8th December 2014
The Batmobile fetched $137,000 (around £90,000) at auction recently. The car, built in the 1960's, was a bargain. Last year a buyer paid over $4m for a version of the same car. Holy Smokes Batman!
According to Dallas based Heritage Auctions this was the first time that the 1963 Batmobile – a replica of the cool ride used by Gotham city's superhero – has been up for auction since the show finished decades ago. The buyer appears – like the car itself – to remain in the shadows.
The car was originally created by Forrest Robinson, a Batman fan who spent three years customising a 1956 Oldsmobile 8, complete with a 324 Rocket engine to resemble the original vehicle in DC Comics Batman series from the 1940's and 1950's. He completed it in 1963.
Commenting on the significance of the single-finned vehicle, Margaret Barrett, Director of Entertainment and Music at the auction company said: "This is a great piece of lost pop culture and Americana"
Robinson was a man ahead of his time. His Batmobile was completed before George Barris began building a Batmobile for the ABC TV series "Batman." It aired for three seasons until 1968 and the Barris Batmobile sold nearly 50 years later for $4.2 million.
The Robinson car was put up for auction by Toy Car Exchange LLC, an online marketplace for collectible cars. They bought it and then managed to restore it to pristine condition.
After changing ownership several times, Toy Car Exchange bought the car in February 2013, Heritage said. Borbon Fabrications, a vintage car restorer in Sacramento, California, restored the car.
The Batman show was such a phenomenon that the replica car enjoyed more than 15 minutes of fame; it was hired by a DC Comics licensee from Robinson and toured extensively on the East Coast of America.
Eventually, replicas were made of the TV Batmobile, and Robinson's car was no longer required. He sold it on a few years later.
It did not resurface until 40 years later when in 2008, it was found rusting in a New Hampshire field.