Even by California car spotting standards, this one’s pretty rare.

You come across some rare cars if you stroll around Southern California long enough but this one might take the cake. According to a video shared by Model Citizens CC SoCal earlier last week (Aug. 8, 2018) a very convincing replica of the 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept car was spotted parked behind a Wine and Beer Garden in Temecula, California. Check out the wild video for yourself below!

Is the above video down? Here’s a copy.

You’ll have to excuse whoever shot this video in vertical, but he probably was too flabbergasted to remember to shoot correctly in the first place.

Although there’s a company in Indiana making replicas of the Ford Futura, this isn’t one of them. In fact, the current custodian of this car, Mark Towle of Gotham Garage, showed up in the comments in response to a comment left by the grandson of Roy Brown, the Futura’s chief designer.

According to Todd Brown, Roy Brown’s grandson,

“Whoever originally posted this video see if you can find out the owner to that vehicle and see if it is for sale. There is a reason why we are interested in that concept vehicle because I am the grandson of Roy Brown the chief designer to that vehicle that was made back in 1955 even though that is a copy of the 1955 Ford Futura concept car there are some things he could not copy exactly. We do have the original blueprints of that vehicle and we would like to put it exactly the way it was in 1955.”

How astonishing is that, that a video posted on Facebook would net the original design blueprints of the 1955 Lincoln Futura.

Although it’s not as popularly known as it was back then, the original 1955 Lincoln Futura concept was sold to famed car customizer George Barris who turned that concept car into the Batmobile of 60’s TV lore.

But, to pull off a convincing replica like this one isn’t all that bad, really. And now that Mark Towle has access to the original blueprints, surely he’ll perfect this replica into near-mint concept car condition.

This surely isn’t the first time this Futura Replica was spotted out in the wild. Just a couple of months ago it was parked at the 2018 Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California.

Parked next to some ordinary looking cars of today, it just goes to show wild styling like this wouldn’t make it past the initial sketch phase in today’s crossover filled landscape.


  1. I am confused. I just finished watching ‘rust to riches’ the netflix series about Gotham Garage. The final episode depicts this car at the Pomona car show and it indicates that the car and the shop truck that transported it were both sold to Keith Dean, son of Dick Dean for over 170,000 dollars. This may have been a fictionalization to finish the series and the sale really did not take place, but maybe the fact checkers need to take a look into this and see what the story is.

  2. Gotham Garage were silly to sell it, And that Truck he waited to own for 10 years! That was his dads truck when he was a little kid man! OMG!!! and they sold for 170K foolish beyond comprhension.

    • IKR???
      Crazy!!! The Futura would’ve gone into a major bidding war at auction! They could’ve easily gotten $170K or more for the Futura alone. And kept their shop truck!
      The guy who bought it knew what he was doing by not letting it go to auction.
      The Gotham guys in this instance seriously undervalued their work.

      • Are you for real? It was all fake.

        The fiberglass shell came from Dean. He didn’t buy it in real life. And no, this would not have sold for $170,000 since it was a replica.

          • The original Tim burton 1989 batmobile sold for 4 mill and the first futura cost ford in 55 250,000 and sold to Bariss for the original bat mobile for 1 dollar it wasn’t registered and could not be insured so was not road useable and barriss turned it into the batmobile no more futura never will be there was only 1 and it was made into the 66 batmobile.

    • Sold both for $170,000 AND got a very nice 1936 Ford!
      I’d say they made a great deal. I was so happy for all of them. They worked darn hard on both of those vehicles.

      But you gotta watch Season 2.

