1961 was the year of the Batmobile


25 Responses to “1961 was the year of the Batmobile”

  1. malathion says:

    The 1961-era cars have a special isolated weirdness all their own, especially stuff from Val Exner. The 1961 Pioneer is one of my favorites.

  2. sam1148 says:

    The second car’s grill work makes it look like it’s feeling rather depressed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Plymouth is a lift from the Jaguar D type racing car of the l950s

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. Somebody gave the designers a picture of the D-type (or possibly a lotus 11) and told them “Like this…but with chrome!”

  4. Anonymous says:

    You’ve put the car before the bat. Batman the TV show premiered in 1966. The batmobile was futuristic already. :-)

    • Donald Petersen says:

      The batmobile was futuristic already. :-)

      And that batmobile was built by Barris on the foundation of the Lincoln Futura concept, which was built in 1954.

      Just goes to show how ahead of their time the Ghia designers were.

  5. IamInnocent says:

    Batman was a horror transportation comic?

  6. Donald Petersen says:

    That would have been the best-looking Corvette ever, by far. The ’63 was but a pale, watered-down Chevette by comparison.

    Hell, all three of these are incredibly cool.

  7. gwailo_joe says:

    Plymouth Want.

  8. Webbie says:

    Homer Simpson ripped off the design of the third one. No wonder Powell cars went out of business.

  9. Ugly Canuck says:

    Here’s a swinging version of the Batman theme by Sun Ra to accompany your early 1960s fantasy automobile reverie:


  10. That Evening Sun says:

    “Finally, appearing in growing numbers in 1961 will be electric cars, the first in about 40 years. Most are currently being tested in commercial fleet operation. But as more efficient batteries are developed it seems likely that the “silents” will be earning a place as popular second cars for short-haul commuting and city travel.”

    Whaaaaat? Cars that run on electricity? Slow down there, Buck Rogers, this isn’t some sort of science fiction writing contest about life on Mars. This is America. You can get a gallon of high test premium ethyl for a quarter, and it will ALWAYS be that way.

    Electric cars he says. Ho-ho, what a maroon.

  11. sworm says:

    It’s a pity that aerodynamics, pedestrian/passenger-safety and risk avoidance have made cars so dull.

    Let’s be honest: all major cars look similar nowadays.

    • BB says:

      So true. I can’t tell the difference between a Hyundai, Mercedes or Lexus sedan, (as well as numerous numerous others. Forget about even attempting differentiating between SUV models.

  12. muteboy says:

    Cars with blades on? Stallone’s in Death Race 2000 had one of those.

  13. Jesse in Japan says:

    Did they not use articles (a/the) much in the ’60s or was this not written by a native English speaker? Or both?

  14. RoadTransport says:

    Actually, 1955 was the year of the Batmobile. That was when the Lincoln Futura concept car was shown at the New York Auto Show. It was later sold to the great customiser George Barris, who used it as the basis for the Batmobile in 1966. He didn’t tweak it too much either – it already had the double bubble canopies and the sinister hooded headlights.

    PS Sorry I began my comment with “Actually”…

  15. jimmie proof says:


  16. Anonymous says:

    Watered-down Chevette? That’s a pretty egregious insult to the ‘Vette – and anachronistic to boot, Donald! The Chevette didn’t come along until the 1976 model year (1973 in Brazil). It was a cheap, rear-live-axle subcompact that had no kinship whatsoever with any Corvette ever made.

    A girlfriend of mine in the early ’80s had a Chevette. The rear hatch window came loose flew out one day while she was driving on the expressway. On yet another day, the rear axle fractured internally, and the car ground to a stop. Ah, the memories.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Watered-down Chevette?

      Oh, yes… I know the Chevettes well, and I meant every word. Well, not really to insult the ’63 Corvette, which before today was my favorite Vette, aesthetically speaking.

      My hyperbole was just to show how much I love the above-pictured concept, right down to the “periscope” rearview mirror. God, that thing’s gorgeous.

      Now I wonder which car was worse: the Chevette, or the Dodge Omni? Or maybe the Ford Festiva?

      • gwailo_joe says:

        Gotta go with the Festiva as the worst: gutless and looked like a shoe. The Chevette at least has some retro 70′s vibe, even if a poorly made automobile. My buddy in high school had an Omni: and I have to say that 2.2l was surprisingly fast (at least compared to my 81 Ford Escort. . .)

        Then the Omni failed somehow in the weatherstripping department and the cab would fill with water after it rained: thus to be renamed Lake Omni.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        All those vehicles were competitors with the Dodge Vegomatic, praised in this song:


        …were they not?

        Rock’n’roll’n’cars… A long-time partnership.

  17. pjcamp says:

    The Batmobile was a meth-head?

    These cars all have giant googly eyes.

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