Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Great Batsby...

So, yesterday, someone posts this link on Facebook. It's a picture of a 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom I. This car:

Doesn't that look like the Batmobile as envisioned by Art Deco himself? If Tim Burton had made his "Batman" movie in 1939 instead of 1989, I suspect this would have made the perfect vehicle upon which to base the Batmobile.

The automobiles of the early part of the 20th century were, IMHO, the most beautiful creations to roam the streets. The "lead sleds" of the 1950s had the massive tailfins, the 1960s saw the muscle car era, the 1970s witnessed a race towards gigantism, followed by the fuel crisis, the 1980s were crapboxes, and the 1990s had quasi-aerodynamic genericars.

The 1920s and 1930s, though, had some beauties...

That is all.


Robert the Biker said...

Very nice! Somewhat reminiscent of the (similar era) Bugatti Atalante Coupe. Just about all the serious companies made something art deco in the 30's, nowadays it's mostly uniform crap; even things like Ferraris and Lamborghinis have a tendency to look alike.

Anonymous said...

We've become very boringly efficient these days.

BenC said...

Something like this

Robert the Biker said...

Bentley did one too, can't find a picture, called the Embirracos (?).
One was driven by its owner from the UK to Le Mans after the war, placed high in class, then driven home; this in a 1937 car with about 30,000 on the clock. I have one (in 1/43 scale, don't get over excited : ) )and they are a lovely thing.
How did we get to be so damned boring!

Anonymous said...

That is the Jonckheer coupe, the only one ever built. Since all cars in the 30s were built as body on frame construction, (just like a pick-up truck) if you didn't like the standard Rolls-Royce, Duesenberg, Cadillac or Bentley body you could buy just the rolling chassis and have it sent to the coach maker of your choice for a custom body and interior. If you read the adverts on for Rolls-Royce you'll see Arthur Mulliner, HJ Mulliner, Freestone & Webb, Barker, and Thrupp & Maberly all made coachwork for the very wealthy.

To avoid import duties in the '30s Rolls-Royce sent rolling chassis to Brewster in the USA who built and installed the coachwork. Fisher and Fleetwood made custom order coachwork for Cadillac and LaSalle before being bought up by GMC.

Regarding Rolls-Royce reliability, in 1907 or 08 a 40/50 (Silver Ghost) was entered in the Scottish Reliability Trial with the intention of running 10,000 miles without stopping the engine. The car completed 14,371 miles, quite impressive considering that it had ignition points and manually adjusted valve tappet clearance. That feat established Rolls-Royce as 'the best car in the world'.