Archive for the 'DC comics' Category

21
Jul
16

The Batmobile no one drove… Part 4

By Nate Truman

(Part 1 is found HERE!)

By waiting and buying the perfect donor car, I had jumped over months of work! I skipped taking the car to and from shops, and haggling over price and workmanship.  So I found myself in a great place starting with the fun  details and the finish work!

After registration with the DMV, looking for insurance, it was time to go over the car.

I went through all the paperwork to see what had been done.  As the dash was all custom, I had to get acquainted with all the switches, find the fuse box, etc.

The door handles had no locks, but I had been given a set of new replacement hot rod handles.

There were no windshield wipers.

A gas leak had emerged from the rear of the car.

The trunk wouldn’t open, and it had no lever, just an electronic switch.

The battery was dying because the lights would come on when I had the door open, but the battery was locked tight in the trunk!

The door handle could be a blog by itself!  Figuring out how to remove a door panel in a “regular” car is hard enough, but a hot rod with custom interior, shaved doors, custom glass and reversed hinges proved to be a long learning curve!  After many attempts I finally got the interior panel off, only to discover why the new handles had never been installed.  There was no way to get to them!! Surrounded by sharp metal, there was a clamp like paperclip to hold the handle together. A custom metal piece held the handle in place with two screws.  If you removed the screws, it fell down into the door with a thunk.  So I used magnets, dental instruments, tiny clamps along with a lot of sweat and attempts to finally operate on the driver door and successfully replaced the door handle.  After not being sure if I would ever get the door to close and latch again,  I decided to wait on replacing the passenger side for now.  I had an interior lock on that side, so I could at least key lock the car now.  wp-1469070448128.jpg

Next I knew I needed some bat hubcaps to replace the jag emblems, and a bat in the steering wheel if I was going to keep that.  It came with what I think was the original horn, but was rusted beyond recognition.  I will try and restore, but it may be hopeless.

wp-1469070359281.jpg I would have to find a 1940’s police siren anyway, you know, for crimefighting!     Also I wanted to make another big bat somewhere on the motor, and the whole dash needed the batman treatment! To the Bat-garage photos!!

 

So first things first, off with the Jag center caps, on with some period bats I designed and cut by my friend, the late great Eddie Paul.  (He was my “brain builder” and we had started the project a few weeks before his passing.  I love that guy, and I am proud that his talented hands worked on this final project.  He will be sorely missed.)

wp-1469068025636.jpgI swapped out the Jaguar logo for a bat in the steering wheel, until such time as I want to swap it to either a banjo type classic wheel (They are very big, so not leaning that way) or some other custom bat wheel! A custom car is never finished!

The couple of drawings in the comics of the dash in the car were a brown dash of the basic variety, (The shot above was the most detailed drawing of the era) but I know bat fans wouldn’t go for just a plain dash!  So out it all came, and I wrapped it in bat black, added a ww2 aircraft panel and dug into my magic box of switches and dials.  I had to have a FEW bat-gadgets! Just for me!  I moved the stereo into the glove box so the modern stereo couldn’t be seen, but I could still play batman music!

Ace the Bathound stood guard by the car most days, powered by what else?  Gentle Giant Dog food, created by Burt Ward!

Remember that shot from the 40’s cop car? Well, I got a ww2 hand unit to connect to the dash, and a period linesman phone for when Batman had to make a call.  With this piece of crime fighting equipment, Batman could clip into any phone line anywhere, and dial anyone, while being untraceable!  It was very nostalgic to spin the dial and have that feeling again to make a call!  I know it will be a fun attraction to show kids!

wp-1469068013900.jpg

Found the smallest blades 9″ and the smallest arms from a 70’s VW bug.  Batman’s ready for the storm!  The car was sliced in the back and the front of the roof was lowered, so the windshield had to be custom cut and it’s not very tall!

wp-1469068052976.jpg

Finally I made a bat for the back wall like in the toy, but I dropped it on the air cleaner, and liked it way better there. wp-1469070468922.jpg I had one spot in the dash I didn’t have figured out, but once that was filled in I could reinstall the dash.  Then I would have a cool bat themed hot rod, ready to take to car shows!  I think I have to start driving this thing soon!  Sorry for the cliffhanger, but that’s all for now!

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!

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12
Apr
11

A new Batmobile in London?

He is the iconic Caped Crusader who has starred in comic books, television series and film franchises for the last 70 years.

