By Dave Ashton
When it comes to writing about pertinent muscle car topics, we could talk about how Ford has recently dropped the Bullitt Mustang and GT350 in favor of the Mach 1. There’s also the topic of the C8 Corvette getting a Swiss edition, presumably to boost European sales. However, we prefer to yak on about frivolous topics like the link between superhero movies and muscle cars. In this case the new Bat bloke movie and his muscle car derived Batmobile.
In this latest iteration of the Bat bloke franchise, Mr. Wayne is seen in the first few years of his Bat career donning the black cape. Thus, a more basic, but still tough as nails Batmobile was needed. Production designer James Chinlund and producer Dylan Clark spent a long time refining the car design, while also taking hints from previous Batmobiles, such as the red tail lights and firebreathing exhaust.
As Bat dude is just starting off in his early years, the car had to be more about function, while also being intimidating to baddies. The car we see in the film is custom built from the ground up, with a V8 engine producing 700 HP in four-wheel drive. Thus, what we see in the film is no way computer-generated, but down to the skill of the designers and stunt drivers.
The new Batmobile is more of a custom creation, designed by Mr. Wayne independent of Wayne Enterprises. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to see muscle car influences being used, as a huge chassis was needed, with room for a huge V8 engine, and obviously the American car influences of the day.
I Want a Muscle Car
Isn’t it strange how we see something on screen and then have a yearning for those objects? We suspect the situation will be no different with the new Batman movie.
Even in the early stages of the movie release, talk of the Batmobile and its muscle car influences are going hand-in-hand. The knock-on effect could mean a heightened awareness of the muscle car scene both past and present. As the new Batmobile isn’t any one brand or model, awareness and appreciation could increase for all types of muscle cars.
If we look back at the Transformer movies, GM saw a doubling of sales in the month of the Transformers 2 movie being released. While it’s unlikely all current muscle car manufacturers will see increased sales across the board due to the new Batman film, the heightened awareness is a push in the right direction.
Any TV show or movie that shows a particular vehicle center stage is a great promotional tool. In season 5, episode 4 of ‘Breaking Bad’ Walter Jr. is treated to a Dodge Challenger SRT8. That shifted a few extra cars for Dodge at the time.
The next steps are to see how the likes of Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, and independent muscle car makers capitalize on the heightened awareness. Will Dodge bring out a limited edition, blacked-out Hellcat with bat symbols? Maybe something from independent builders like a Hennessey, Roush, or Lingenfelter limited edition model?
Blue sky thinking aside, any movie or TV show that raises the awareness of the muscle car scene is a good thing. We just hope the new Bat movie is a smash, with the main talking point being, ‘ what are these wild and exotic muscle cars and where can I get one??’
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