The Secret Origin of the Lincoln-Based Batmobile

george-barris-1960s-batmobileFamed custom car designer George Barris died earlier this month at the age of 89. Barris (pictured, left) was known in automotive circles as the “King of the Kustomizers” for designing customized vehicles for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

Perhaps Barris’s biggest claim to fame were the custom cars he built for some of the biggest TV shows and movies ever produced. Arguably the most famous of those cars was the Batmobile featured in the 1960s Batman TV series. What many may not know is that the vehicle was originally a 1950s-era Lincoln concept car.

The story behind this Batmobile is as captivating as the TV series itself. The vehicle was first designed by two of Ford’s lead stylists, Bill Schmidt and John Najjar Ferzely, who were responsible for unique exterior design elements like the double, clear-plastic canopy top and the large rear tailfins. The vehicle, which was later dubbed the Lincoln Futura, was entirely hand built in Italy by the auto design firm Ghia and cost approximately $250,000 to make.

The Lincoln Futura concept car was officially unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in January of 1955. It then toured the auto show circuit throughout 1955 and was later prominently displayed in the 1959 movie, It Started with a Kiss. Like many concept cars, however, the Futura never made it into production.

For whatever reason, the Futura was forgotten about soon thereafter. In fact, it may have been consigned to the scrap heap were if not for the intervention of George Barris. Barris struck a deal with Ford that would’ve made even Peter Minuit jealous: he purchased the 1955 Lincoln Futura for the nominal price of $1.00 plus “other valuable consideration” (whether Ford collected on that “consideration” is a mystery lost to time).

The Lincoln Futura sat in Barris’s repair shop for several years until 1966, when producers for the then-upcoming Batman TV series approached Barris to build a new Batmobile. The producers had previously contracted another noted custom car designer, Dean Jeffries, but they were unhappy with the result.

The show’s producers gave Barris three weeks to produce a customized Batmobile. With a short turnaround time, Barris remembered the Futura he purchased years earlier and thought that the rear tailfins were reminiscent of bat wings. And the rest, as they say, was history.

The Barris-designed Batmobile proved to be such a resounding success that Barris built several replicas of it while owning the rights to the original vehicle, which he leased to 20th Century Fox, the studio that produced the Batman series. The Futura-model Batmobile eventually sold at auction in 2013 for the then-record sum of $4.62 million.

While other Batmobile designs have come and gone over the years, the iconic Barris design based on a Lincoln concept continues to endure. As Barris himself once put it, “The car had to be a star in its own right,” and that certainly proved to be accurate.

You can see specs on the Batmobile from the 1966 Batman TV series here.

Live in Your Moment with These Authentic MKC Narratives

live-in-your-moment-lincoln-vimeoToday’s audiences don’t want to feel that they’re being marketed to when they consume branded content. Successful ad campaigns recognize this fact and therefore embed their brand message within narratives that are authentic and compelling.

Authenticity has been the byword for the Lincoln Motor Company and its “Live in Your Moment” campaign featuring the Lincoln MKC. The MKC campaign launched last year in a series of highly successful spots starring Matthew McConaughey. The quiet, refined performance of the MKC inspired a contemplative performance from the Oscar-winning actor as he lived in his moment while driving the luxury sport utility crossover vehicle.

But there’s more than one narrative that can be told with the Lincoln MKC and other ways in which characters can experience their own moments. In fact, the beauty of the “Live in Your Moment” campaign is that it spotlights individuals living authentically while subtly capturing the various roles the MKC play in that process.

To deliver these authentic brand narratives, Lincoln partnered with Vimeo to produce a short film series built around the “Live in Your Moment” theme. The three films in the series were directed by emerging filmmakers interested in conveying a brand message artfully. These filmmakers were selected on the basis of work that strongly influenced the Vimeo audience and would closely align with Lincoln’s branded message.

