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