To the Batmobile! Meticulous replica enters LA auction
Getting hold of a legitimate Batmobile is a task worthy of Bruce Wayne himself. But we have a solution…
For some, the true Batman isn’t George Clooney sporting rubber bat nipples or Val Kilmer exercising his ego on camera. The greatest Bruce Wayne isn’t even Michael Keaton or Christian Bale. For most of us, it’s Adam West – camping it up with 1960s mayhem and introducing many of the features now idolised as staple of the series; including his Batmobile.
While far from the original on-screen Batmobile – that honour going to the 1939 Cadillac Series 61 convertible – West’s incarnation brought gadgets and technicolor to proceedings, leaving a cultural mark felt like no succeeding model.
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In late 1965, 20th Century Fox Television contracted Hollywood car customiser Dean Jeffries to design and construct the Batmobile for an upcoming TV serial. Starting with a 1959 Cadillac, Jefferies was in fact paid off when he couldn’t hit a revised deadline before the project was handed to the legendary George Barris.
Originating as a one-off 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, created by leading stylists at Ford and built at a cost of $2 million, Barris had purchased the vehicle for a nominal fee of $1 after it starred in It Started with a Kiss with Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford. When tasked with creating the Batmobile, the concept machine became the perfect base.
Naturally, you’re going to want it. Yet, with the machine fetching $4.2m (£3.2m, €3.7m) at auction on January 19, 2013 with Barrett-Jackson, the bank account needs to sport Donald Trump-levels of audacity. However, there is a solution.
Heading to auction today at The Petersen Automotive Museum is a replica that will stop traffic. Powered by a Chevrolet V8 powerplant and showcasing all the period details that made Barris’ creation such a hit, while it hasn’t starred in anything other than the owner’s fantasy, the clear dedication to the project ensures that only hard-nosed fans of the 1966 show could tell otherwise.
Looking for something different to fill your garage space? Get a closer look at this Batmobile replica here.
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