Monday, July 18, 2016

Riddle Me This? Just how many Batmobiles are there?

The original 1960's Crime Fighting Batmobile created by the late King of Kustom, George Barris. (Source: Images)

Ah, it must be Summertime, eh? As what Mid-season points battle? Since isn't this when all the B-I-G' SCREEN Summer Blockbusters come out...

Y'all know that 'Ol Bruce Springsteen song 'bout 57 Channels and NOTHING On! Which is exactly how I feel towards my CRAPOLA comca$'s  television service! Especially since the wait between Indy, having missed Belle Isle's "Double" and then sitting thru not one, but two days 'O Rainout at Texas...

Thus, Thanxs to our Florence Friends, I was reminded of Jay Leno's Garage Show for which I hadn't watched a single episode of until the June 22nd episode featuring Cop Cars, Batmobiles, Ghostbusters Ambulance Chasers and some sort of armoured personnel military vehicle...

With Jay doing some pretty hokey voiceovers, along with rubbin' elbows with the LAPD's Chief, Dan Ackroyd and Whoa Nellie! A cameo with Adam West, with the piece de la resistance being Jay and Adam going thru a Drive-thru and eating hamburgers in the original Batmobile!

As I had NO idea that Adam West was still fightin' crime; Hya! As an Octogenarian, and BAM! BIFF! SLAM! SMASH! Just learned that this Crime Fighter was born in Walla Walla, Washington NO less!

And while I enjoyed Jay reminiscing with Dan Ackroyd and getting time to talk briefly 'bout that legendary Blues Brothers movie, along with his other hit Ghostbusters, I was more intrigued over the Batmobile segment instead.

Naturally, although I couldn't SEE IT! Due to my rapidly diminishing eyesight... Whilst as Leno mused how the whine from the latest version's transmission was a bit excessive! Nonetheless this got me to ponderin' just how many different iterations of the Batmobile of TV and Movie fame exist? Since after all this is a Car Guys' Blogsite - meaning I'm only interested in working full scale versions, excluding replicas.

Although I was previously unawheres' that a second 1960's Batmobile complete with one of Ford's legendous' 427 Big Block V-8s prepared by Holman & Moody NO less! Had been built as an exhibition Drag Racer, for which "Wild Bill" Shrewsberry was apparently famous for doing Smoke-laden Wheel-stands with!

Batman TV Show (And Movie)
Batman: Adam West
Robin: Bert Ward
Years: 1966-68

Surely the original 1960's Batmobile is the most famous and well known version of all, for which I won't try recounting all of its gizmos, i.e.; nose-mounted cable chain cutter, Detecta-scope, Batfone and dual rear parachutes to aid in making quick 180-degree turns...

Being heavily featured during the TV Series three seasons on ABC, for which 120 episodes were produced. Also in 1966, Leslie H. Martinson directed a feature film involving the same cast members.

Yet, if you know anything about this most iconic Bat-fighter mobile, then surely Y'all know it was produced by the late King 'O Customizers, nee George Barris, who wisely leased the car to the movie studios after having converted the 1959 Lincoln Futura which he'd purchased from FoMoCo' (Ford Motor Company) for the outlandish sum of $1.00 and then crafted the Batmobile upon it's flanks in a miniscule three weeks!

As Barris, who retained ownership of the car throughout his life, decided at age 87 to sell it, where it fetched an astronomical four plus million dollars at the Barrett Jackson auction in 2013.

Then just a scant two years later, Mr. Barris took the "Deep Freeze," passing away at the age of 89...

Director: Tim Burton
Batman: Michael Keaton
Year: 1989

In 1989, Tim Burton revived  Batman to the B-I-G' Screen for Warner Brothers as the movies Director and Producer, which starred Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader, opposite his nemesis The Joker, appropriately played by none other than "Here's Johnny's" Jack Nicholson, with Kim Basinger of Nine Weeks fame playing Viki Vale, a reporter attracted to Bruce Wayne while trying to prove he's Batman.

 Along with the all new set designs, reportedly of an Art Deco theme, naturally the bubble-top dual open cockpit Batmobile of 1960's fame was completely updated to modern standards, becoming a very low-slung, long and sleek canopy coupe instead.

