dean Meet Batman", PLUS, you'll hear some very cool action-audio from the TV Series with Batman & Robin, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. And I dedicate it as a Tribute to my late-friend, "The King Of The Kustomizers", George Barris. JK
THE JANUARY 19, 2013 UPDATE: The Original BATMOBILE that we talked about in this Interview, and owned by GEORGE BARRIS, was sold at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, Saturday Night, January 19, 2013, for $4.62 Million Dollars ! Congrats to George...and the new owner, Rick Champagne, a Phoenix-area logistics company executive. (Thanks to BO HUFF who called me tonight to alert me to the final results of the sale, and, to the Los Angeles Times for sale specifics.)
[SPECIAL NOTE: All photos/images on this page courtesy of George Barris, Ford Motor Company, DC Comics, Liberty Records (EMI), Warner Bros. Studios, and, of their original owners/copyright holders.]
(Above left: A rare color photo of the "Lincoln Futura" at Ford Headquarters. Above right:Wm. Schmidt, Mgr. of the Lincoln Styling Dept., and Benson Ford. The "Lincoln Futura" concept car was handbuilt by Ghia of Italy, in 1955, at a cost of $250,000.)
(Above left: The original Lincoln Futura Revell Model Kit; Center: Aurora Ad For The Batmobile/Batplane; Above right: The Aurora Batmobile Model Kit)
(Above left: Adam West in the Batmobile; Above right: Jonnie King & singer/friend Vince Perry at work in the St. Louis Batcave, 1966. Photo from my Personal Archive.)
(Above left: "Jan and Dean Meet Batman"...the Liberty Records Album Released March, 1966; Above right: Detective Comics #27...the 1st Appearance of Batman in the May, 1939 Issue ! )