Original TV Batmobile to be Auctioned in January 2013
Posted Friday, Dec 7, 2012 by
Forget the Wayne Industries Tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s recent “Dark Knight” trilogy. The neon-lit speedster from the Joel Schumacher movies and the retro 1940s-inspired jet-turbine-with-wheels from the Tim Burton features are just as disposable. For fans of the Caped Crusader, there’s one and only one true Batmobile: The pearl black and blazing red pinstriped ride from ABC’s campy “Batman” series from the 1960s. And it’s going up for auction
The classic TV Batmobile was designed, built and owned by legendary car customizer George Barris. Under time and budget pressures, Barris built the iconic crime fighting vehicle by modifying an already eye-catching 1955 Ford Futura concept car. (Those distinctive double-dome windshields are actually from the original Ford design.) While most TV series make multiple versions of “hero” cars to aid filmmaking, there was one and only one Batmobile used in the “Batman” TV series, which ran from January 1966 to March 1968. As a result, the car is considered very, very valuable.
How valuable? No one is saying what the car’s reserve price is, but experts speculate it’s in the multiple millions. The fact that several Batmobile copies are currently on the road is not expected to diminish the car’s collectors value. This is, after all, the real deal.
The Batmobile is just one of many famous custom cars Barris created for the movies and TV during the 1960s. His other famous rides include the Munster Koach (aka the Drag-U-La) from “The Munsters” TV series, the Clampett’s dilapidated truck from “The Beverly Hillbillies” and the fictional 1928 Porter for the infamous Jerry Van Dyke comedy “My Mother, the Car.”
George Barris’ classic Batmobile is scheduled to be auctioned January 19 at Barrett-Jackson, the classic auto auction house in Scottsdale, Ariz.
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