It’s a good thing Bruce Wayne is a multibillionaire. An original Batmobile from the 1960s television series just crossed the block at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a final selling price of $4.2 million.
That’s a big increase over the $15,000 it cost legendary car customizer George Barris to build the Batmobile in 1966. The car that drove Adam West to camp stardom is based on the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept.
Most vintage Ferraris don’t accrue value like that, but the Batmobile does have some impressive options. An aluminum cable cutter, Bat Scope, and Bat Smoke launcher should come in handy on the morning commute.
Some items, like the Batphone, Batcomputer, and automatic tire inflation system, actually don’t sound that special in today’s world of infotainment and run-flat tires.
Another nifty feature is the Emergency Bat Turn Lever, which allows Batman to make quick turns with the help of two parachutes. Think of it as a comic book version of the Bugatti Veyron’s air brake.
Under the hood is a 390-cubic inch (6.4-liter) V8, coupled to a B&M automatic transmission. Sadly, the jet turbine is just a special effect.
There have been as many Batmobiles as there have been Batman movies, television shows, and comics. The 1989 Tim Burton film featured a baroque Batmobile built on a Chevy Impala chassis, while the Christopher Nolan trilogy unleashed the menacing Tumbler. There’s also a Batcave full of Batplanes, Batpods, and Bat-copters. Still, the 1966 Batmobile remains a pop culture icon.
If getting people to empty their wallets is any measure, this Batmobile just might be the most popular car in the world. The Barris Batmobile’s $4.2 million price tag eclipses the $4.1 million paid for the Aston Martin DB5 from the James Bond movies Goldfinger and Thunderball at an RM Auctions event in 2010. It’s also just over four times the $1.1 million paid for the first 2014 Corvette Stingray at the same Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. Not bad for an old Lincoln.
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