The Original 1966 TV series Batmobile, one of the most recognized and popular pieces of entertainment history worldwide, sold for $4,620,000 and set the world record for the highest price ever fetched for a TV/Movie car at the 42nd annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. The unique vehicle was offered as part of Barrett-Jackson’s spectacular Salon Collection on January 19, 2013. Barrett-Jackson decided to announce the news only after verifying the records. The previous record was held by the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in “Goldfinger,” which sold for $4,608,500 in 2010, meaning that the Batmobile sold for $11,500 more. In fact, Barrett-Jackson is currently working with the Guinness Book of World Records to add the sale to their list.
“The 1966 Batmobile is a true piece of Americana and fans around the world were curious to see what it would sell for,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We are so proud of the record it set, but more importantly, we couldn’t be happier to help find a new home for such a significant and legendary piece of TV and movie history in front of a record crowd for a Saturday auction and the SPEED TV audience.
“At auction, the Batmobile rolled onto the stage bringing the crowd to its feet with loud applause when the car’s creator, legendary customizer George Barris, stepped out. The bidding took off immediately, and as the numbers quickly rose, so did the reaction from the audience, reaching a mad rush as the bids soared into the multi-millions. Moments later, the car sold along with memorabilia from Barris’ personal collection after an intense coin toss between two anxious bidders.
“The Batmobile revolutionized an entire custom industry that followed in its TV footsteps and you could tell that both Barrett-Jackson fans and Batman fans share an intense passion for this car,” said the company’s President Steve Davis. “It was an exciting sight to see such an exciting bidding war; definitely something we will remember for years to come. It was an honor for me to work directly with George, Joji, Jared and Brett Barris along with Barry Paster to consign this cultural icon.
“The original Batmobile started its life as the one and only 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which was designed and built by legendary customizer George Barris to become the original 1966 Batmobile in the live action TV series Batman, as well as the movie adaptation, starring Adam West. Still as striking as when it first came out of the paint shop, the original Batmobile was part of Barris’ personal collection since he first bought it from the Ford Motor Company for a dollar in 1965. Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction marked the first time the car has ever been offered for sale to the public.
The Batmobile still features a 1965 Ford Galaxy engine and a B&M Hydro Automatic transmission. Gadgets include a nose-mounted aluminum Cable Cutter Blade, Bat Ray Projector, Anti-Theft Device, Detect-a-scope, Batscope, Bat Eye Switch, Antenna Activator, Police Band Cut-In Switch, Automatic Tire Inflation Device, Remote Batcomputer, the Batphone, Emergency Bat Turn Lever, Anti-Fire Activator, Bat Smoke, Bat Photoscope, and many other Bat gadgets. If needed, the Batmobile was capable of a quick 180° “bat-turn” thanks to two rear-mounted ten-foot Deist parachutes.
In addition to being featured on various television and movie sets, the original Batmobile has been exhibited at numerous car shows and museums around the nation. The car is also exclusively featured in Christopher Nolan’s Batmobile Documentary, which can be viewed as a bonus feature on The Dark Knight Rises DVD. The Batmobile becomes the second highest-selling vehicle ever at a Barrett-Jackson auction, behind Carroll Shelby’s own 1966 Cobra Super Snake sold in 2007.