Lincoln’s “Live in Your Moment” series from Vimeo include these three short films:

Bloom (co-directed by Diego Contreras and Khalid Mohtaseb)

This short film tells the story of Isabella, a young Argentinian woman who emigrates to the U.S. without being able to speak English. After a luggage mix-up at the airport, Isabella encounters a man with whom she cannot verbally communicate. Despite the language barrier, the two strangers bond through the experiences they share while driving in a Lincoln MKC.

Open Your Eyes (directed by Diego Contreras)

This tender tale focuses on an elderly blind man celebrating his 70th birthday with his daughter. As the omniscient narrator, the father conveys the dark thoughts that have consumed him since his blindness and the passing of his wife, along with the hope that arrives when his daughter drives him to the sites of his childhood. After riding in the Lincoln MKC, he is able to “see” the world from a new perspective.

The Perfect Place To Be (co-directed by Joshua Kang and Carissa Gallo)

In this bittersweet story, we follow a young couple as they move from the city in which they first met and fell in love. Though narration, the young woman reminisces wistfully about the place they’re leaving as well as expresses excitement about the city to which they’re arriving. The vehicle that transports them is, of course, a Lincoln MKC, thereby demonstrating that the perfect place to be is with the person you love.

Each of the short films in the “Live in Your Moment” perfectly encapsulate the quiet, authentic appeal of the Lincoln MKC that allows people to live fully. Visit The Drum for an inside look into the Vimeo “Live in Your Moment” campaign.

Ford and Lincoln Sales See Significant Boost in September

2016-lincoln-mkzThe Ford Motor Company enjoyed strong sales in September that helped propel the company to its best retail sales month since 2004, according to a Ford statement released in October. Ford sold 221,599 units in September, which represents a 23% improvement over the previous month and betters the sales gains made by automakers like GM, FCA, Toyota and Nissan.

The positive sales news also extends to Lincoln, whose overall sales performance in September 2015 improved by nearly 20% over the previous year. Like its parent company, Lincoln posted its best September sales in several years, with all six Lincoln models bettering their sales performance over last September.

In particular, the Lincoln MKZ (pictured) was the company’s most successful vehicle with 2,490 vehicles sold, making it the highest selling Lincoln by volume in September. The most dramatic sales change occurred with the redesigned MKX, which was Lincoln’s second-best selling vehicle in September and whose sales improved by about 34% over 2014. In addition, sales of the midsize MKZ sedan improved by about 14% over last year, while sales of the all-new MKC crossover improved by nearly 16% over the same period.

With the exception of the Lincoln Navigator, each vehicle in the company’s lineup posted double-digit sales gains over this time last year. On the other hand, there’s still considerable room for growth with regard to Lincoln brand sales. Though September, many Lincoln models posted year-to-date sales declines masked somewhat by the strong popularity of the MKZ and MKC.

With that said, Ford is expected to record strong profits in the third and fourth quarters of 2015—and so, to paraphrase an old expression, the rising tide of Ford sales could lift boats like Lincoln in the months ahead.

Mark LaNeve, Ford VP of U.S. marketing, sales and service, trumpeted his company’s strong September in a conference call to analysts and investors.

According to Automotive News, LaNeve said, “It was good from beginning to end—one of those really special, strong months.”

With figures like the ones Ford and Lincoln posted in September, we’re certainly inclined to agree with Mr. LaNeve. You can find great models like the all-new Lincoln MKZ sedan when you visit West Point Lincoln, the premier Lincoln dealership serving the greater Houston area. Check out our extensive inventory of new and used vehicles by seeing our dealership in person at 11666 Katy Freeway in Houston or checking our vehicle inventory online. Let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns!

Empire Season Two Set to Feature Lincoln Vehicles

empire-cookie-lyon-lincoln-navigatorSeason two of the Fox TV show Empire, which premiered on September 23, continued earning the stellar ratings that made it one of last year’s breakthrough hits. Over 16 million viewers watched the hip-hop based drama, along with the 22.5 million who watched it within three days of its debut via live broadcast and streaming options.

The show that stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will also feature a recurring role for another big name—the Lincoln Motor Company.

