Friday, October 30, 2009

I always wanted a Batman Tumbler

Let's face it, most of the previous Batmobiles looked cheesy.  Even though Batman is a make believe character, I always hoped that the items they used were more realistic.  Many of the vehicles designed for the Batman movie franchise were purely for looks.  A lot of the modifications they did to (then a standard corvette) actually made the vehicle more unstable at speed.  So besides for looking good, they could do little else.

Then came the Tumbler.  I loved the way the vehicle looked and was even more excited when I heard it was a real vehicle.  The vehicle was designed from scratch to handle at speed.  Even many of the move sequences were shot with the vehicle going north of 80 mph.  This got me really excited about the vehicle.

Maybe it's because the car I drive now gets absolutely no respect on the road, or maybe it's the increase in horrible drivers, and maybe it's a bit of both.  But more recently I have really, really wanted to purchase a Tumbler.  I'm pretty sure no one will try to cut me off or have road rage when they are going head-to-head with the Batmobile itself. 

From the research I was able to find online, the vehicle uses an actual 5.7-liter Chevy V-8 engine.  The engine is tuned to provide the necessary power to take a 5,000-pound vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds.  Not sure if I believe that is possible -- but cool aspirations nevertheless.  In addition, the rear axle is a standard tractor trailer axle with 37-inch-diameter Super Swampers made by Interco.  The front wheels are Hooiser race tires.  From that point on, all of the parts are custom made, including the front steering and suspension.  Aww snap.

From what I read, the firm that developed and built the vehicle for the move is under strict gagging order to not release any details regarding the design as well as build the vehicle for any other potential client.  On top of that, the claimed price of the vehicle is north of $250,000.  A bit beyond my price range. 

Interesting enough, some other individual who had much more skills than I did had the same idea, and built the vehicle from scratch using only the information available to him online (so essentially the items I listed out above).  Although the vehicle does not look exactly like the movie tumbler (especially the front wheel assembly), the resemblance is very close.  The individual who built this car, Bob Dullam, claimed he spent $50-75,000 for all the parts necessary. 

Amazing job!  I wonder if he would be willing to build them at cost for someone else...

Below are some additional pictures of his handwork:

Video about the Tumbler design:

Tumbler in Real Life:

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