Tuesday, February 26, 2013

1952 Lincoln Futura (Ghia)

Regarded as a clue to the "shape of tomorrow in American automotive styling," the Futura dream car measured only 52.8 inches from the top of its double-domed plexiglas canopy to the ground. Designed by the company's stylists and engineers to serve as a laboratory on wheels, the car had many innovations adaptable for production vehicles. A special Lincoln experimental chassis added to the ground-hugging appearance. Ground clearance was six inches at the center of the frame and 7.2 inches at the side rails. Both the cowl and the rear deck were less than 35 inches from the ground at their highest point. An inch short of 19 feet in overall length, the Futura was 84.6 inches wide and had a wheelbase of 126 inches. In order to preserve the clean, uncluttered lines of the instrument panel, controls were contained in separate compartments in the lower half of the panel, and each compartment had its own flexible roll-down door. Toggle switches were set into the chrome interior of these compartments. Reading from the driver's left were the heater, lighting, accessories, radio and glove compartment. Each light control switch had a label which was illuminated when the light was on. The steering column binnacle contained warning lights for fuel, battery and temperature and high-beam light indicators. The fuel tank light was green when the tank is full, amber when the gas supply dropped to half a tank, and red when the supply was low. The lower half of the binnacle contains the speedometer, while a tachometer and odometer were centered in the steering column. Pushbutton control of the Turbo-Drive automatic transmission eliminated the gear lever. Chrome pushbuttons, square for reverse and park, and round for neutral and the forward gears, were located in the functional pedestal dividing the two front seats. As a safety measure, it was necessary to go through two operations to move from reverse to a forward gear or from forward to reverse. As an additional safety factor, the parking gear control was linked with the roof controls so that the car could not be operated if the roof section were raised. On the cowl in front of the driver were five different-colored lights which indicated what gear the car was in. The sweeping shark-fin rear quarter panels of the all-steel body housed functional twin air scoops. The lower half of each scoop directed cooling air for the rear brakes. The upper half was ducted to provide fresh air for the air conditioning system. The front end of the Futura was set off by a concave grille with unbroken vertical members and parking lights at each end. Headlights were housed in the skillfully contoured front fenders which swept into the center portion of the hood. Ford unveiled the long, low but sharply finned Futura in 1955. If this car — with its twin-bubble cockpit cover — looks familiar, it’s because Ford later sold it to Hollywood producers who converted it into the Batmobile for the 1960s "Batman" TV series. Source: Internet