As the exclusive on- and off-air automotive sponsor for Empire, Lincoln will have several of its luxury vehicles featured on the show. Most notably, the all-new Lincoln MKX will be seen in episode 6, which is expected to air around early-to-mid November.

This isn’t the first time that Lincoln vehicles have been featured on Empire. Lincoln served as the show’s official vehicle sponsor last season, during which characters like Henson’s Cookie Lyon (pictured) were often seen driving vehicles like the 2015 Lincoln Navigator.

Lee Jelenic, Lincoln Marketing Manager, expressed the company’s excitement to continue its association with Empire.

“Lincoln has had a longstanding strong relationship with Fox, and we are delighted to be partnering with Empire for a second season in a row. The momentum of the show is a great platform to communicate the new and exciting Lincoln product portfolio in a contextually relevant way,” said Jelenic in a statement. “We are particularly excited to communicate our new class-exclusive Revel sound system on a show built around music.”

What Jelenic is referring to, of course, is the high-end Revel sound system that delivers home theater quality audio unprecedented for a luxury vehicle. Exclusive to Lincoln Black Label edition, the Revel sound system features 19 speakers with point source architecture and QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology. You can find out more about Revel by clicking here.

And for those of you looking for a 2015 Lincoln Navigator like the one Cookie Lyon drives, be sure to drop by West Point Lincoln today. We specialize in the type of high quality Lincoln luxury vehicles that residents of Katy, not to mention drivers in the greater Houston area, are sure to love!

Image Credit: Uptown Magazine

McConaughey Gives Fans the Silent Treatment in New Lincoln MKX Ads

mcconaughey-lincoln-mkzLast year, Matthew McConaughey took America by storm by starring in a series of commercials for the Lincoln MKC, MKZ and MKZ Hybrid. The spots featuring McConaughey’s spacy soliloquies quickly became some of the most buzzworthy ads of 2015. It’s no longer that Lincoln would want to recapture that magic, which is why they’ve enlisted the Oscar-winning actor to appear in a new round of spots for the all-new Lincoln MKX crossover.

One notable change with the new MKX spots is that we won’t get to hear McConaughey’s distinctive Texan drawl in them. Instead, McConaughey stays silent throughout the three commercials that comprise the MKX campaign. In addition, this new round of Lincoln ads will not be a solo affair, as McConaughey interacts with a series of characters designed to expand the creative scope of the McConaughey-Lincoln advertising experience.

While we don’t hear McConaughey’s voice in the Lincoln MKX ads, he offers some thoughts about the new Lincoln project as only an actor of his stature could.

“What appeals to me about this new series of ads is that while the overall Lincoln message remains consistent, the way it is delivered continues to evolve,” McConaughey said in a statement. “It’s exciting to have the freedom to explore and create new narratives.”

Gus Van Sant, the acclaimed director of such films as Good Will Hunting and Milk, is behind the camera to direct the Lincoln MKX spots. Besides being beautifully shot, the jazzy soundtrack and high-class settings offers a radical departure from 2014’s successful campaign.

According to Lincoln Group Marketing Manager John Emmert, the ad campaign for the all-new Lincoln MKX SUV will center on a multi-part storyline that will unfold over the course of three television spots that all sport the catchphrase, “The Feeling Stays With You.” The running storyline consists of three parts: a minute-long ad entitled Welcome and two 30-second spots, Arrival and Winning Hand.

The all-new McConaughey-Van Sant Lincoln MKX ads will begin airing this Saturday during college football games on ABC and on Sunday during NFL games on CBS and Fox. However, if you don’t want to wait that long, you can view all three parts of the MKX series now by viewing the videos below:



Winning Hand

Matthew McConaughey to Appear in New Lincoln MKX Ad

mcconaughey-lincoln-mkc-mkz-mkxThe commercials Matthew McConaughey did for the Lincoln MKC and MKZ vehicles constitute one of the most popular—not to mention imitable—ad campaigns of this past year. For those of you who couldn’t get enough of the Oscar-winning actor, you’re in luck. McConaughey will contribute his rakish good looks and laconic Texan drawl to the redesigned 2016 MKX midsize crossover.

