This Documentary Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know About the Batmobile
Movie cars are by far the coolest vehicles you can’t buy. The Mustang Bullitt, the Mustang Eleanor, and the Pontiac Trans Am are just a few examples of cars that became icons after being features in movies. But there’s also an impressive list of fictional cars that became legendary, and the Batmobile is one of the finest examples.
With production of new films now on halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, Warner Bros. Entertainment released a one-hour documentary about Batman’s means of transportation. And it teaches you everything you need to know about the Batmobile.
Car collector Rick Champagne has every right pop open a bottle of his last name after becoming only the second owner of one of Hollywood’s most iconic cars. He had to sweat out a feverish bidding war for the George Barris’ original 1966 Batmobile, the same one used in the Adam West Batman TV series. In the end, however, his checkbook did all the talking to the tune of $4.2 million at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The winning bid price might seem steep, but given the kind of car the ’66 Batmobile is, we presume that it was worth every last penny from Champagne’s bank account.
With the classic movie car now belonging to him, Champagne only becomes the second owner of the Batmobile after Barris, the same man who famously built the Batmobile in only 15 days in time for it to be used in the Batman TV series. On top of the car itself, Champagne also went home with number of memorabilia and documentation from Barris’ own personal collection.
Not a bad haul for Mr. Champagne!
Though it’s not a combination of a slick motorcycle and gargantuan, rocket powered beast, the original ’66 Batmobile does require you to wear the cheesy costume if you plan on driving it. Or if you simply want to showcase this great piece of cinematic history amongst your car collection, it will be up for grabs at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, on January 19, 2013.
Built by legendary car customizer George Barris, legend has it that this car was put together in just 15 days, though there wasn’t any actual record of the car being put together at that short amount of time.
After being given $15,000 (which was quite a lot in ’66) and the short time frame, like any realist would do, Barris used a Lincoln Futura, which he bought for $1 about a decade earlier, and repainted it black. Since CGI effects were considered a thing of the future, Barris had to fit all the ridiculous crime-fighting gadgets to the car. The gadgets included: the Batphone, the Emergency Bat-turn Lever, the Batray, the Bat Beam and best of all, the Bat-tering Ram. It even comes with a working parachute from a drag racer.
Fancy gadgets and paint jobs aside, this car is a 390 cubic-inch V-8 powered Lincoln Futura. When the engine was in the Futura, it featured 330 horsepower, but the current output was not released. With a "bubble" roof and some futuristic design cues, the original 1950’s Futura concept gave the public insight on what future automobiles would look like. Looks like they got that concept totally wrong from where we’re standing today.
While most people sell their cars at half its original price, George Barris will be making a big fortune when he sells his black old Lincoln Futura at Scottsdale. Good work, Mr Barris...
We’ll update this review with the final selling price once the auction closes.