1940 Batmobile Build part Part 5


A LOT has happened since July 2016 which was my last update. My timeline to finish this car was hijacked by a couple of new star cars that jumped the line!

First I got a great deal on a few “Viva Las Vegas/Speed Racer Mach 5” fiberglass body parts, (tossed them in my son’s garage for the future) and then a 1966 batcycle body kit popped up that I was planning on tossing behind the hot tub so I could get back to my 1940’s N8mobile!  But life happens and both managed to jump the build line! Blogs on those at another time!

My last blog on the 40’s Bat build ended with a list of what was next:

“Next episode:  Making custom side panels, getting that dash back in and working, sourcing and making side pipes and figuring out the giant bat-face, with light up eye headlights!  Stay tuned bat-fans, this may take some time!” At least I was right about it taking some time! Sheesh!

So let’s start with the dash!  I filled in the WW2 panel with lots of lights and switches from my shrinking magic box of bat gadget leftovers and it looked like this photo.


It got test mounted in the center, and after rewiring and installing the gauges and turn signal and highbeam lights, I had to figure out what to add to that center open area.


There isn’t a lot of room to work in the dash, and it’s surrounded by 1940’s metal, so lots of scrapes and a bit of frustration to get everything to light up and reconnected!IMG_20160724_210946152.jpg

Thanks to a fellow star car owner Mike Carey, who just happened to work in a fabrication shop, I gave him a small gauge and he mounted it perfectly in the middle, so  I reinstalled it, hooked up a few lights for future gadget triggers and the dash was done!IMG_20160724_225525852.jpgIMG_20160724_225553260.jpgIMG_20160724_225511152.jpg

The AC was “future tech” in 1940, so Bruce Wayne had it way before everyone else! That’s my story and I am “cool” with it! So with that done, that left making custom side panels, sourcing and making side pipes and figuring out the giant bat-face, with light up eye headlights!  I had one side panel from the previous owner, but he had misplaced the other one.  IMG_20160520_200538977.jpgHey Mike! He punched out two fresh metal panels, based on the original, but then moved jobs and didn’t have the same access to the metal shop after that. So the side panels are by the washing machine, waiting!

IMG_20160826_104613662.jpgDuring this time I had to find the side pipes that could make the bend I wanted and look like massive exhaust ports, as well as figure out how they would attach to the fenders and the side panels.  To make up my mind, I had to do some mock ups!  I used various round items to figure out how big each tube should be, and then laid them out on the fender to see how they should be spaced out.  I had decided on 4 tubes, so I just started taping and moving stuff around.

IMG_20160722_155643933.jpgYes, that is old school sprocket fed printer paper! I don’t have the printer anymore, but now and then it comes in handy for a banner or paper side panels for a batmobile!  I just cut out circles and moved them around until I had a clear idea of how they were going to be spaced, and where they hit on the panel and the fender.

So I searched for Duesenberg side exhausts, and replica old cars with the side pipes and it was a frustrating search. Everything I found was either too small, hard to find, and most importantly wouldn’t bend hard enough for my project.  I bought and returned a few pipes and nothing was right, but then I was walking through Home Depot and spotted something that might work, vent tubes!



So here’s a rare shot of when I just balanced them on the side fenders (without cutting them, so I could still return them if I didn’t like it) The right size, the right bend, but after working with them, they were too easily dented and I knew I needed something more rugged as I would be bombing around in this eventually.  Good enough for a museum display, I could have cut them and they would be fine, but eventually I had to take them back.



So I didn’t get very far on the side panels and pipes, but I did get a clear idea on what I wanted and how it should look.  They will be just for show, as I don’t want them to discolor or have to try and reroute the exhaust for no reason.

Lastly, the BAT FACE!  The face is obviously very important, and choosing the right face meant going back and looking at all the different expressions, angles and ways it was mounted on all the drawings and toys.