Now Batman is making his stage debut in one of the most lavish theatrical productions ever to appear in London, at The O2 arena. Gotham City will be brought to life in Batman Live, with a huge stage lit up by a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and special effects.

Today the villains that Batman and sidekick Robin will face during the show were unveiled as the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman. Creative director Anthony Van Laast, who has worked on West End shows and Hollywood movies including the latest Harry Potter, said: “It’s got stunts, it’s got Batman flying, it’s a big lavish spectacular – this is going to be a really good piece of theatre.”

The Dark Knight will be helped by a brand new Batmobile created by Formula One designer Professor Gordon Murray, which will drive on to the stage before skidding to a halt.

A 100ft screen shaped like a bat will act as a backdrop for the special effects, and characters will be able to fly around the set thanks to a grid suspended above the stage. It will also include an action sequence where the Joker tries to escape in a hot air balloon, only to be shot down in flames.

The story of Batman Live follows the young Dick Grayson, a circus performer whose parents are murdered, and how he becomes Batman’s sidekick
Robin.

It will tour the world for five years!

For more details go to batmanlive.com.

But batman the musical idea has been around a while, and even was featured in one of the Batman:The animated series episodes!

Take a look! One of my favorite clips!

14
Feb
11

STARCARCENTRAL.COM BACK AT MONSTER JAM FOR TWO WEEKENDS!

Thanks to Monster Jam Fan Charger Steve, it’s now been three years that Nate Truman’s  star car central gang and Steve’s San Diego star car owners  have appeared with the monster truck drivers at Monster Jam events!   Both in San Diego and Anaheim, and this year for the first time at Dodger Stadium!

Monster Jam 2011 Charger Steve leads the way around Anaheim Stadium with Nate Truman's StarCarCentral movie cars.

Charger Steve's Mystery Machine!

On Feb 12 10 famous movie and tv cars took a lap around Anaheim stadium and enjoyed the show, and this weekend on the 19th, EIGHTEEN star cars are in the line up to appear!  (Let’s hope for no rain!)

STEPHEN BOGGS  JURASSIC PARK MONSTER TRUCK!
ARI AND HIS JURASSIC PARK JEEP

NATE TRUMAN AND THE BATMOBILE
Paul  WITH THE BTTF DELOREAN
JASON BUCKARRO WITH TRANSFORMER RATCHET

JON WITH HIS TRANSFORMER CAMARO BUMBLEBEE

OSCAR   WITH THE MAGNUM P.I. FERRARI
LOU  WITH THE  STARSKY AND HUTCH TORINO
CLIFF AND   JUSTICE WITH THEIR  NASCAR HERBIE THE LOVE BUG
brian  WITH HIS JAMES BOND BMW WITH NEW ROCKETS
Sue KESSLER AND HER GET SMART MACHINE GUN WIELDING SUNBEAM
ALEX  AND SON  WITH KITT FROM KNIGHT RIDER

PAUL MILLER AND HIS MAD MAX INTERCEPTOR

PLUS FROM CHARGER STEVE’S SAN DIEGO CHAPTER JOINING IN THE FUN WILL BE THE BLUES BROTHERS 2000

MIKE TOWMATER TRIBUTE TOWTRUCK

STEVES GENERAL LEE FROM DUKES OF HAZZARD

TONY’S SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT TRANS AM

AND OBI SHAWN AND YODA WILL BE THERE IN HIS  STAR WARS CAR “H-WING”

Your ticket to Monster Jam includes entry into the drivers area where the star cars will be on display!

Come say you are a fan of the blog and meet the owners – and get a photo with your favorite movie or TV car!    Pray for no rain on Saturday and we will see you at DODGER STADIUM at 2:00 pm! Then stay for the show, we will take a lap inside the stadium as part of the pre-show around 5-6 pm! Cheer on your favorite car!  NITRO BURNING FLAME THROWING CRASHES!!!  And that’s just you trying to get into the parking lot!  Come say “HI” and we will see you there!

For fans of FACEBOOK, Starcarcentral.com International now has it’s own page to see all the photos from members at the event!

09
Feb
11

Can you design the next batmobile urban assault vehicle?

Here’s a challenge for all the builders that want a chance to design something along the lines of a functional batmobile, or futuristic version of today’s HUMMER.

