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Original Batmobile slated for January auction

December 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a custom car, and a classic car. But it's not just any custom classic. It's the original Batmobile from the campy 1960s TV series.

"Everyone seems to love the Batmobile," said car customizer George Barris, who conceived, built and owns the car.

There have been duplicates made, but Batmobile No. 1 goes to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., next month. It's an ultimate piece of entertainment history.

"And if comic books can bring a million dollars why can't this iconic car bring multiples of millions?" said Craig Jackson, CEO of Barrett-Jackson.

Barris built the car after getting a call from 20th Century Fox when the "Batman" series was getting started. And he had a head start, having bought a former Ford show car called the Lincoln Futura. He then needed to give it personality.

"The mouth had to go over in this direction, the head had to come up in the middle and doing things, and then the bat fins went out to the back," Barris explained.

The car became such a huge sensation that it toured the country and spawned countless scale models.

Barris has a lot of great memories and stories about the car, and one of his favorite comes from when he was testing the car and its bat-chutes. Barris decided to pop them on the Hollywood Freeway for a photographer, just as a the California Highway Patrol happened to be nearby.

"'Here's a ticket for you, you're not supposed to pop bat-chutes on the 101 Freeway!'" Barris recalled.

So many stories, such a well-known a car, and the bidding could be fierce for this piece of automotive and television history.


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