Lincoln spokesperson Stephanie Cesareo touted the positive effect McConaughey’s involvement has had on the Lincoln brand.

“We started a collaboration with Matthew McConaughey last year, and it is working very well,” said Cesareo in remarks quoted by Automotive News.

Now that’s an understatement. Since McConaughey’s MKC spot was first posted on YouTube this past September, it has had over 6.4 million views and sales of the MKC increased by 25 percent since its debut. Or to quote the understated Cesareo, “[i]t was an interesting development for the brand.”

According to Cesareo, McConaughey’s MKX ads will be a multiplatform campaign that takes a different approach from the actor’s previous MKC spots. The stated rationale for the divergence is that the two models cater to different clientele and should therefore speak to different audiences.

Indeed, the MKX spots promise to “dial up the swagger factor,” according to Lincoln group marketing manager John Emmert as quoted by the Detroit Free Press. Instead, the new MKX ads will focus on the crossover’s technological perks, including a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and Revel audio system. So in other words, there’ll probably be less spacy monologues from McConaughey and more focus on the MKX itself. Seems like a wise move to us.

You can purchase an all-new Lincoln MKX right now at West Point Lincoln and other fine dealerships, but you’ll have to wait until September 12 to see McConaughey riding around in one.

The Lap of Luxury: Introducing the Lincoln Continental 30-Way Seats

30-way-adjustable-seatsSeat comfort is an underrated aspect of the car ownership experience. Sure, you want a car that looks pretty and drives well, but what’s the point if you feel uncomfortable? Whether it’s a long commute to and from work, or an extended road trip, you as a driver want seats that are supple enough to conform to your body yet sturdy enough to support you for the long drive ahead.

That’s where the Lincoln Motor Company and its Continental Concept car come in. With its all-new 30-way seat technology, Lincoln is promising “a seat that feels as if it were personally tailored for you each time,” to quote Ford Global Seat Systems Technical Specialist Jonathan Line. They’re called 30-way seats because there are 30 points of adjustment, including the seat track, head restraint, cushion extension, thigh support and lumbar support.

The 30-way adjustable seating that can be found in the Continental Concept relies on a comfort carrier suspension system. Made from plastic and a thin foam layer—along with an overlay of Venetian leather—the comfort carrier supports the passenger’s neck and shoulders thanks to a flexible design that conforms to the body’s individual shape.

In addition, the Continental seats are outfitted with two adjustable thigh cushions that can extend or contract as needed. Each leg can be adjusted independently of the other, thereby allowing the driver to rest one leg while the other is in use.

Since the return of the Continental brand was first announced, we’ve sough to provide recent updates about its design and production. Lincoln is obviously trying to meet the high expectations of their discriminating clientele. To that end, the Continental’s seat technology is patterned after first-class airplane seating that, according to Line, “goes beyond the one-size-fits-all design.”

Aside from the features already mentioned, the 30-way seats have other cool perks. For instance, drivers who need to chillax during stressful rush-hour traffic, the seats for the Continental Concept are outfitted with massage functions in the back and cushion that massage the driver’s leg and lower back muscles. Also, the seats can be heated or cooled according to the needs of the vehicle occupants.

If that’s not all, even the seat’s “buttcheeks” can flex to accommodate the posterior of its passengers—and yes, you read that last part correctly. Don’t believe us? Just view the video below to see the seat in action!

2017 Lincoln Continental: Made in the USA

all-new-lincoln-continentalWhen you purchase a 2017 Lincoln Continental at your local Ford dealership sometime next year, you’ll be the proud owner of an American-made vehicle. That’s because John Fleming, global manufacturing chief for Lincoln, recently revealed plans to produce the Lincoln Continental at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, MI.

The Flat Rock Assembly Plant slated to produce the highly anticipated luxury sedan currently staffs 3,100 employees. Ford says it has no plans at present to hire additional workers to meet the increased demand.