  3. This Futura in the video is a hack job. In the episode on TV, watching it in hi-def, you can easily see the poor workmanship and even sanding marks and gouges in the fiberglass under the paint.
    The Gotham guy said he’s been studying the ’55 Futura for years and was going to make it into as close as possible a replica of the original Futura, and then they go a put a modern Chevy engine/trans in it and DUB style 20 inch rims. Jesus, the ’55 was a rare Ford that had a Ford drivetrain. Gotham’s is not a replica, it’s an approximation with a newer Corvette drivetrain. Wrong choice, guys.
    Regarding the cabover: On the show, when Mark was talking about the cabover truck he absolutely had to get because his father (who, sob sob sob, wasn’t around much when he was growing up) drove one, he also went on, and on, about how the big completed cabover (with the worst painted faux wood simulation you could imagine adorning the sides) was going to bring in so much business when seen out on the road. Then they just sell the ugly thing with the shitty Futura. So much for Dad. And some dumb rich a-hole pays $170000 for the whole mess. Unbelievable.
    Just a bunch of phony baloney, like all the other boring reality shows, and their boring, cliche-ridden monotone ‘actors’. (OK, Caveman is a lot of fun).
    And there’s always a deadline.
    Maybe if they wouldn’t impose these ridiculous deadlines and therefore have to rush the shit out of a job that needs time to do well, they’d have done the Futura justice.
    Don’t take my word for it, watch the episode with the ‘completed’ Futura on Netflix. Use your pause button on the ever-so-short shots of the car (lest you get a good look at the terrible workmanship), and look at that mess of a car.
    Then look at, for example, Hibernia Restorations’ completed vintage automobiles, and decide which one of the 2 type of shops should have completed the historically important Futura
    (Mark said it was an extremely rare and accurate fiberglass body, maybe one of one in existence with the correct dimensions; if this is not true-it is a ‘reality’ show after all-then I guess it really doesn’t really matter that they did such a poor job, but it is irritating that they try to pass themselves off as so utterly competent).
    Also, to the dude (Paulo) who wrote this piece, I’m sure you’re a good guy, but you need to have someone proofread for you; some of your paragraphs are just unreadable. One last thing, the Batman TV show that featured Barris’s Batmobile was produced in the 60’s (1966-67), not 70’s. Let’s not misinform, the president does enough of that for all of us!!!

    • The worse was the splitting image, the windshield were barely held in place, a lot of stuff left to be desired… and I am no mechanic or knowledgeable in cars. But I can see when stuff is misaligned…

    • I don’t think it was really a Bob Butts mold, only because those molds were of the batmobile and then used to remake the Futura, Also the hood scope is to prominent in the front, looking at old picture you see it smoothed over more. Oh and the original color was white, with real pearl finish, not green, although popular at the time, that isn’t the color for the original.

    • My thoughts were the same as yours. They worked on this less than 3 weeks. The girl from the show even stated that the other people taking cars to this show usually spend a year building their cars. I can agree with her statement as I have seen many cars built for the purpose of showing and you just don’t put one together in 3 weeks with top notch quality. My first reaction when they rolled it out of the paint booth and into the sunlight was oh my god. It looked very rough. Paint only magnifies the work under it. And yes I have over 4 decades of experience in paint work. This car deserved much better. Deadlines caused corners to be cut. At least it is a good starting point for someone else to finish later. I’m not sure where he got the info on the paint color because all the press releases that I read from the 50’s state that the car was pearl white before being painted red for the movie “It started with a kiss”

    • All I hear is a bunch of whiners and complainers from jealous haters who would have done this or would have done that…no one wants to hear your negative thoughts about the beautiful work they do. If your so good at working on custom vehicles then wheres your netfix show???

  4. The Splitting Image can currently be found for sale on the Gotham Garage website. It has a completely different paint scheme than the one shown in the show. Asking price is $149,000.

  5. John Valentine, i believe the corvette engine and drivetrain was for the splitting image car, not the futura. The Bob Butts fiberglass body had a working engine and drivetrain that just needed to be cleaned up. For a guy who wants to be a perfectionist your memory of the show sucks.

