The original TV Batmobile has sold at auction for a whopping $4.6 million. The proud new owner plans to display it in his living room!
Selling the Batmobile
The iconic car — built for the 1960s ABC TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward — went to the auction block this month at the Barrett Jackson auction house in Scottsdale, Ariz. Many replicas of the car have been built and sold over the years, but this is the original that has remained the property of George Barris throughout the intervening years. Barris built the car for the ABC show.
“It’s difficult to part with,” Barris said before the auction. “Whoever the lucky buyer is, I hope they have as much fun with it as I did.”
Barris, who has become a legend for customizing such iconic vehicles as the Beverly Hillbillies jalopy and the Munsters Koach, was given 15 days to build and $15,000 to finance the car’s construction. With limited time and resources, he decided to modify an existing vehicle, rather build a Batmobile from scratch.
The basis for the TV Batmobile was a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which itself was inspired by the Lincoln Mark II. The finished product is the image we all think of when we hear the the phrase “Batmobile,” in spite of several dazzlingly-designed reboots in later years.
Sadly, it did not pack working rockets, oil slicks, laser beams and the other devices depicted on the TV show. That was all special effects.
“I saw the script and it said, ‘Bang,’ ‘Pow,’ ‘Boom,’” Barris said. “That’s exactly what I wanted the car to do. I wanted it to be as big a character as the actors.”
We’d say he succeeded and then some.
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Champagne dreams come true
Barrett Jackson kept the name of the winning bidder in the Batmobile auction a secret. But the winner came forward on his own, giving an interview to Speed TV. Rick Champagne, owner of the transportation company Champagne Logistics in Tempe, Ariz., revealed that he had a toy of the car as a child, and has always wanted to own the real thing. Now he does, more than $4.5 million dollars later.
But what does Champagne plan to do with his pricey acquisition? He’s going to display it in his living room, of course. Perhaps he will sit in it when he watches Batman on TV. I know I would if I were him.
In spite of the Batmobile’s final price tag, it did not fetch the highest price at the auction. A 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider sold for $8.25 million, and a 1960 Ferrari Berlinetta “Competizione” fetched $8.1 million.
Car Deal Expert: http://www.cardealexpert.com/news-information/auto-news/original-batmobile/