The Lincoln Futura Concept Car – 1955

January 23, 2010

The Lincoln Futura was a concept car designed by the Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Company in 1955. It was displayed on the auto show circuit in 1955. Futura’s styling was extravagantly impractical even by the standards of the ’50s, with a double, clear-plastic canopy top, exaggerated hooded headlight pods, and very large, outward-canted tailfins at both ends of the vehicle. Nevertheless, the Futura had a complete powertrain and was fully operable in contrast to many show cars then and now. Its original color was white, and was one of the first Pearlescent color treatments, using ground pearl to achieve the paint effect. The Futura was powered by a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine and powertrain; the chassis was that of a Lincoln Mark II. (wikipedia)

The Futura concept sketch (Image: http://www.theAvanti.com)


The concept car was so popular, it was even created for children in the form of model cars.

1956 Revell Lincoln Futura Model

The original concept car was painted red in 1959 and was featured in the movie “It Started with a Kiss” starring Debbie Reynolds & Glenn Ford. Following the filming of the movie, the car was sold to George Barris for $1. The car was parked in a back Hollywood lot and rusted away for several years before it was used as the inspiration for the original Batmobile in 1966.

The Futura featured in "It Started with a Kiss"

The Futura rusting away in a back lot

The 1966 patent for the original Batmobile based on the Lincoln Futura

The original Batmobile from the Batman television show

23 Responses to “The Lincoln Futura Concept Car – 1955”

  1. Hermitbiker said

    …. that’s the 1st thing I thought of after seeing this…. the “original Batmobile” from the TV series…. an amazing piece of Ford history sold to George Barris for $1.00…. simply amazing !! 🙂

  2. Anonymouse said

    No wonder Detroit Failed so miserably! They had no idea! We needed a nation builder and they gave us wings on cars! Fools! We needed a VW and they gave us the V-8 from the 1930’s with overhead valves. We needed durability and repair-ability and they gave us planned obsolescence and shawdy workmanship! We needed rust-proof, they gave us two-tone!We needed fuel economy, they gave us muscle cars? We needed a great deal of really good engineering, they gave us college ball, and cars built after the 1930’s models designed in the grease pits and dictated by the show-room cowboys of the age? They gave us accountancy equation designed automobiles and threw out the real engineers – the Europeans, and Asians do things differently and we buy from them now! So sad! A whole industry in America corrupted by Corporatists and destroyed by their greed! America’s greatest loss.

    • Jason said

      The cars from that age are the most beautiful cars ever designed. You might be happy with VW but I want something with power under the hood. Screw the cheap econo cars that barely do 0-60 in a year. I want a car that runs the 1/4 mile in 13 seconds or less. I want a car that sounds like thunder rolling down the road. I want a car that when I pull into a gas station or parking lot everyone turns their head in awe at the beauty of the early classic american cars.

    • Jay said

      What an utter load! Up until the 70’s American auto makers were free to build cars that free people actually wanted and loved and did so affordably. They made cars uniquely suited to America and the roads we were building that made long distance travel a celebrated romanticized joy that punctuated exemplified that very freedom. Europeans and Asians primarily built the cars their overly encroaching ever more socialist goverments demanded that they build. A few wonderfully well engineered and often large cars for the ruling elite and 20 horsepower VW’s and Fiat 500’s for the peasantry…assuming you could afford the perpetually collected “wheel” taxes which were sometimes higher for a death trap like the Beetle than for a huge powerful Mercedes.
      Once upon a time in America we could actually decide for ourselves what we needed rather than being told what we needed by the likes of Anonymouse who I have no doubt is exactly the type of person who would have thrived dictating what could be built and who could buy it from comfort of a high position in the tyrannical government of an Adolf Hitler. Concept cars like the Futura exemplified the freedom we enjoyed in America to try anything be it genius or near insanity. Some wonderful innovations were born in that atmosphere along with some frivolous styling elements. Some very fun frivolous styling elements we could actually have on our own car if we wished.
      Ask yourself, would I like to have an Anonymouse tell me what I should and shall drive? Beware the Anonymouse!

      • Wonderfully put! The Futura is an example of the beautiful, creative styling that just died out in the seventies when every car ended looking like a shoebox. Even today, cars all look basically the same, rounded shoe boxes.

  3. Dude said

    It was a different era. Gas was cheap, muscle cars were king of the road and nobody bought Japanese, it was not patriotic.

  4. Jack said

    the unions ruined the U.S. car market, and are still taking them down.

  5. Larry said

    If the unions ruined the car market, and are still taking them down, why do more Americans now feel US made cars are better than Asian cars? The Dude is right. It was a different time. My Dad had a 55 Lincoln, and it was a magnificent machine.

  6. Kevin said

    The only word that comes to my mind is “bitchin”. It’s not hard to figure out why the majority of the cars built before the early 1970’s are skyrocketing in value. They are works of art.

  7. Knickerbocker said

    I just saw this car on the road today. It was driving north on the Hutchinson River Parkway and exited the Parkway at New Rochelle. Very odd to see it actually on the road.

  8. Jake said

    Weird me too! The pope was driving it.

  9. […] 10. 1955 The Lincoln Futura Concept Car […]

  10. Raymond said

    I think Roy Brown has great talent. The Futura is smoking hot. I would love to own it.

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  14. […] via Batmania UK and The Invisible Agent […]

  15. Albrit said

    I love the looks of this car, I would Love to own it…..:)

  16. FJM said

    economy cars are great and they have come a long way in the American Car market but none of these new breed vehicles both domestic and import have any style or character,,, they’re as dull as todays music!!! they all have similar lines and curves,, they lack a certain individuality… my uncle had sum muscle cars,, SS NOVA, and a FIREBIRD, and they were beautiful each with a unique style and character,,, I loved driving in them and just listening to the purr and humm of the engine…

  17. mark Tennant said

    It should be restored to original design.
    Mark Tennant

  18. Glark Kent said

    nah,nah,nah,nah,nah…..BATMAN!

  19. mr stewart said

    i left england in hope of driving a late 50s shark fin or fish tail usa masterpiece boy hood dream if only they could bring them back with hybrid engine

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