ORIGINAL GEORGE BARRIS 1966 BATMOBILE DISSECTED! – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 698 – Fireball heads to The Murphy Museum to reveal the Original George Barris 1966 Batmobile… and AutoDissects it!

The George Barris 1966 Batmobile-to-be was the brainchild of Lincoln Mercury’s postwar chief stylist, William M. Schmidt.

Schmidt began working as an automotive stylist in the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company in 1940. Inspired by a scuba-diving encounter with a shark, Schmidt sketched a low, long, wide, and flat vision of the future with a predatory full width grille, ominously hooded headlights, and killer tail fins.

Called a $250,000 “laboratory on wheels”, the low twin-dome experimental car would serve as a mobile test bench for a score of new engineering and design features.

The Futura was used to road test such innovations as push-button gearshifts, colored warning signals for fuel consumption (green for full, amber for half-full, red for low), a clear Plexiglas top, a special 330 H.P. Lincoln engine and such engineering innovations as an air scoop for air-cooling the rear brakes.

The car is one inch short of nineteen feet long. It’s seven feet wide and less than four and a half feet high. Ground clearance at the center is six inches. It has dual fans, dual exhausts and a foot pedal horn.

There’s a red light for the parking gear, blue for reverse, white for neutral, green for drive and yellow for low. The car has a tachometer. It has 27 different sizes and shapes of lamps, 18 control switches and 2000 feet of wiring.

It has an “audio approach” microphone for picking up sounds of rear-approaching cars.

There are no windows; the car is entirely air-conditioned; and one enters or leaves by raising the Plexiglas canopy.

There was space for a telephone behind the center console.

It took just three months to ready the concept car for its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in January 1955.

From there, the futuristic Lincoln was driven to a car show in Detroit. On March 3rd, just before the NY Auto Show, with Benson Ford at the experimental steering wheel and Schmidt in the passenger seat, the Futura cruised from the United Nation’s building through NY’s Central Park to the Tavern on the Green restaurant for a photo session.

In 1959, the Futura made its film debut in the MGM movie It Started With A Kiss starring Debbie Reynolds & Glenn Ford.

The Futura was painted red for the movie and treated to a red interior. After that, the car would have been forgotten and perhaps destroyed, as most show cars of that time were.

However, it was later sold to car customizer George Barris who had a relationship with Ford due to his affiliation with the Ford Custom Car Caravan program.

Despite the car’s original cost of $250,000, the Lincoln Futura was sold to Barris for $1.00 by Ford Motor Company.

As the car was never titled and was therefore uninsurable, it was parked behind Barris’ North Hollywood shop where it sat idle for several years and was allowed to deteriorate.


Fireball is heading up to THE MURPHY AUTO MUSEUM today to help kick off the GEORGE BARRIS MEMORIAL RALLY. Keep an eye out in Ventura County for a bunch of cool cars as they cruise the scenic highways and celebrate the life of one of the greatest Custom Builders ever.

On hand will be celebs, George’s Family and many others… and be sure to check out the BATMOBILE and MUNSTER KOACH at the Murphy for a Limited Time!

VLOG 23 – The George Barris Car Show

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Today’s Episode! I 5MINUTE DRIVE it with Kustomizer George Barris…


LA AUTO SHOW Parting Shots… #CarShow #LosAngeles #CityofAngels #LAAS #coffee


Yea, the LA Auto Show is over and I got to see some great friends and spectacular cars. Hope you did, too. Pictures here is King Barris and Hall of Fame Customizer Gene Winfield. Shock and Awe standing next to such greats. On to 2015!!

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#GEORGE BARRIS on 5MINUTE #DRIVE Ep36!!! @carconcerns @velorushpower @theautowriter @95Octanecom #Batman


For Episode 36, I headed out to Burbank to visit long time friend and Car Customizer GEORGE BARRIS. We had a blast sitting in the back of the Munster Koach and talking cool movie car history. George is almost 90 now and is still a car show machine, having just gotten back from Europe and NYC.

I hope you guys enjoy this interview as much as I did. THANKS for watching and PLEASE SHARE!!

A day with #GEORGEBARRIS results in a #funny #5MINUTEDRIVE Episode 36 coming Monday… #NewEpisode #Burbank #CustomCar


Had a blast with Uncle George yesterday at his shop in Burbank. Sat in some cool cars and talked all about how they came to be and more. Episode premieres Monday, but Saturday I’m off to shoot episode 37 with PARNELLI JONES! Zoiks!!

A trip to the WB results in a visit to Uncle George’s… #georgebarris #ellendegeneres #wb

So, yesterday was a big day. Delivered Ellen DeGeneres’ new Christmas Mascot for her upcoming show, lunch at the WB along with a stroll through Hazzard County and then a visit to George’s shop where I found him chowin’ down too. But, as George and I both love cars, he was eager to get a shot with the Munster Koach, my personal fav. LOVE THAT CAR!!



CULVER CITY CAR SHOW crowds come out for the Coolness! @galpinautosport @GeorgeBarris @DStudioPress


Wow, what an insane day at George Barris’ CULVER CITY CAR SHOW. Hundreds of Hot Rods, Rat Rods, Customs and just about everything else showed up. Got to hang with George and his palace of ladies, Mad Mike and the awesome doods from GAS (Galpin AutoSports), sign books with DSP as well as meet Fireball Fans from all over. Super cool kids who love cars came to visit me, snag a copy and have a great time drawing and takin’ pix.

Great to see everyone!!!!

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George Barris CULVER CITY CAR SHOW Saturday! (Tomorrow!)

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So, it’s a pre-Mother’s Day thing to come to the  George Barris CULVER CITY CAR SHOW tomorrow as always… I’m doin’ a signing and I’m inviting YOU GUYS! Come visit me at the Design Studio Press Booth #34 and tell me which cool car you like best at the show. Gonna be so awesome… I’m giving away FREE ROLLOS!!!

Pick up a signed copy of Wacky Rides and see what’s next up close! SEE YOU THERE!