The original Batmobile from the 1960s Batman TV show will be sold at auction early next year, its owner has confirmed.
The iconic vehicle, a black and red-pinstriped monster that was used by Adam West’s Batman, will be open to bids in a January 19 auction at Barrett-Jackson, a rare and classic auto auction house in Scottsdale, Arizona.
If you’re thinking of making the trip to Arizona to grab your very own slice of Batman history, I advise you take a few briefcases of banknotes. While neither the auction house or the car’s owner George Barris would reveal the reserve price for the vehicle, chief executive of Barrett-Jackson Craig Jackson warned:
“Let’s just say it’s in the multimillions. The car is true Americana. It’s hard to put a dollar figure on something like that.”
The one-off vehicle, a two-seater Lincoln Futura concept car, was entirely hand-built in 1954 by Ghia Body Works in Turin, Italy. It was unveiled in its original white paint finish in 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show.
Ten years later in 1965, 20th Century Fox Television asked Barris to devise a car that could defeat Batman’s enemies. Barris set about working on the car in his auto shop in North Hollywood. Within 15 days, and having spent just $15,000, Barris had transformed the Lincoln into the beast we know today from the classic show.
Barris, now 87, admitted to The Los Angeles Times that selling the car would not be easy:
“It’s difficult to part with. Whoever the lucky buyer is, I hope they have as much fun with it as I did.”
As can be seen below, the most recent Batmobile is a far cry from the original: