Photos courtesy of Scott Schwartz and Putsch Racing
This car replicates the Batmobile from the 1989 movie starring Michael Keaton as Batman that was directed by Tim Burton. This film is significant in that it is the first of the modern Batman movies that changed the direction of the character as it was portrayed in the campy 1960’s TV show. The character of Batman is culturally significant the world over and likely because the character is the most relatable of all super heros in that Bruce Wayne is a normal human that only wants to make the world a better place.
Throughout TV and movie history, the Batmobiles shown on screen have merely been props that are dubbed over with movie magic and clever editing to give them their fantastic powers. The movie cars used in the 1989 films were quickly built on stretched Impala chassis to be used on the movie sets and were not really worthy of being considered “cars”. While there have been some look-a-likes built around the world that were able to be driven to limited extent on public roadways, there has been one large aspect missing from the equation…a military turbine engine!
Even since that campy TV show of the 1960’s, the Batmobile was portrayed as being turbine powered. The character of Bruce Wayne was a billionaire industrialist with nearly limitless connections and resources. The fact that his secrete crime fighting car could only be constructed by such a character only adds to the mystique of the character. Unfortunately, that has also made it highly improbable that a real one would ever exist.
Enter Casey Putsch of Putsch Racing
“I think most every kid liked Batman, and having grown up in the generation that saw the 1989 film as a child, I always loved the Batmobile. What car guy doesn’t? Who doesn’t imagine driving around in the Batmobile? That being said, my primary drive in life is to become a professional race car driver with an eye on Indy Cars. Over the years I have learned a great deal about engineering and gained a wide array of skills from personally preparing and restoring race cars from the last 80 years of automotive history. With my interest in history, I have learned a great deal about man’s technological achievements in everything from racing to manufacturing and from space exploration to war. This background and that childhood excitement for a fictitious character is what gave me the unique ability to create the worlds only turbine powered Batmobile.”
Putsch Racing Batmobile Specifications:
Military Boeing turboshaft helicopter engine
20 ft long
7 feet, 5 inches wide
2800 lbs without driver (est)
Steel tube frame/monocoque chassis
Fully independent cockpit-adjustable pneumatic suspension
Limited slip differential
4 speed sequential shift, semi-automatic transmission with reverse
Digital avionics with I-Pad for app support, GPS, and satellite internet
Infra-red and visible light spectrum reverse cameras with cockpit monitor
On board fire suppression system
(The car is currently both registered and insured for the road in the United States)
The engine is a turboshaft engine created by Boeing. It was most extensively used by the US Navy to power a drone attack helicopter. The helicopter was used in the late 1960’s to drop two torpedoes up to a 70 mile radius away from a ship to protect against enemy submarines. The engine uses its jet thrust to internally propel turbine blades that spin an output shaft after going through a planetary reduction gearbox. The engine burns Jet fuel, Kerosene, or diesel. Its output of 365 hp gives the Batmobile a similar power to weight ratio as a Doge Viper.
This car was designed with racing engineering in mind as well as being a fully serviceable and functional vehicle. Considerations were made with the engineering so that the drive train can be installed/removed from either the top or the bottom of the car. Maintenance with this vehicle is much less than that of a normal production car. Military turbine engines have very few moving parts and are designed to withstand extreme environments with ease of serviceability in mind. The only service needed with Putsch’s Batmobile is simply to change the turbine’s oil and filter when needed. Other than that its service is that of a normal car with regard to brake fluid, pads, tires, transmission oil, and fuel filters. All of which are low maintenance items. The oil in the turbine is NOT subjected to the extreme conditions in a normal piston engine and lasts longer and stays almost completely clean until it is time to change.
The car seats two people in comfort and has a modest trunk in the rear. The car is controlled in the same manner as any production car with a gas pedal, a brake pedal, an adjustable steering wheel, and a shifter. While the turbine engine is very exotic to most people, the Batmobile was designed so that anyone can operate it with only basic instruction.
The car has had a 100% reliability ratio throughout testing and street driving. It has been driven through big city stop and go traffic as well as the highway. Rain does not have any adverse effect on driving the car nor does the cold of winter prove troublesome to starting as is the case with normal production cars.
The car’s impact is simple…people are in utter disbelief! Shock and awe would be most appropriate to describe this car. Completely transcending the exotic and collector car world; no car on the planet draws the same kind of positive attention that the turbine Batmobile does. If parked next to a Veyron, few people would even notice the Bugatti and likely none would once the Batmobile starts up and drives away. “Move over Jay Leno, there is a new cool car in town!”
Video of the turbine Batmobile:
Batmobile wins at Ault Park Concours d’Elegance:
Documentary of the drone helicopter that the engine came from:
I’ve been around a lot of unbelievable cars in my days…multi-million dollar, rare pieces of automotive and racing history. But none have gotten the attention that this unique vehicle does. I don’t care if you’re at a concours event and there’s a row of some of the most rare and valuable cars right next to it. The Batmobile will win the popularity contest every single time!
While I was attending the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in Cincinnati, Ohio this summer I ran into Casey Putsch down on the main lawn, and asked him where the Batmobile was displayed. He pointed to the front of the event and said I could find it up there. Well I walked up and around several times, but just couldn’t seem to find it. Later in the day I went back once again to see the car for the first time and quickly figured out why I couldn’t find the Batmobile. It had such a huge crowd of people around the car that you couldn’t even see it. At the end of the show, it was no surprise when Casey sent me a text message saying that his Batmobile won the People’s Choice Award. Congratulations my friend…it was well deserved!
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Esoteric Auto Detail. Restorative Detailing / Concours Preparation