Oh, the things you can find on eBay.
If you’re desperate to outdo your neighbors on Halloween, check out this replica Batmobile fashioned to look like the hero car from the 1989 Tim Burton Batman film. The seller claims it’s in running condition and street legal, but you’ll need a fortune comparable to Bruce Wayne’s to put it in your Batcave. The asking price is $680,000.
That price may be worth it to hardcore Batman fans. The seller claims this is the world’s only jet-powered Batmobile replica, and thus the only one that truly represents the way the car is supposed to work in the movie. On the screen, the Batmobile roars down the streets of Gotham City with flames spewing out the back like a jet engine’s afterburner. In reality, the movie car was based on a Chevrolet Impala and used an ordinary piston engine. Most replicas have followed a similar template.
According to the eBay listing, this car is powered by a bona fide military surplus jet engine. It idles at 20,000 rpm (a normal car idles at around 1,200 rpm) and produces 400 horsepower, which is sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed semiautomatic transmission, according to the listing. The seller claims the engine is set up to run on Jet A fuel (commonly used by jet airliners) or kerosene, but can also run on diesel. The chassis is a steel space frame, with a composite body. The car weighs about the same as a Corvette, according to the seller, so we’re curious to see how it would do in a drag race.
Like a true Batmobile, this car also has plenty of gadgets. It sports replica Browning .30 caliber machine guns set up to fire blanks, while the cockpit has an iPad supplemented by digital and analog gauges, according to the seller. A flamethrower tank and plumbing are included as well, but the actuator, ignition, and nozzle have been removed, according to the seller. Don’t expect your local mechanic to be able to reinstall them.
The Batmobile has taken on many different forms over the years, spanning comic books, movies, television shows, and video games. A discarded Lincoln concept car became Adam West’s ride in the 1960s Batman television show, Christopher Nolan envisioned the tank-like “Tumbler” for his grim-and-gritty version of the Caped Crusader, and there is even a Lego version. But for children of the 1980s and 1990s, the Tim Burton Batmobile is the Batmobile. That explains why someone would go through the trouble of building a working replica, and then expect someone else to pay more than the sticker price of a new Lamborghini to own it.
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