The Complete History of The Batmobile

The Complete History of The Batmobile

The history of the Batmobile goes back to Detective Comics issue 27 from May 1939. Since the introduction of Batman, fans have seen an impressive variety of the superhero car – a list that includes more than 250 car designs! Dive into the garage of the Dark Knight and pick your own favorite from the Batcave.

The first appearance of the Batmobile

The very first appearance of the Batmobile was in Detective Comics #27 from May 1939 – which was also the issue that introduced the batsuit to the world. In the comic book, it was depicted as a rather ordinary-looking red car and it was both used by Batman and Bruce Wayne (not suspicious at all!).

In the first several issues, the car was referred to as “batman’s car” and then in issue #48 with both Batman and Robin, the Batmobile was introduced. Even though it looked ordinary for the time, the first Batmobile did have a few special features like a battering ram, machine guns, tv monitor, police radio, anti-puncture tires, ‘state-of-the-art’ radar and a spare costume in the boot for emergency use.

A glimpse of the first Batmobile (0 min 58 sec)

Detective Comics # 27 -  First Batman

Evolution and bat features

Since the 1939 introduction, the look of the Batmobile has changed several times and the design continues to evolve. Many later editions have prominent bat features like wing-shaped tailfins and the bright red has changed into a matte black color that has almost become a trademark of the character. Due to the Batmobile having multiple purposes from vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation, anti-tank warfare, riot control and a mobile crime lab, the car is also heavily armored and has a ton of advanced features and cool gadgets.

Built on a 1938 Cadillac Series 75

The first “live-action” Batmobile was in the 1943 serial film Batman where a black 1939 Cadillac Series 75 convertible was used by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson (a.k.a. Batman and Robin).

1943 serial film Batman 1939 Cadillac Series 75 convertible as the batmobile
Screenshot from the original movie

The favorite batmobile from the 80s

In the 1989 and 1992 movies Batman and Batman Returns, the Batmobile was built on a Chevrolet Impala chassis but had a long and low sculptured body with a massive engine in the back. A look that was inspired by the 1950s gas-turbine driven concept car Fiat Turbina. The 1989 model was designed to impress and is still today a favorite among fans.

Hollywood Dream Machines exhibition: 1989 Batmobile

Batmobile interior cockpit
Image courtesy of Evan Klein

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The beloved Batman Forever Batmobile

Another beloved Batmobiles is from the 1995 Batman Forever. The distinctive-looking car had a Chevrolet 350 ZZ3 high-performance engine and a body made from high-temperature epoxy-fiberglass laminate. The wheelbase on the car was incredible 118 inches (3 meters) and the total length of the car 300 inches (7.6 meters). In addition to the aggressive look the car also had some cool features like rotating its wheels to change direction 90 degrees, a grappling hook allowing the Batmobile to drive up walls and of course the speed to perform large jumps across Gotham city.

Creating THE BATMOBILE «Batman Forever» Behind The Scenes

A Batmobile for battle and gaming

The 2015 Arkham Knight was a truly bad-ass vehicle with a unique “battle mode” and massive armoring! Despite the car being designed for a computer game, a live version of the car has attended the Gumball 3000 in 2016 and has even been spotted on the streets of Copenhagen and later on in Dubai. The aggressive-looking vehicle is a favorite for many fans of the action-adventure computer game.

Ever seen the BMW they called Batmobile?

Arkham Knight Batmobile By Caresto Arkham Knight Batmobile By Caresto

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Pick you own favorite Batmobile: the list is LONG

If you count all Batmobiles from the original comic books to cartoons and movies the list is long – VERY LONG! To be exact, there has been recorded 253 Batmobiles from 1939-2017; some of them introducing brand new looks and others building on top of previous designs. And the list continues to expand with the 2021 Batmobile from the upcoming movie “The Batman”. You can check out the first glimpse of the 2021 Batmobile here.

First Glimpse of The 2021 Batmobile From "The Batman"
Image courtesy: Matt Reeves / Twitter

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