The original Batmobile is one of the most famous cars of all time and Fiberglass Freaks has been turning out replicas of the ironic model for a number of years.
As owner Mark Racop explains, Dunham called them about restoring a 1955 Lincoln Futura replica that he had recently purchased. While that sounds like an odd request on the surface, the original Batmobile was based on the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept.
Dunham car’s even has a little bit of TV history itself as Racop says it was built by the late Bob Butts for the show Viper. That show promptly featured a 1994 Dodge Viper which could transform into a police car known as the Defender.
After the show went off the air, the Futura replica traded hands several times before coming into Dunham’s procession. The car is based on a 1962 Lincoln and features a fiberglass Batmobile body. Since the car was only designed to look good on TV, it needed extensive work as Racop says the quality was “woefully poor” and “the accuracy was missing, too.”
Dunham spoke with eight designers from Ford and they apparently convinced him to make a fully accurate replica of the original Futura concept. This required an extensive series of changes as Fiberglass Freaks had to remove the door hinges, A pillars, B pillars and rocker panel connections just to straighten the sides with a port-a-power.
Other changes included modifying the hood scoop, adding headlight scoops and converting the rear-hinged hood to a front-hinged setup. The changes didn’t stop there as the company had to hunt down stock switches, create custom water jet panels and develop replica graphics for the dashboard labels.
One of the more interesting interior changes is a unique pivoting panel which shows “accurate faux vent control slider knobs” like the concept. When the ignition is turned on, it rotates to reveal working fuel, oil and water temperature gauges.
The project is still a work in process and there are still a number of major challenges ahead. These include making the center canopy open just like the original concept and matching its original pearlescent frost blue paint job which shimmered like a fish.
Thanks to Mark from FiberglassFreaks for the pictures