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Auctions: Original TV Series Batmobile Goes For An Unholy Amount Photo:
Peter Anderson | Jan, 22 2013 | 1 Comment

The Batmobile from the hilariously camp 60s TV series Batman went under the hammer over the weekend, selling for an eye-watering $4.2 million. (Kapow! - Ed.)

The car was sold by its original owner and designer, eighty-six year-old George Barris, who was present at the auction.

It wasn't just the car he was selling, however - Barris threw in the original paperwork and some memorabilia.

Technically, the car was a star even before appearing in the TV show. It started life as a Lincoln Futura concept car in 1955 before Barris purchased it for the princely sum of $1, when the studio presented him with too-tight a deadline for an original design.

Two weeks and $15,000 later, the Batmobile rolled out of the garage and into a life of pop culture royalty.

The gloss black sheetmetal with its distinctive red piping and double-bubble canopy sit over the top of a 6.4 litre Lincoln V8, mated to a B&M Hydro Automatic transmission. It measures almost 5.7 metres.

Not included in the auction were some of the oddly prescient features used in the TV series; self-inflating tyres, Batscope radar, the Batphone (it was a little before GSM) and in-car computers that didn't require their own rooms.

Barris founded Barris Kustom with his late brother Sam, and the pair went into business in Los Angeles after the Second World War - although their first creation sold before they'd even left high shool.

Sam left in the fifties and George went on to customise cars for various manufacturers and film projects, including Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

TV cars included the Munster Koach and the truck from The Beverly Hillbillies.

For Baris, that sale price represents a 280-fold return on the cost of his original $15,001 investment. (Hmm, seems there's hope yet for the old metal you might be lucky enough to be harbouring in the garage.

As long as it has been in a strangely compelling TV show with men who wear their underpants on the outside.)

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