    • Maybe you should listen to the show before insulting the person with the correct facts.they clearly state the car came with a 350 Corvett engine that just needs a little love. The car and for that matter the shop truck are both a low quality p.o.s. From the garbage spotlighted on the show and poor quality put into them I wouldn’t let them work on my bicycle.

  6. For anyone who knows who mark is and the Gotham
    Garage……it’s Gotham for a reason. They built and drove 66 and 89 Batmobile’s and even got sued by Warner bros. I’m sure the story was nicely made up for the show as I personally spoke with a rep for the company 10 years ago and they were. Planning a futura back then as they have all the Batmobile molds

  7. Why insult, people enjoy the show and if it gets them excited about restoring vehicles – GREAT! I know reality shows are not all that real, but I found the show fun and entertaining. As far as the lawsuit – he made the mistake of trying to copy the batmobile without asking Warner Brothers – he tried to save his work. Tons of garages do this – I bet Hotwheels could make a fit about the splitten image cars (Somebody – somewhere has the patent rights to it), but why?

    • I did too! Everybody’s got to say something.
      I’m with the person who said maybe it will inspire someone. To restore autos! Why me a bummer person. Be happy you must’ve enjoyed it or why waste your time watching it!!!
      YOU ROCK!!!!!!

    • I did too! Everybody’s got to say something!
      I’m with the person who said maybe it will inspire someone to restore autos! Why be a bummer person a nay sayer! Be happy you must’ve enjoyed it or why waste your time watching it!!!
      YOU ROCK!!!!!!

  8. Não acho que seja o caso de ser desrespeitoso nem nada, mas que o trabalho final ficou péssimo para o padrão de uma restauração, isso é um fato: das fotos e vídeos à disposição na internet já fica fácil identificar pequenas irregularidades e defeitinhos no projeto – e não é preciso ter restaurado um Lincoln Futura para saber isso, basta já ter feito qualquer restauração (até pq, até onde sei ninguém fez isso no mundo até hoje – me recuso a chamar esse trabalho).

  9. Building a lincoln replica on a gm chassis is just ignorance, regardless of how good or bad the workmanship is, it ruined the whole idea of what the car was supposed to be. It’s no better than building a Ferrari replica on a fiero.

  10. Well, it kinda looks nice but the original Futura had a steering wheel, not hand grabs. Not sure why anyone would go through all the trouble of making a “replica” and doing that.

    • They build that steering wheel because there are pics of that steering wheel being made but they did not used it on the prototype for the World Fair….

  11. I think overall, they did great. Seriously they did what they had to do to get the 55 futurea. No one is perfect so get your own 55 , sure they’ll have something to say about your job. I’ve owned over 60 plus classics and antiques, can’t make everything better or perfect when you’re short on time and have a family waiting at home for you. SJ- Orlando Florida.

  12. The brush strokes of white paint brush on faux wood paneling in coe was horrendous and if u look close there were no gauges in the COE..ALSO the seat covers on splitting image had huge wrinkles and the cockpit shoild have been on needle bearings and flush to keep out rain.
    Horrible worksmanship..but constance tits and ass are amazing
    The gm valvetrain in a ford is called a cross dresser…bad as a foxbody with an LSx and 400gm tranny..

  13. I would cruise that futura in a hot second! Bash it all you want classic car pros! It was the most exciting show ! I was on pins and needles to see it finished ! I wasn’t disappointed!

  14. There’s to much talking just build it
    It’s a tv show is it even a real shop
    The folks seem a bit fake maybe I’m wrong
    But what’s a motor girl? Yeah it’s an engine
    The west coast loves trailer queens the show only gives quick glimpses of work who
    Really does it ? I want to know

  15. I love the show fake or not to do that truck and that replica in 30 days is almost unbelievable to me and if they really pulled it off in 30 days with the budget they were working with they killed it always going to be haters if you can pull something like that off in 30 days with a small crew and I believe what a 30 $35,000 budget and the the engine girl is pretty damn hot Like it or not fake or real it is entertaining


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