Mike Carey stepped up again, and wanted a shot at building the bat face!  He was juggling a lot and it wasn’t a rush job as I was being distracted by the “Mach N8” and a few other projects.  Time passed and finding spare time for Mike to work on silly things like this is hard to do in a busy schedule.  Then I helped him get his dream star car, and I knew he should focus on that… oh, and his family and work and stuff too! 🙂 . But big thank you to Mike for being willing, he now has ghosts that are counting on him for a ride!  So back to the drawing board!

The next chapter all started when I got a notice that a infamous “batcar” was lurking near my house for sale…   STAY TUNED for the GRX that triggered a tidal wave in the Star Car World!


8 Responses to “1940 Batmobile Build part Part 5”

  1. 1 Aaron
    February 4, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Hi it’s 2019 now and what happened to the 1940’s bat mobile build? This is my favorite bat ride.

    • 2 Nate Truman's starcarcentral
      February 5, 2019 at 2:48 am

      Hi Aaron, thanks for the push! I was filming the Walmart famous car commercials, and the holidays got in the way. Then I started restoring/creating an A-Team van waiting which all ment the 1940’s batmobile got pushed down the line of projects! I’m hoping to get the bat face built and mounted later this year! Stay tuned, Batfans, the best is yet to come!

  2. 3 Michael Tumlinson
    December 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Nate, It is the day after Christmas 2021.
    Just found, & read this whole story, and am dying of curiosity as to any progress. I’m a life long fan of all Bat-things. All iterations & eras. Your build is fascinating!!!
    Hoping that the last couple of years has kept you and your loved ones safe.
    Seriously would love to see an update, thanks for your time, and Happy 2022.

    • 4 Nate Truman's starcarcentral
      January 1, 2022 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Michael! Well 2 years ago I found out I had ALL Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a blood cancer. I am one year in remission today! Also had Covid between Thanksgiving and Christmas! I hope to feature the car in an upcoming episode of “Auto/Biography in 2022! Still deciding on “just for show” side pipes and figuring out how to attach the giant fin and still get into my trunk where the battery and spare tire are! Now that the rain has stopped and I am feeling better, I will be back at the 1040 bat build and my Mach 5 Speed racer car. stay tuned bat-fans, the best is yet to come!

      • 5 Nate Truman's starcarcentral
        January 1, 2022 at 10:59 pm

        1940. not 1040! Taxes on my mind~

      • 6 Michael Tumlinson
        January 2, 2022 at 12:13 am

        Nate, Thanks for the reply! I’m very sorry to hear about the Leukemia, but very happy to know that you are in remission! I understand completely. You probably know that most people really don’t know how to respond when someone tells them about their cancer. It’s awkward, & uncomfortable for them. They want to be helpful…but.
        I say that I do understand, because I am stage 4 terminal. Colon cancer, Had surgery, (whipple), in 2018, finished chemo Feb. ’19, and was clear. By April 2019, Dr.s said 6 to 9 months. Still here, and plugging along. On Immuno therapy, that is slowing it down, and I’m grateful for every minute. I’ve made my peace, and try to laugh about it, and have fun. Usually I tell folks that I’m past the freshness date. Wasn’t really intending to say all of that.
        Anyway, I look forward to seeing any & all of your Posts. Hope that you enjoy every second,

  3. 7 Nate Truman's starcarcentral
    January 2, 2022 at 5:04 am

    Keep up the fight! We don’t decide when our ride starts or ends, but its our job to make the “dash’ between the numbers interesting! Yeah, the numbers of survivors is not great for ALL, 40% dead the first year, but I’m still here too! If you are ever in Southern CA you get a tour of my batcave!

  4. 8 Michael Tumlinson
    January 2, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks for the invitation. Would absolutely love to see the Bat ave! Who knows? It may happen.
    Meanwhile, here in North Tejas, the fight continues. Keeping active is helping. In fact, I’m learning how to play with my new Christmas 3d printer. Think I will attempt Batmobile’s thru the years. You keep up the good fight as well, and have a great 2022.

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