The Ashley Batmobile
by J. Fredrick Lawrence
|In February 1937 Dr. Stephen Ashley enlisted the help
of his younger brother Robert to help design and build a car that would "go like a
bat out of Hell." The brothers set up a work room in the back of the family bakery on
Point Loma that the two had recently inherited.
They started with a 24 cylinder, 1,000 horsepower motor out of a wrecked PB-M Seaplane that Stephen had purchased from the Navy. Much of the body of the car was fabricated from the plane's aluminum pontoons. Instruments and seats were also salvaged and used in the car. Although the car was driven on the road only once, yet still holds the unofficial San Diego speed record from Gwen's Café in Point Loma to Chez Café in La Jolla. The car was however extensively raced at the San Diego Auto-Drome on Harbor Drive. The car was destroyed in a fiery crash November 2, 1939. Dr. Ashley would later ghost-write a series of Batman stories for DC Comics.
|Table of Contents
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