Text and Photos by the Webmaster

 
The fifties were the golden age of Detroit’s “dream cars” and at the top of the list was Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln Futura. Billed as a $250,000 rolling laboratory, the Futura not only looked like the fifties version of the future, but also was a fully functioning engineering marvel that foreshadowed a number of features that would later find their way into production.
  This is particularly true of design elements like the fins and deeply hooded headlights, which made their way (in a somewhat modified design) to the 1957 Lincoln. The Futura was a major star on the show circuit from its unveiling in 1955 until its retirement in 1959.  

  After it was withdrawn from public life, the Futura languished for a few years, but was finally resurrected by famed customizer George Barris as the original Batmobile for the mid-sixties television series. It still exists in that form today, and although it still has a huge following of devotees, I am one of the minority opposition who deeply regrets the fact that the Future wasn’t preserved in its original form.  
 
Fortunately Revell chose to model the Futura as one of its first 1/25th scale kits in 1956, along with the Pontiac Club de Mer. Even better was the reissue of the original Futura kit just a few years ago, and recently it was again reissued and is currently available.
 
 


I became a model car addict very early, around age 5, thanks to an uncle who was a Ford salesman. Every year he would present me with a promotional model of that year’s new Ford, beginning in 1950. I also remember various Christmas and birthday gifts, like a fully chrome plated ’53 Pontiac with operating headlights, a ’54 or ’55 Cadillac Coupe de Ville friction, and one of AMT’s remote controlled ’56 Fords. I had also watched in fascination as my older brother spent hours building various models from Revell’s Highway Pioneer series, but even then I had developed a bit of a prejudice against models that weren’t 1/25th scale. But then came the Futura kit and it was my turn. The Revell Futura was the first model car kit I ever built…the original issue, probably some time in 1957.

Of course, after it was assembled…no easy task for an eleven-year-old…it became just another toy in my stable of model cars. Consequently, it didn’t last very long. I gradually matured into a fledgling collector around 1960, but by then my original Futura was long gone. Some time in the mid-sixties I came across an out-of-the way hobby shop that had a large stock of older model kits, including several Futuras. I managed to score several for a buck apiece! I sold the excess to other collectors, probably for a (at that time) nice profit, but nothing to compare with what they would have brought in succeeding years. Prior to the first re-release, a mint Futura would bring several hundred dollars, on those rare occasions when one would be uncovered.