There have been many versions of the Batmobile since the legendary George Barris built the iconic Batmobile in record time for the Batman TV show that debuted in 1966.
But most car guys of a certain age will agree that the original Barris Batmobile is the only Batmobile truly worthy of the Caped Crusader.
We loved the Batmobile as kids and we love the Batmobile as very mature (age-wise anyway) adults. Many of us built the plastic Batmobile model when we were too young to drive anything but a pedal bike and now somebody will leave Scottsdale with the real Batmobile. We will envy that person as much as if he left that building with any of the Catwoman actresses in their 1966-67 TV prime.
George Barris had the right idea when he turned a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that was gathering dust at his custom shop into the most famous crime-fighting car in history. George knew that the Futura was most of the way along the road to the ultimate visual for a Batmobile.
George gave it the perfect look for the Batman TV show and the rest was history. I can recall my first episode of Batman and how impressive the special effects seemed to me at the time. Sure Adam West was a little undersized for the Batman role, but that really didn’t matter too much because the Batmobile and Julie Newmar (the first Catwoman) completely distracted me from any debate about a skinny Batman actor. The actual Batman actor was pretty incidental at the time.
I was at a pivotal age just before the onslaught of full-blown puberty when cars and girls were in a neck and neck race in my life. Eventually women would win the day, but in 1966 it was too close to call because I was too young to drive a car or date hot Hollywood actresses. Instead I built plastic models and read my older brother’s Playboy magazines.
The Batmobile was one lean mean crime-fighting machine and it was well above the red-line on the cool factor gauge. We wanted that car as much as we wanted Catwoman and we had no idea what to do with either of them.
But somebody in 2013 will know what to do with the Batmobile on Saturday at Scottsdale. They will buy one of the most famous cars on the planet and we hope that the Batmobile will still be accessible to the public when the new owner decides its future.
Hopefully the new owner will understand how much the Batmobile means to a whole generation of fans who were instantly hooked on the car almost 50 years ago and would still love to be able to see it at some point in our lives. The original Batmobile was a time and a place in our childhood that we will never forget.
Holy Middle Age Geezer Batman!
Was it really 47 years ago when the Batmobile patrolled the streets of Gotham and our childhood dreams?
Here’s a look back at an MSCC article about meeting the legendary George Barris in person.