Now in existence for 28 years, the plant in Flat Rock also manufactures the Mustang and Fusion. It’s been over two decades since Ford vehicles like the Lincoln Continental, Mark VIII and Town Car were produced in the Midwest. Moreover, it’s been close to14 years since a Continental was last manufactured.

While Fleming wasn’t forthcoming with additional production details about the Lincoln Continental, he predicted that it would “do very, very well.”

In addition, the city of Flat Rock will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so Lincoln fans should anticipate a Continental-themed celebration when the time comes.

Waiting for the Lincoln Continental to make its triumphant return to dealership floors is going to take a while. In the meantime, you can stop by West Point Lincoln in Houston, TX to take a look at our new Lincoln cars as well as our quality pre-owned cars. Contact us today to schedule a test drive in a Lincoln MKC, Lincoln MKS or Lincoln MKX luxury vehicle today—you’ll be glad you did!

Image Credit: Car and Driver

Now Hear This: Revel Audio Debuts for 2016 Lincoln MKX

harman-international-revel-audio-systemLincoln owners are accustomed to high-end vehicle features—why should it be any different with their audio systems? Thus, it should come as little surprise to learn that Lincoln partnered with Harman International, a premium audio equipment manufacturer, to create two exclusive audio systems for the recently released 2016 Lincoln MKX.

Both audio system options will include loudspeakers from Harman’s award-winning Revel brand, which will make its automotive debut with the 2016 MKX midsize luxury crossover. Consumers can choose between a 13-speaker Revel audio system option and a 19-speaker Revel Ultima option.

According to Soo Kang, Lincoln interior design chief, it was vital that the onboard Revel audio systems were both aesthetically pleasing and technologically precise.

“We worked closely with Revel engineers to create an audio system unique to the luxury car market,” said Kang. “The design of the vehicle interior and the design of the audio system work harmoniously, creating something that is not only beautiful to the eye but also to the ear.”

Lincoln and Harman spent hundreds of hours collaborating on the project over the course of three years, so few stones were left unturned in creating a system that seeks to heighten consumer expectations of what a vehicle’s audio system can be.

According to Kevin Voecks, Revel product development manager, one of the development team’s key concerns was crafting a Science of Sound so that “the placement, tuning, calibration and number of speakers are unique to each Lincoln model.” In combination with their use of psychoacoustics, or the science of sound perception, the Revel audio systems promise to deliver an exquisite audial experience for listeners.

The level of scientific and technological know-how that went into developing the Revel audio systems is certainly impressive. You can learn more about Ravel’s Science of Sound by watching the video below:


Looking for an all-new Lincoln MKX sport utility vehicle in the greater Houston area? Then there’s only one dealership for you—West Point Lincoln! Located on 11666 Katy Freeway in Houston, TX, West Point Lincoln has new and pre-owned Lincoln MKX vehicles that you’re sure to love. Come check out these and our other fine luxury vehicle options today!

2016 Lincoln MKX Receives a Reduced Price Point

2016-lincoln-mkxAuto enthusiasts anticipating the release of the 2016 Lincoln MKX later this fall have some added good news to look forward to—the 2016 MKX will cost customers $800 less than its predecessor.

Pricing for the 2016 MKX starts at $39,025, which will get car buyers a no-frills version of Lincoln’s latest mid-size crossover. Drivers looking for added amenities have four 2WD options: Premiere ($39,025), Select ($42,315), Reserve ($46,080) and Black Label ($54,240). For AWD, customers can expect to spend an additional $2,495 per trim level.

What can Lincoln MKX customers expect for their money? For starters, they can expect superior quality and craftsmanship fitting for a high-quality luxury vehicle. Other unique features of the 2016 MXK include softer side panels and door armrests, an extra-strength dead-pedal area, and scratch-resistant stainless steel doors and tailgate.

More information about the 2016 Lincoln MKX can be found on the Lincoln Media Center page or by reading the West Point Lincoln Blog. And should you want to test drive a 2015 Lincoln MKX so you know what to expect for 2016, then stop by West Point Lincoln on 11666 Katy Freeway today!

Image credit: Motor Authority