HOLY AUCTIONEERS, BATMAN!

by Joe Ferguson on December 12, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, a little piece of bat-history could possibly be going up on the auction block January 19th, 2013: The original Batmobile from the 1966 Batman television series. It will be a very happy day for the new owner of vehicular justice personified and a sad day for crime, indeed.

Up for auction next month at Barrett-Jackson, the original Batmobile is a modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car built by George Barris. The original Futura had already begun its acting career 7 years earlier alongside Debbie Reynolds in “It Started with a Kiss”. Debbie may have been prettier than Adam West, but she didn’t have all the Bat gadgets.

The Batmobile is the ultimate in detective-style crime fighting machines. Just a sample of Batman’s gizmos includes the infamous Emergency Bat-Turn Lever, Batscope, and a cable cutter mounted to the nose. The Futura itself was an experimental car in its own right. Even before becoming the Batmobile, the futuristic-themed vehicle already featured a bubble top, external microphones to pick up outside noise, and a push-button transmission.

Barris, the Batmobile’s designer, had only 15 days and $15,000 to complete this project. It’s amazing that in such a short amount of time he was able to create one of the most iconic cars in pop culture history. Batman’s signature ride has been in Barris’s private collection until now, making this auto auction a rather historic event for enthusiasts of the “Caped Crusader”.

There’s no telling how high the price of the Batmobile could climb at a car auction of this magnitude. Barris initially purchased the Futura from Ford Motor Co. at the whopping price of $1. It’s an easy prediction to say that the final bid will be substantially greater.

This goes to show that you never know what piece of automotive history is going to turn up at an auto auction. Whether you’re just looking for a pick-up truck or something Batman tooled around in during the ‘60s, auction houses churn out great deals on used cars. As far as used car value goes, it doesn’t get much better than buying Bruce Wayne’s old ride.

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