To this day, when you see a picture of the 1955 Lincoln Futura, you can’t help but get a sense that it was something special. Indeed it was. The Futura was the most dramatic, and some say the most successful, Lincoln concept car ever built. As the Futura, the car no longer exists. But reincarnated, so to speak, it lives on: You know it as the Batmobile from the campy Sixties TV version of the Batman saga. It’s regularly seen on tour by thousands of people around the world. To car buffs it hurts to have to acknowledge that the Batmobile is more famous and commercially successful than the Futura, but it’s true.
The Futura was the brainchild of Bill Schmidt. As Lincoln-Mercury Division’s chief stylist from 1945 to 1955, Schmidt was also responsible for the update of the 1950 and 1951 Lincolns, the design of the 1952 Lincoln, the 1953 Lincoln XL 500 concept car, and the 1956 Lincoln. Schmidt was a talented and progressive stylist who got his start at the old Ford Trade School in 1940 and then went to work in the Ford styling studio under Bob Gregorie beginning in about 1942.