Tom Mix’s background as a cowboy, ranch hand, law enforcement officer and circus performer ultimately led him to the silver screen, and by the 1920s, Mix was arguably America’s most beloved action hero. His passion for fast cars was well known, and on October 12, 1940, Mix died behind the wheel of his 1937 Cord 812 supercharged phaeton, killed by excessive speed, a washed-out bridge and an unsecured metal suitcase, which struck the former action star in the head, fracturing his skull and breaking his neck. Nowadays restored to its condition when Mix owned it, the Cord will appear in January at the debut Arizona Concours d’Elegance.
At a time when the average U.S. salary was less than $1,500 per year, Mix was earning as much as $10,000 per week, but when “talkies” replaced silent films at the end of the 1920s, his popularity waned. A later series of disappointing business ventures consumed much of his once-impressive net worth, but in 1937 Mix had no trouble justifying the purchase of a brand-new, Gordon Buehrig-designed Cord 812 supercharged phaeton. Equipped with a forced-induction 288.6-cu.in. Lycoming V-8 engine rated at 170 horsepower, the front-wheel-drive Cord also utilized a four-speed pre-selector gearbox. As delivered, Mix’s car was one of three Cord 812 phaeton models to include a factory-installed rear tire mount, with the other two going to Al Jolson and Barbara Stanwyck.
This rare car is now owned by Bob White of Scottsdale, Arizona. He did a two year restoration of the Cord 812 Phaeton. You can picture Tom Mix, driving with his flags and guns, siren wailing down the street. The car's quite a spectacle raging down the highway.
This car of the future designed by Lincoln was 19 feet long with two passenger seats! The cars designer was Bill Schmidt who was inspired by mako sharks and mantra rays while on a fishing trip in the Bahamas. This is where the aggressive fins came from. The Futura car was built for $250,000, more than two million in today's dollars. It was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in 1955. As it turned out, Lincoln's dream car did not get much tread on the nations highways, it was admired but not sold. In 1965 auto customizer, Chuck Barris transformed a Futura (that he bought from Ford for one dollar!) into the roadster known as The Batmobile. The car was repainted in black, its tail fins were expanded into batwings and the grill retooled to resemble a bats face.
Video from the movie "Kiss"
Explain "How much is a vintage 1955 lincoln futura concept and where could you buy it?"
The Lincoln Futura was a concept car designed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. It was built by Ghia entirely by hand in Italy at a cost of $250,000 and 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.
The Futura was a success as a show car, garnering a great deal of favorable publicity for Ford. It was released as a model kit and a toy, and in a much more subdued form its headlight and tailfin motifs would appear on production Lincolns for 1956 and 1957. It even played a prominent part in a movie, 1959's It Started with a Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford. For the movie, it was painted red, as the pearlescent finish did not photograph well.
After that, though, the car would logically have been forgotten and perhaps destroyed, as most show cars of that time were. However, it was somehow sold into the hands of George Barris, one of the great auto customizers. As the car was never titled and was therefore uninsurable, it was parked behind Barris' shop where it sat idle for several years and was allowed to deteriorate.
In 1966 Barris was requested to design a theme car for the Batman television series, Barris then contracted stylist Dean Jeffries to build a car for the show. Jeffries worked on the design and initial fabrication for the Batmobile, using a 1959 Cadillac, but when the studio wanted the car faster than he could deliver, he turned it back to George Barris. With the short notice, Barris thought the Futura might work well, and using Jeffries initial car, decided that its unusual winged shape would be an ideal starting point for the Batmobile. Barris hired Bill Cushenberry to do the metal modifications to the car.
Barris went on to build five duplicates for the show circuit, three of which are covered with a felt-like finish. For the filming of the Batman Series, Barris replaced the Lincoln frame and engine with 1966 Ford Galaxie parts.