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Under the hood of the historic Batmobile up for sale (pictures)

This officially licensed custom-built 1963 Batmobile can be yours for a mere $90,000. But as with all cars, you should take a close look before flashing the cash.

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Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
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Batman's sweet ride up for auction

The Batmobile has gone through numerous incarnations, from the original Golden Age comics, to the '60s "Batman" TV series to the modern-day movies. We've even seen the Batmobile hitch a ride on the Millennium Falcon in a video "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams posted online in response to "Batman vs. Superman" director Zack Snyder's first glimpse at the new Batmobile.

This Batmobile, styled after the original Batman comics, is up for auction through Heritage Auctions starting at $90,000. But if you're going to flash your cash, you should take a look under the hood first.

Internet bidding ends on December 5 at 8 p.m. PT and the auction ends on December 6 at 9 a.m. PT, so you have plenty of time to start a Kickstarter campaign.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Batmobile built with love

The Batmobile up for auction was custom-built in 1960 by Forrest Robinson and his friend Len Perham. They finished the car in 1963, two years before George Barris' customization of the well-known "Batman" TV series' Batmobile began. While the car has the similar color scheme -- shiny black chrome and red highlights -- the Batmobile for sale is the "earliest known car in existence that was sanctioned by a DC Comics licensee," according to Heritage Auctions.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Holy car fin, Batman!

Custom-built from a 1956 Oldsmobile, this Batmobile is considered by fans to resemble the DC Comics version of the car from the original '40s and '50s Batman comics, complete with the signature front-end bat-nose and rear single fin detailing. The Batmobile made its debut as a red sedan in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Later the car got its easily distinguished wing-shaped tailfins in Batman #5 in 1941.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Even superheroes need vanity plates

Batman's beautiful black car doesn't just glisten in on Gotham moonlit evenings, it glistens in the daylight as well. Originally, when Forrest Robinson finished building his custom Batmobile, it was painted in silver. Robinson drove his space-age-looking Batmobile as his regular ride. But once Batmania took over, the car was leased for a promotional campaign and repainted black and red, adorned with Batman labels and toured the US as "Batman's Batmobile."

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Lots of legroom in the Batmobile

The Batmobile is equipped with usual features such as a steering wheel, odometers, cigarette lighter, floor pads and leather seats. Unfortunately, it does not come with impressive Caped Crusader gear like the Bat Smoke Screen, Bat Beam, Mobile Batcomputer, Bat-tering Ram, Bat-photoscope, Batphone, mobile tracking scope, Remote Bat Computer Switch, and Police Band Cut-in Switch. Also missing: the Emergency Bat-turn Lever, which releases the parachute that helps the car make sudden turns.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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The Batmobile has many masters

The Batmobile looks glamorous now, but after Forrest Robinson sold it for $200, the car was left abandoned, rusting away in a New Hampshire field for nearly 50 years. Bobby Smith discovered the car in 2008 and sold it to a Chicago rare car dealer who then sold it again to car historian George Albright. It was Albright who tracked down the original car owner, Robinson, as well as a retired DC Comics executive, to learn more about his newly purchased car, according to Heritage Auctions.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Look under the Batmobile's hood

The original Batmobile was built using a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 frame and the famous 324 Rocket engine. Car enthusiasts can check out the specs of the Oldsmobile engine here. in 2013, the Batmobile was purchased by Toy Car Exchange, which specializes in vintage car restoration, in 2013.

The new owners moved the Batmobile from Chicago to Sacramento, Calif., to restore the car to its former glory. For a year, Toy Car Exchange  painstakingly refurbished the car while retaining the original frame, parts and engine.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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The Batmobile is a clear winner

After Toy Car Exchange restored the Batmobile, they decided to unveil the Caped Crusader's sweet ride in 2013 at the longest-running indoor car show in the US -- the Sacramento Autorama.

As expected, the Batmobile impressed the judges and won the hearts of car lovers at the show, and won first place in the hand-built sports car class.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Do you dare parallel park the Batmobile?

If you plan on buying the Batmobile, make sure you have room in your garage. The custom-designed car has an Oldsmobile frame that measures 17 feet by 83 inches. Keep in mind that the Batmobile's flamboyant dorsal fin and bat-nose front end need extra room, so don't try to parallel park it like a normal car or might ding the paint job, or worse. Then again, if you end up winning the Batmobile, it might be best to only bring out the car for special occasions and not your daily work commute, unless it's to the Batcave.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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Driving the Batmobile is ruff

Who needs Robin when you have such a cuddly co-pilot steering the Batmobile? While this car may look like a joy to ride, it's not recommended to let Fido live out his fantasies to be Batman's sidekick or Muttley winning the Wacky Races.

Related article: Holy auction Batman! Historic Batmobile is up for sale

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