If you ever wanted to design a super car loaded with as many weapons and tools as you could imagine (think your own personal Batmobile), now is finally your chance. Not only do you get an opportunity to design the craziest vehicle you can dream up and see it built in real life, but you can also win up to $7,500 in prize money from the Pentagon’s research branch, DARPA.

There are a few simple rules that you do have to keep in mind though:

  • The vehicle has to use “tubular steel chassis with existing GM LS3 V8 powertrain,” which is the steel frame pictured below.
  • Has to carry up to five passengers, including up to three people lying down.
  • It’s got to carry up to 1,200 lbs and tow up to 4,000 lbs

As long as you follow the three rules above, you can get as creative as you want with your design. Thinking of stealing some ideas from the Transformers movie? How about jet propulsion and speedboat ability? Go for it. DARPA is open to all suggestions. Submissions are to be in before March 3, 2011.

body 300x75 Ever Wanted to Design a Military Supercar?

To find out more information and submit your designs, click here.

I have a chassy ready to go, but I don’t think it will seat 5 people even if they are lying down!

05
Jan
11

Batmobile History through the years!

Thanks to BATMOBILEHISTORY.COM

My netpal Bill has done a great service to all the batfans, he has documented and collected everything ever built or called a “Batmobile” in the comics, movies and TV and put them in order!   I want to thank Bill so below is his home page write up of his quest! Years ago Bill  gave me credit years ago for some info on the 66 batmobile and I managed to send him a few batmobiles he didn’t know about yet, I don’t think that’s possible now!!  So if you think you can send him something he DOESN’T know about the batmobile, check out his site or read his write up below about why he did it!

Batman first appeared in May of 1939 in Detective Comics #27, and although the first true Batmobile did not appear for another two years, it has become one of the Dark Knight’s best known weapons.

The Batmobile made its career debut in Batman #5, then appeared on a comic cover for the first time for Batman #20. Because of different artists’ interpretations of what the car should be, it changed size, shape, and features frequently. Later, as the car was marketed beyond the comics, more forms appeared based on practical or aesthetic considerations. In the 1960s, the first full size, fully operational Batmobile was built for the TV show Batman, and had to face financial and functional questions. A few years later the design of this car would be modified for use in the Superfriends cartoon series, with the unique considerations of making a car that could be easily drawn repeatedly for animation. Then, nearly three decades after the TV series, Batman returned to live action with Warner Brothers Batman movies. At about the same time, Batman: The Animated series came out, with a whole new take on the design of Batman and his universe. All of this was on top of the natural evolution of the car over 60+ years, taking into account new technological features like the jet engine and the computer.

I started collecting data on the Batmobiles a few years ago while trying to research a model project I was working on (you can visit my scale model site here). I discovered that there were very few reference guides to the Batmobile, and none of them covered the complete history of the car. Many focused only on a single generation (such as the Futura Batmobile), or they covered a particular genre (TV, cartoons, movies, etc.). As I collected information from all of these sources, I decided to put together my own history of the Batmobile.

Before I started this project, I had no idea how convoluted the history of the Batmobile could be. Over the last decade I have learned more about the car, the creators behind it, and Batman in general than I ever expected. Still, there’s a lot that I haven’t learned yet. If you know of anything that belongs here, or if you have any information on an existing entry, send me an e-mail at spencer1984@yahoo.com.”

You can also send any cool Batmobile art or designs to me at info@starcarcentral.com

19
Jun
08

New Star Car Record! 12

Star Car Association - Batmobile, Herbie, Starsky and Hutch, Delorean and more

star car central

Actually, we had 14, but two of the new Bullit Mustangs had to leave before the photo shoot!  Lou, our “Starsky and Hutch” Torino owner, is mainly responsible for the success of this event, because he offered his house and a great BBQ meal to lure the star cars out of their garages.   We started the day with a car show that benefited the Girls Basketball team, and it was worth it (even worth the bad sunburn I got and am still recovering from) because not only did we have a great turn out of Star Cars, but we found four more at the show with a few leads to new members!

