GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES and the Batmobile Parachute Pickup Service

When life gets tough, I find great joy in in the cellophane cover of cardboard and styrene.

LINDBERG is an American hold-out model company.  LINDBERG does quality work at a decent price.  They have a “no questions no problems” policy and will mail you more parts if you ask them for it.  It’s a shame, because the Japanese kick their ass with higher price point models that feature greater detail and precision in more exotic subject matter.  LINDBERG makes some off-beat subject matter, like this hot-rod Dodge A-100.  Thank god for them, ‘cuz there’s no other way to get this baby.

The Dodge A-100 was a source of inspiration for the So-Cal kustom car culture.  As the box indicates, a dragster version made the scene, so loved that HOTWHEELS even made one in 1/64 scale.  The Dodge A-100 was also America’s workhorse utility vehicle in the Sixties.  Me, I love that hot-mess front end design.

I crack the cellophane and go through a ritual I’ve known my entire life.  Engine block, rear axle, transmission, front suspension and axle, chassis, and wheels.  It’s a nice v-8 and everything glides together in a flurry of paint trays full of parts.  I add the floor panels and prep the front seat and dash.  $25 later for this:

I don’t want a hot rod, I want a ding-dong Dodge A-100, so I get on the yammer and get the JIMMY FLINTSTONE STUDIOS.  These guys are model car nuts who have a big fricking swimming pool full of resin.  The lovable perverts sculpted and casted the un-touched, kustom free Dodge A-100 body.  $25 more dollars and it arrived in glorious beauty:

Resin models arrive with all open areas completely covered in resin.  It’s the way these guys work their dining room casting machines.  I’ve started cutting out the windows.  I still need to cut the headlights and grille and then sand the edges.  That’s a small bother, because these guys cast a perfect body: no bubbles, no flaws, no screwin’ around.  Clean up those windows and boom: I’m a Dodge A-100.

So here we have it:
A Mid-Sixties Dodge A-100, baby-blue utility truck, with Gotham City license plates, dated 1966.

As for GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES, my pal Joe and a bunch of like-minded guys lead by editor Jim Beard decided that a life-long affection for William Dozer’s BATMAN TV show was worth creating a collection of critical essays about the show and it’s influences.  They got it published by Sequart:

If you are loving your latest BATMAN ARKHAM video game, I’m thrilled.  Did that Heath Ledger Joker just about make your day?  Awesome.  Are you ready to riot over Ben Affleck’s casting?  Don’t get your Bat-Panties in a twist.

Me, I go to the absurdity and brilliance of 1966 BATMAN.  The humor, color, and outright artistic inanity of it makes me smile broadly.   Batman and Robin use their atomic-powered Batmobile to jet around Gotham City and fight crime.  When they make a wrong turn and have to bolt back to Commissioner Gordon, they employ the Batmobile Emergency Turn Parachutes and pull a hard 180 turn.

Now, rather than leave those 10′ dragster parachutes lying in the middle of a busy Gotham street, Robin calmly picks up the bat phone and dials – who else, but:

The Batmobile Parachute Pickup Service

The show producers used their great Hollywood 20th Century Fox studio resources to make the show happen.  That means a ton of cobbling of sets, locations, and props.  One prop was the beloved Dodge A-100.  It was the go-to henchmen vehicle for the show.  IF they had ONE, it was probably repainted and fitted with a new sign every other time you looked at it.

Here’s a great compilation from the 1966BATMAN website, by A. Pennyworth, to prove my point:

I love this show.  LOVE it.  It makes me happy every time I watch it.  That’s something to be thankful for.


PS- If the $50+ price tag is too steep, you can find a pretty decent A-100 HOTWHEELS that will work too.

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