The George Barris-designed prop batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West sold for $4.2 million ($4.62M with fees) to collector Rick Champagne at yesterday’s Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The one sold yesterday was the first of six made for the classic TV series.
The landmark sale record more or less ties the auction price achieved by the Aston Martin DB5 used by Sean Connery in Goldfinger that was sold by RM Auctions (in association with Sotheby’s) as reported on the Original Prop Blog in 2010 (see “1965 Aston Martin DB5 “The James Bond Car” Used in Goldfinger and Thunderball Sells for $4.6 Million Dollars”).
The auction of the batmobile was captured on video yesterday by “TheBatfan” and published on his YouTube account:
The official Barrett-Jackson auction website has details about the car:
Below is the lot description for the auction:
There are only a few items in life that are able to capture the soul of an era. Not many people can say they own a pinnacle point in history that revolutionized a particular genre and an entire industry that followed in its footsteps. Maybe it was the catchy theme song that played in the beginning or the comedic/action-packed acting that was followed by “POW”/”BANG” in this TV show, but then there are the real fans that will strongly advocate, till this day, that coming home to watch the Batmobile soar out of the batcave in the Batman TV Series defines a lot of their first childhood loves to hit the television screens. The 1966 Batmobile by George Barris is the most recognized and popular piece of entertainment history, worldwide, that has become an icon, an icon that has been carried from generation to generation of Batmobiles to follow. This vehicle not only marks the significant bat logo that sits on the middle of its door, but a time in television history where they defied the odds of making a car become the star. Still as beautiful as when it first came out of the paint shop, this 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car has been apart of the personal collection of George Barris since he first bought it from the Ford Motor Company for $1. After having a meeting with the producer of the TV Show, William Dozier, George was left with the challenge of 15 days and $15,000 budget. Before George knew it, the Lincoln Futura was underway to becoming what others will always remember to be the Original Batmobile. Besides seeing the likes of the infamous, Adam West and Burt Ward (Batman and Robin), this car has been on a variety of television/movie sets, car shows and museums around the nation. To go even further, this car is exclusively featured in Christopher Nolan’s Batmobile Documentary, which is one of the major bonuses in the Dark Knight Rise’s DVD. History is being made here at Barret Jackson. This is the 1st TIME that the original Batmobile has been up for sale, since George bought it for that $1. Whether you’re a car collector, entertainment enthusiast, or an average Joe looking to buy his dream car, don’t miss out on adding this to your very own batcave. Included with the Batmobile will be historical memorabilia and documentation from George’s personal archive. **SOLD ON BILL OF SALE ONLY**
As reported on the Original Prop Blog last summer, Warner Bros hosted an outdoor exhibit at San Diego Comic Con showcasing this batmobile as well as examples from each of the major motion pictures produced starring Batman (see “San Diego Comic Con 2012: Batmobiles from Six Different Batman Movies On Display”).