Al Neblett's 1956 Oldsmobile Four-Door - The Batmobile

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An early photo of Al with the first iteration of the Olds. This version was painted Silver Gray with a Candy Apple Red top. Photo courtesy of Earl Steen.
A photo of Earl with the Olds that James Handy took at the 1974 Street Machine Nationals. Photo courtesy of James Handy, provided by Earl Steen.
A photo proof from the Street Rodder July 1978 article about the car. Photo courtesy of James Handy.
Another photo proof from the Street Rodder July 1978 article. Photo courtesy of James Handy.
Another photo from the James Handy photo shoot. This photo was taken at the A&W Drive-In. The 1951 Mercury belonged to Al Asnicar, and the sectioned Ford belonged to George Oniniskie. Photo courtesy of James Handy.

Featured Story

1956 Oldsmobile Four-Door Hardtop owned by Swanx of Vallejo member Al Neblett of Vallejo, California. "My Olds was built from a car that had suffered an interior burn," later owner Earl Steen told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in November of 2022. "Boyd Neblett, the owner of Vallejo Auto Body, had to attend a business meeting, and he told Al, his son, to leave the car alone as he would be back later. When Boyd returned a couple of hours later, he found the car in one stall and the top in another." The guy that did the bodywork was named Elvis. Earl couldn't remember his last name in 2022.[1]

The Batmobile

In addition to a chopped top, the car received finns that were dressed up with 1957-1958 Chrysler taillights, a modification that made the car known as the "Batmobile." Once the bodywork was completed, the car was painted Silver Gray with a Candy Apple Red top. The first iteration was completed in 1957, and it was shown at the 1957 Napa Valley Rod and Custom Show.[1]

Pearl White with Candy Blue Scallops

"In 1959 the car was repainted Pearl White with Candy Blue scallops," Earl told Kustomrama, adding that Al used the car to drive to and from school. "His dad used the Batmobile as a tow car to his luscious T-Bone roadster show truck."[1]

Earl Steen

Earl Steen of Vallejo, California was thirteen years old when Al, Boyd, and Elvis began working on the car, turning it into the Batmobile. After buying the car, he installed a 1963 Oldsmobile V-8 and automatic transmission to make it more reliable. He also added homemade side pipes and Cadillac wire wheels.

Still Around

Late in 2022 the car was owned by Paul Garelie of American Canyon, California.[1]

Magazine Features and Appearances

Street Rodder July 1978



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