The original Batmobile fetched just $137,000 at auction on Saturday, reported Reuters. It is certainly a small fraction of the $4.2 million that a buyer paid last year for another version built for the television show that aired during the 1960s.
Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale, confirmed that the 1963 Batmobile, a replica of the sleek black ride used by the DC Comics superhero, was up for auction for the first time since it was cast off and forgotten decades ago. The auction house hasn’t divulged who was the lucky person that bagged the prized car, especially for such a pittance.
Incidentally, the vintage Batmobile was put up for auction by Toy Car Exchange LLC, an online marketplace for collectible cars. The company had earlier declared that it had recovered and carefully restored the Batmobile to its original state. The company fell short of confirming the amount it had spent on restoring the Batmobile to its formal glory, but did mention that the restored Batmobile is now in pristine condition.
Original, Vintage And Seductively Beautiful Batmobile Built In 1963 Goes Under The Hammer For Just $137,000
This particular Batmobile holds special interest because it was designed by a diehard Batman fan Forrest Robinson, who spent more than three years customizing a 1956 Oldsmobile 88. He painstakingly fit the Oldsmobile with a 324 Rocket engine to resemble the single-fin vehicle commonly depicted in DC’s Batman Comics from the 1940s and 1950s, reported Boing Boing.
The work culminated in 1963, right before George Barris began building a Batmobile for the ABC TV series “Batman,” which aired for three seasons until 1968. However, the official iteration that made it to the silver screen, the Barris Batmobile, managed to fetch a handsome price of $4.2 million in an auction that was held last year.
Nonetheless,the popularity of the television series made Robinson’s Batmobile quite a sensation. In fact, a DC Comics licensee leased the car from Robinson and rebranded it Batman’s Batmobile for touring, primarily on the East Coast. Meanwhile, multiple replicas of the TV Batmobile were assembled, and Robinson’s Batmobile was returned to his garage until the man sold it a few years later.
The Batmobile didn’t resurface till 2008, when a hawk-eyed man found it rusting in a New Hampshire field, shared Heritage officials. The car has since changed many owners in quick successions, before being picked-up by Toy Car Exchange in February last year.
Though the car has been sold for a lot less than what it is worth, auction officials are confident it won’t be the case if and when this vintage crime-fighter’s urban transportation becomes available again.
[Image Credit | Reuters]