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Original Batmobile sells for $4m

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    For many Batman fans, this is the car that will always be the true Batmobile. Photo Gallery

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Holy TV icons, Batman. The Batmobile has been sold for $4.2 million ($4m).

The 1960s TV show Batmobile – and for many Batman fans, the car that will always be the true Batmobile -- went under the hammer on the weekend at US auction house Barrett-Jackson.

But the car that hit rocket-thruster icon status in the schlock small-screen show was not born as the black ultra-finned collection of Bat gadgets that shot it to fame.

The 1960s Batmobile was customised from a one-off 1955 Lincoln Futura concept prototype that was unveiled on the Ford stand at the 1955 Chicago motor show – in a pearlescent blue-white finish. It also later got a red paint makeover for a bit part with Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford in the 1959 movie, It Started With a Kiss.

See our gallery of Batmobile photos.

But its life as the Batmobile didn’t start until about five years later, when the TV series brought its air date forward and needed a vehicle within a couple of weeks. The producers dumped the existing car plans and knocked on designer George Barris’s workshop door – behind which the Futura had been gathering dust.

The concept car had cost Ford around $250,000, but Barris had bought it from them for a nominal $1 after the Chicago show. He completed the customisation in three weeks – and the Batmobile was born.

“The 1966 Batmobile by George Barris is one of the most famous Hollywood cars in history and it has become a true icon that has been carried from generation to generation of Batmobiles to follow,” Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson said.

“This vehicle not only marks the significant Bat logo that sits on the middle of its door, but a time in television history where they defied the odds of making a car the real star of the show. It revolutionized an entire industry that followed in its footsteps and we couldn’t be prouder to have it cross our block in Scottsdale as it goes up for sale for the very first time.”
 

Comments on this story

Displaying 2 of 2 comments

  • Well this is the Best Batmobile the rest. All the other Batmobile which was use in The movie Franchise are insult to this. Adam West is The Best Batman of them all. That I got to say

    Original Batman fan Posted on 22 January 2013 6:19pm
  • This is not the original Ford Futura prototype that was bought for the series by George Barris. The way you can tell from the exterior is the original has a scollop in front of the headlighs. As for underneathe the car is will have been welded back together after it had split in half from when Adam West drove into the Bat cave and came to a screaming holt as they always did. You will also find that there is a 1966 Ford Galaxie Chassis they bolted the Uni body to to prevent it from splitting from in behind the doors again. There were three other copies made all built on the Fords 1966 Galaxie Chassis with no uni body attatchment and no scollops in the bumper for the headlights, These could one of the ones for auction. From the photgraph that is what I suspect is being sold unless it is being used a reference because you could not find an original photgraph of the Ford Futura conversion.

    a. thomas of Melbourne Posted on 09 December 2012 3:14pm

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