Behold the 1958 Firebird III

General Motors rolled out the Firebird III at the 1959 Motorama. Designed by Harley Earl, it was a concept car aimed to show off futuristic concepts, and indeed lent various features to future GM models. The look was intended to resemble the latest military jet fighters. Instead of a steering wheel, the car was controlled by a joystick! Some of the features you couldn't see were ahead of their time, too, like a guidance system designed to avoid accidents.

Of course, when you and I see it, we think of the Batmobile. The vehicle used in the 1966-68 TV series Batman was a customized Lincoln Futura, another futuristic concept car, from 1955. That show was the only place most of us ever saw a car with such huge fins and a double-bubble cockpit. Concept cars were relegated to car shows, and that futuristic style of the 1950s was already old by the time Batman premiered.

Read about the innovations of the Firebird III and see plenty of pictures at Rare Historical Photos. -via Damn Interesting ā€‹

(Image credit: Karrmann

More Neat Posts