Original Batmobile Expected To Sell For $6 Million
Holy ultimate collectible, Batman! The original 1966 Batmobile will officially hit the block at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, and it’s expected to fetch upwards of $6 million. KACHING!
It’s the same vehicle used on the ‘60s-era TV show starring Adam West. Before receiving the whole caped-crusader treatment, the car was originally the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. Then it got a wildly restyled front fascia, a black paint scheme with orange trim, custom wheels, and enough gadgets to stop even the most cunning of criminal minds. A few standouts would include the batphone, hidden bat-laser beam, bat-radarscope, bat-ray, emergency bat-turn lever and bat-tering ram. POW!
Dean Jeffries was originally contracted to build the Batmobile, but the studio needed it faster than Jeffries could deliver, so the project was eventually handed to George Barris. After buying the Futura concept from the Ford Motor Company for $1 (plus “other valuable consideration”), Barris reportedly had it parked behind his shop. Despite an original cost of $250,000, the car was uninsurable, and thus sat idle for years. However, after looking at the Jeffries’ early design work, Barris knew the Futura would work as the Batmobile. The build took three weeks to complete, and it remained in Barris’ personal collection for years, finally trading hands for the first time at the 2013 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction for $4.2 million. BLAM!
According to Roger C. Johnson from the Barrett-Jackson Collection, most high-end collectible cars are so rare, few people can even recognize them. “However, possibly the most desirable and collectable car of all is one that every man, woman or child in the free world can easily identify without the slightest hesitation,” he says. “The original Batmobile will always be one of those cars.” BANG!
I just hope some dastardly evil-doer isn’t planning a heist… ZWAPP!
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Why it matters
This is a brilliant time to the flip the original Batmobile, and for a number of reasons.
First, interest – with movies like Batman Vs. Superman and Suicide Squad nearing release and video games like Arkham Knight already out, interest in the Batman franchise is running pretty high right now. Throw in a good dose of nostalgia for “how things used to be” for those folks with enough money to buy this collectible, and you can bet the gavel will fall with a profit for the seller.
Complementing this, we’re currently seeing other truly insane numbers in the collector car market right now. Classics, sports cars, old racers, even movie and television cars are trading hands with absolutely monumental jumps in valuation. The rich are, as they say, getting richer, which means those that can afford to drop several million on a toy to park in the garage can afford to spend another couple million on top of it.
That means the original Batmobile will trade hands for far more this time around than it did just a few years ago. The real question is when will the bubble burst? Look for our coverage of the upcoming auctions in Pebble Beach to see just how crazy the prices will get.
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