The Batmobile History
Batman is the most likely choice if you were to name an iconic hero. Batman is a great rider, fighting crime and keeping Gotham City safe from villains like The Riddler, The Penguin, and The Joker. His style was loved even before the Batmobile was an international hit.
The Evolution of the Batmobile
Let's take a look at the original Batmobile, and then move on to television and movie history to see what changes were made.
The 1943 Batmobile - 1939 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible
The 1939 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible was the simplest Batmobile ever built. It was featured in Columbia's Batman movies. This car was unique in that it doubled as both a crime-fighting vehicle and a personal vehicle for Bruce Wayne, unlike many other Batmobiles. To distinguish between the two vehicles, producers determined that the car was in Batmobile mode if the top was raised. It was Bruce Wayne's car when the top was down.
This was the original Batmobile design.
The 1949 Batmobile - 1949 Mercury Convertible
The 1949 Batmobile was just like the previous model. The series also added Wayne Manor and the Bat Cave to the universe. Despite not having the funds to upgrade the Batmobile with cool accessories and gadgets, it brought Batman's world to life. The producers used the same signal for Bruce Wayne's car and the Batmobile when the Mercury Convertible replaced the Cadillac. The poor handling of the car around corners, and its history as a wrecked car led to six swaps of the car during filming.
The 1966 Batmobile - 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept Car
The 1966 Batmobile is the first-ever real Batmobile to be shown onscreen. Also known as The West Mobile, it was also the first Batmobile that appeared on the screen. In 1966-1968, the first modified Batmobile was seen in the television series. The 1966 Batman movie also featured it. This Batmobile was the one that brought all the modifications and gadgets to life. George Barris, the legendary designer of iconic Hollywood cars, was entrusted with the design. He was given three weeks to complete the project. He would draw inspiration from the 1955 Lincoln Futura as his model.
The 1989 Batmobile – The Keaton Mobile
Tim Burton's cinematic magic brought out a darker version of Batman in 1989. Anton Furst, who designed this particular Batmobile, made major changes to the design. Furst got rid of the red trim and bright red Batman logo. The Batmobile was blacked out completely. The Keaton Mobile, instead of cartoon Lamborghinis and Ferraris, was a sleeker design that looked more like a drag racer.
This Batmobile was fast and darker in tone. It also had retractable shielding and self-driving capabilities. Machine guns were also included. After the film's release, the Batmobile design was used in the following cartoons.
The 1995 Batmobile - The Kilmer Mobile
Batman Forever had a new director and designer for the third installment of the Batman movie series. Barabara Ling gave the Batmobile her own twist. While the new Batmobile has a more natural feel, it still retains some elements of the original model. Ling also included the Batman logo in the car's design, something that was not possible with previous models. The vehicle's design was updated with ribs on the sides and bat-like wings at the back. This design was the most like a live bat, out of all the vehicles that were created for Batman.
This vehicle was not received by viewers as expected. Many people thought the car looked plastic, but it was designed with this idea in mind.
The Clooney Mobile - The 1997 Batmobile
The final installment of the original Batman movies, Batman, and Robin tried to close the series with a bang. This was done to make up for the disappointing reception to the 1995 Batmobile. They went back to the drawing board to design a car that would be worthy of the Batman - George Clooney. It was a controversial film. Ling's Batmobile is considered an improvement on the previous model. This Batmobile was inspired by classic roadsters like the Jaguar D Type.
The new design features featured a smaller exhaust nozzle on the rear fenders and a small silver bat in the center of the wheel.
The 2005 Batmobile: The Tumbler
Before Batman returned to the silver screen, there was a brief hiatus. The iconic crimefighter returned to the silver screen under Christopher Nolan's direction with Nathan Crowley as his designer. They created the famous Dark Night Trilogy together. The two men completely redesigned Gotham and Batman, refreshing the Batman universe. It was only right that the masked superhero would get a new ride.
Crowley and Nolan created a more realistic Batmobile, a sort of Lamborghini/Tank crossover. They kept the feeling of Gotham in mind and made no changes to the character. The Tumbler, as it was called, weighed over two tons and was used consistently throughout the trilogy. Even the vehicle came with an ejectable Batpod motorbike - once it is ejected, the whole Tumbler will self-destruct.
The 2016 Batmobile
Ben Affleck was the man who played Batman in 2016's movie. There is no doubt about that. The Batfleck Mobile was not as well-received as The Dark Night Trilogy, even though it was released. Dennis McCarthy and Patrick Tatopoulos created the new Batmobile. They took elements from The Tumbler but streamlined them to make it sleeker and visually appealing. Also, the Batmobile's lighter and more maneuverable version was completely redesigned.
The future of The Batfleck Mobile remains uncertain. Having made cameo appearances such as Batman Vs. Superman Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, there is no guarantee we will see it in any major movie production of this iconic caped crusader.
Three Iconic Batmobiles: Where can you find them?
It is possible to see all three most famous Batmobiles in one location, as the older models have retired. You can see 1966, 1989, and 2005 Tumblers at the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois. Batmobile Kiddie Rides are also offered by the museum, giving children the chance to drive one of the iconic Batmobiles. We're all just big kids, right?