Cars in attendance were:  Starsky and Hutch Torino, Rod Riguez Custom, Back to the Future Delorean, Magnum P.I. Ferrari, Batmobile, not one, not two, but THREE Herbies, the ever popular Star Wars car, and the premier of Charger Steve’s new Smokey and the Bandit Trans am!  Then a beautiful Elenor from Gone in 60 seconds pulls in, and I invited him to park with us and Chuck pulled right in with us!  What a beautiful car! You could eat off of his engine, that was one clean machine!  Once I got finished making sure all the Star Car members who said they were coming were in place (Glad you made it Jerry!) I started looking around, and found a nice Bullit replica, Jesus is putting together a nice car!  Then Dave pulled in with his car and parked with the team, his car has been on the cover of a magazine and he had just come from a Steve McQueen tribute show.   Then I noticed Charlie’s nice green fastback, but he was quick to point out several non “bullit” details on his car: different wheels, chrome was not removed etc.  but as I had been hunting to add a Bullit mustang for a while, to have three of them show up at one show was too much!  Also Jesus and Dave had to leave right after the show, so Charlie graciously pulled his car in for our group photo to represent the new addition!  Even though we have 4 General Lee cars in the group, none of them could make it (Bob tried!) so that was the only car missing from our original first meet (that’s the photo up top from the TV show shot at the magic castle.)

A great photo, great friends and stories, not too hot of a car show, and lots of new members and leads on new star cars, it couldn’t have been better!

Cars now in our sights, Dave said he knew of another Smokey and the bandit, Jason found a Dragula and the Joe Dirt car and we are tracking those down, and Mark (Adam-12) is working on a Squad 51 Emergency! truck!

We still have another 5 cars in the wings, that we will have to add to our next big get together, the black Beauty from the Green hornet, the Blues Brother’s police car (Blake was working at Universal…) The General Lee, tango and cash truck, Seans GhostbustersScooby Doo van (next time, Joe!) , Jason’s KITT from Knight Rider, Mad Max (we missed you Paul!) Gary’s Highway Patrol, Martin’s Christine, Duke’s Mustang… that’s my new goal, to get all of those guys for an even bigger toy collection!

More photos here!

http://s216.photobucket.com/albums/cc226/theuiga/6-15-08%20Star%20Car%20Summer%20Meet/

02
May
08

Star Car inagural event at the Magic Castle

Well just a Back to the Future car and a Batmobile wasn’t enough. I wanted MORE star cars!

The first 4 car gathering happened next.   Thanks to my magician friend Brian Ochab, the first official event for the Star Car Association or SCA was put together at the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.   The magic castle is an invitation only club for magicians and if you can find someone to invite you, it’s an amazing place, the food is great, and the magic is everywhere!

Through various connections we added two more cars for a television piece on star cars and their owners, for LVTV and it aired nationally.  New to the group was Anthony’s  “Striped Tomato” Gran Torino from Starsky and Hutch, and Dave Stizenger’s  General Lee Charger.

After we all arrived we swapped stories on why and how we put our various star cars together, while getting interviewed for the television show and taking lots of photos.   We had a great time doing donuts in the parking lot, shooting off my afterburner and doing burnouts.  Really we were 4 big kids playing with our toy cars in an empty parking lot!  That “price of their toys” bumper sticker came to mind as we all had big dumb grins on our faces, and climbed into each others cars.

After all the shooting was done, we decided to go get something to eat together, so out drives the Starsky Torino, the General Lee, the Back to the Future Delorian and the batmobile in a row, driving down Hollywood blvd!  We turned a few heads, some other observers thought it was for some kind of promotion.

At that time a “first” happened for me.  Now when you drive a batmobile replica down the street, you get used to a few things pretty quickly.  People honk and scream out their windows, sing the bat theme to me “da  da da da da da batman!” ask where is Alfred or Robin.  They will slam on their brakes, ask questions while not watching the road, and take photos with cell phones.  That’s when you are NOT in Hollywood.  So the 4 of us were weaving through rush hour traffic to find a place to eat, and we all had to make a left turn.  It was a situation where even though lights would change, there wasn’t a place to go on the other side of the intersection.  So Starsky and the general lee turn, and even though the light was changing, I stuck to the Delorian’s bumper so we could stay together.  Then it happened!  Some guy who couldn’t have cared less I was driving the Batmobile honked at me for GETTING IN HIS WAY as I finished turning!  LOL!  Since then I have been honked at for being in someones way only one other time…. guess where? Same area, turning into Hollywood and Highland, where they do the Oscars for another interview with the Batmobile for TV guide Channel.  (Look for it to air when the 2008 batman the dark knight movie comes out this summer.)  It was a great day for me, as my idea of a Star Car Association finally was happening!   The photo on the top was taken that day, and for some reason wordpress doesn’t want to let me add a photo today!




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