Although a far cry from the USD$4.2Mil paid last year for the TV Series version of the Batmobile, a modified ’55 Lincoln Futura, the original car proposed to the TV producers brings home USD$137k.
This was however, the maiden voyage to auction for the modified 1957 Oldsmobil 88 replica of the sleek ride used in DC Comics by the black knight. According to the Dallas based Heritage Auctions who handled the sale, the car was cast off and pretty much forgotten about decades ago.
“This is a great piece of lost pop culture and Americana,” said Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment and music at Heritage Auctions. “There is a lot of interest in it.”
The car was put up for auction by Toy Car Exchange LLC, which is an online marketplace for collectible cars. Toy Car Exchange had bought bought the vehicle and had it restored to pristine condition, Barrett said.
This Batmobile was created by then 23-year-old Batman fan Forrest Robinson, who along with a friend, spent three years customizing a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 with a 324 Rocket engine to resemble the single-fin vehicle in DC’s Batman Comics from the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Robinson’s Batmobile was completed two years before George Barris began customizing a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car to become the Batmobile for the 1960’s ABC TV series ‘Batman’, which aired until 1968.
As the show was so popular, Robinson’s Batmobile became such a sensation that the DC Comic Book licensee, leased the car from Robinson and re-branded it as `Batman’s Batmobile’ for the purpose of touring, primarily in the eastern United States. Eventually, replicas were made of the TV Batmobile and Robinson’s car was returned.
Robinson sold the car a few years later. It didn’t resurface again until Bobby Smith of Swansey, N.H. discovered it in a field in 2008, Heritage officials said.
After changing ownership several times, the car was purchased in 2013 by Toy Car Exchange, which moved it to Sacramento, Ca., vintage car restorer Borbon Fabrications.
The restored Batmobile made its debut earlier this year at the Sacramento Autorama, the longest running indoor car show in the U.S., where it won first place in the hand-built sports car class.