What’s it like to drive the 1966 BATMOBILE?

Many years back, I met this gent at a car show. He’s none other than television and film production and famous television and movie car special event coordinator, Nate Truman – otherwise known as a “TVFPFTVMCSEC” (OK, that didn’t actually work, so let’s move on).

When I got the idea to drive with Nate and his fully modified ‘79 Lincoln drive-chain into the Batmobile, I got excited. I would get to be a Caped Crusader for a day, only without actually having to wear a cape, tights and a funny mask. And there was no way that was going to happen anyway, but I was in.

The original ‘66 Batmobile was a 1955 Ford Futura Concept Car, as you probably already know. On Nate’s version, every square inch has been modified. 

“The specs according to “Car and Driver” testing (July 07),” he said, “were a front engine, rear wheel drive, two passenger, two door roadster with a pushrod 16 valve v-8, iron block and heads. 1×2 bbl Carburetor with a 400 cu. in. 6555cc motor. Power was 159 bhp at 3400 rpm and Torque was 315 lb.-ft at 1800 rpm. The wheelbase was a whopping 127.2 in. & Length was 225 in.!! Total weight? 4020 lb.”

In other words, this is a BIG CAR. Lincoln BIG.

“I started the build in 1996, and finished it with lots of help in 2003,” Nate said. “I sat in one of the original batmobiles in 1986 when I segment-produced the Wil Shriner daytime talk show. Once I got behind the wheel, I knew I had to have my own street-legal version.”

But the really cool thing about Nate and his BatBruiser is that he uses it for Charity Events for Autism, Make-A-Wish, Children’s Hospitals, Parades and making people smile.

As I got behind the wheel and became one of very few people to ever drive this BatBehemoth, the idea began to warm that wearing tights might not be all that bad, and a cape might just be possible.

“There have been lots of great moments thanks to this car,” Nate said. “My favorites are always Children’s Hospital kids who love Batman and the look on their face when they are behind the wheel of the car. It’s great to add a happy moment to their lives when their days are so hard.”

You’re probably getting the same idea. Mentally picking out you cape color and your incognito mask. But this BatBaller was so cool that we had to film it too, so last week’s episode of 5Minute Drive was just that, along with Santa in Herbie The Love Bug, which can be see at www.youtube.com/fireballtim.

Many of us strive to find ways to give back to others. We know it’s right, but finding the right way for us can sometimes be challenging. Do we give money, time, things? Well, in Nate’s case, he now gives smiles and joy through what he loves. And he loves Superhero Cars. A tool that when it pulls up anywhere, manifests smiles, cell phone cameras, whistles and questions. All of which Nate (As a true superhero) is cordial, excited and happy to always provide. We even donned masks while we drove and let people know that we were here to help.

Imagine if we all did that?

“I love Malibu with all the famous shooting locations from Knight Rider, Rockford files, Charlie’s Angels and many other shows. It’s fun to stand in the spots where they were shot.

And his Favorite Movie with a Car beyond the Batmobile? That’s too hard, he said, but on the top of the list would have to be “The Great Race” “Speed Racer” all the Bond films, and of course “Batman!”

Congratulations to Nate for pulling no punches when it comes to crime fighting and becoming this week’s RIDE OF THE WEEK! And if you’d like him or other cool movie cars to come visit you, hit him up at www.starcarcentral.com and they’ll arrive in style. Who knows, I may even tag along.

Do you want to be featured as Fireball’s Ride of the Week? Let him know what you’ve got by emailing askfireball@fireballtim.com and check out his awesome new Cars & Kids Bookstore for awesome designs, kid’s books and more. www.fireballtim.com

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