Review by Phat Boy
This vehicle is arguably, one of the most famous cars in Hollywood history. One of the reasons that I watched the T.V. series when I was a kid was just to see this sinister black car with the huge fins and wicked looking front fascia. Not many are aware of it, but there is quite a story behind the way it came to be....
Barris`s first car in mind was a custom using a late fifties Cadillac, but due to time constraints he decided to use a one off car that was built for the auto show circuit. The car I speak of was introduced to the public in 1955 as the "Lincoln Futura". Unbelievably, Barris had this very car in his possession.
The Futura was a most extreme test bed in design and technological features at the time. The car was basically a running mock up, not really intended for the use and abuse of every day driving.
The story is that Barris acquired the car in the early sixties for the kingly sum of 1 U.S. dollar. Little did Barris know that that dollar bill would buy one of the most iconic cars ever produced for television.
After doing a quick image search on the internet, I found this very cool illustrated history below.
From the get go the car was nothing but headaches. Bad brakes, hard starting or not at all, and very unsafe handling. To make it even worse, the frame which was just a mock up, ended breaking in half after just a few shoots. To remedy this Barris used either a '63 1/2 or '64 Ford Galaxy frame. To use this frame he had to stretch it several inches to fit under the extremely long body. Barris probably chose the Galaxy frame due to the fact it was the same frame used under Nascar Daytona race cars, great choice if you ask me.
Along with the new frame, brakes, transmission and engine were also upgraded to improve overall performance of the car. No more having to speed the film up to give the appearance of speed. All this work brought the car from Batmobile disaster to Batmobile fame.
Now let's discuss Mattel's "1966 Batmobile". To start with, the car is a highly detailed replica of the original.
The interior looks very accurate. Black seats and center console, matte silver deck panel and dash insert, sectioned steering wheel. Even a red mobile Bat phone. Some of the features of the car include working steering. Doors that open. Real looking rubber tires and what is supposed to be a non-removable plastic hood (On my car it does come off). This last feature is probably my one and only dislike about this car. When it is removed it reveals nothing but empty space (not shown in pics). What a waste, why couldn't they have made a detailed engine compartment? I mean heck, they went through the trouble of detailing the bottom of the car to give it the illusion of having an engine. Mattel dropped the ball on this! How hard would it have been to put in a plastic turbine engine under the hood? Oh wait a minute, that's how they get you to spend an extra $100 on the 1/18 elite version that also includes a stand. What a ripoff! $100 extra for a detailed engine compartment and a stand! Oh, lets not forget the backdrop!
Complaint aside, I love the quality of the black and red paint work. The plastic canopies look like glass. The steering works nicely. The car is made with sturdy die cast metal, PVC plastic, clear plastic and rubber. When you pick it up the car has a nice solid feel to it.
Overall I feel that the car is good quality 1/18 scale die-cast model. Would I let my son play with it? No way! He'd lose the hood in a heart beat. Would I display it with my collection? Hell yes! Who would not love to stare at this beautiful replica? If you're a fan of Bat Man this is a must have addition to your collection.
If your interested in learning more about the actual 1966 Batmobile then check out www.1966batmobile.com.
|Posted 4 October, 2009 - 14:02 by Phat Boy|