As this new, modern Crime Fighter machine was built atop a 1985 Chevrolet Impala with a Chevy V-8 powertrain, and retained the "JATO" Rocket' assist afterburner for maximum speed.

Batman Returns
Director: Tim Burton
Batman: Michael Keaton
Year: 1992

Michelle Pheiffer
For 1992, Tim Burton reluctantly agreed to direct his second and final Batman movie after Warner Brothers reportedly gave him more "Artistic Control" over the movie, which saw Michael Keaton donning his cape one final time. Now fighting against such criminals as The Penguin, played by Danny De Vito and Catwoman played by Michelle Pfeiffer; MEOW! As this is the last Batman movie I recall watching, as how can I ever forget Catwoman, eh?

Presumably the same second generation Batmobile was utilized in this movie, and subsequently retired afterwards, residing now in Los Angeles in the Peterson Automotive museum.

Batman Forever
Director: Joel Schumacher
Batman: Val Kilmer
Robin: Chris O'Donnell
Year: 1995

The third major incarnation of the Batmobile, as scarily I'll use 'RASSCAR, or is I-T Corvette Bodywork numerology slang? As I'll denote this Batmobile as the GEN-3' chassis which truly represented Movie Studio customization.

For which I'm 86% certain believing I've never seen this version. And now having 'Lucy, my ARSE-Steamed Screen-reader read me the plot, I'm 99% certain I've never seen it! Due to the starring cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carey, Chris O'Donnell and Nicole Kidman.

As funny how whenever I think of Val Kilmer I immediately picture him in Top gun as "Maverick's" adversary, opposite Tom Cruise who once was married to Nicole Kidman...

This "GEN-3" Batmobile features custom vacuum-Bag-form bodywork being molded out of carbon fibre. Having been upgraded to include Kerbside Shin Breakers along with grappling hook technology enabling it to climb walls!

The car retained it's now surely de riggour Afterburner propulsion with the main powerplant being upgraded to a "Bowtie" (Chevrolet) ZZ3 V-8 displacing 350 "Cubes."

Batman and Robin
Director: Joel Schumacher
Batman: George Clooney
Robin: Chris O'Donnell
Year: 1997

After the "Boy Wonder" takes the previous GEN-3 Batmobile out for an unauthorized joyride, the car is ultimately destroyed by The Riddler.

Hence,  the GEN-4 Batmobile arrives in this movie, which reputedly critics panned as the worse Batman movie produced! Whilst if I'm understanding the car's technical features correctly? It only contains a single seat cockpit? Which seems quite odd since the film includes Batman and his Sidekick.

Having learned this is correct, with thou Boy Wonder scampering round Gotham City Solo upon his motorbike! Although it's still STIR-RANGE to me that they'd be forced to utilize separate vehicles...

Batman Dark Knight Trilogy
Director: Christopher Nolan
Batman: Christian Bale

2005: Batman Begins
2008: Batman Dark Knight
2012: Batman Dark Knight Rising

Batman v Superman
Director: Zack Snyder
Batman: Ben Affleck
Year: 2016

Know absolutely nothing 'bout the three Dark Knight movies, nor the latest episode  featuring a clash of Super Heroes in Batman v Superman, which I think is the Batmobile Jay Leno drove the latest Caped Crusader's film director Zackary Snyder around in on the Jay Leno Garage episode which sparked this whole BAM, SMASH, BIFF! Wacky story.

And it seems a 'Wee bit odd to Mwah that Batman would switch to some sorta Crossover SUV/Offroad vehicle, as this Tumbler mobile utilized in all three Dark Knight movies sounds like a sappy nod to thou Pornification 'O Militarism fever sweeping Thy Nation...

As the actual driving versions utilized a 5.7-liter V-8 Chevrolet motor for which apparently six were built at a pretty steep price 'O $250,000 apiece! While other scale model versions were utilized along with the contemporary use of CGI, nee Computer Graphic Imaging.

Now supposedly, the latest Batmobile, which would be the GEN-6 edition in this Uber clever numerology scheme, is reportedly a cross between the Tumbler's Offroad utilitarianism and the previous sleek low slung Speedster of the past...