January 22, 2013

Batmobile Sells: $4.6 Million

If you grew up in the 60’s like I did, shows like Andy Griffith, The Munsters, The Addams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island  and many more were on the TV screen. For me, none was more watched then Batman. Whenever it was on, I sat glued to the set waiting for the Batmobile to screech out of the Batcave with flames roaring out the back. I would think to myself, ‘if I had that car it would be great.’ Well, now someone really does own the Batmobile.

CNNMoney has confirmed that the legendary Batmobile which was used in the 1960’s television show Batman has been sold. Invented by car customizer George Barris, who has been the car’s owner since its inception in 1966. George also created other well known TV vehicles, like the Munster Koach and the Beverly Hillbillies’ car.

Originally the car was a white Ford F, Fortune 500, a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car based on the Lincoln Mark II. It actually looked similar to the Batmobile that would be designed ten years later. In the show, the Batmobile could shoot flames, squirt oil, slash ties, and was loaded with high tech gadgets, but the actual car could not do any of that.

This past November in an interview with CNNMoney, Barris said that in the past he had been offered large amounts of money for the Batmobile, but never thought of selling the car before. However, now he thought it was time to move it from his studio and have it placed where others could enjoy it.

During the Barrett Jackson’s annual collector car auction near Scottsdale, Arizona, on Saturday January 19, 2013, people were packed so tightly around the car, it was difficult to tell who were the bidders.

Skepticism was raised that the car would not bring a high price, because there were many imitations built and most of them were identical to the original, but chief executive of the auction, Craig Jackson, expected it to sell in the millions.

Typically cars made for Hollywood don’t really bring in a lot of dough, for one reason there are generally multiple copies for different scenes, and for promoting the show, or movie. But, there have been a few that have auctioned for a substantial amount of money. For instance, the modified version of a 1964 Aston Martin DBS used in the James Bond films sold in 2010 for a whopping $4.6 million.

When the bidding was over, Rick Champagne from Tempe, Arizona, who owns a logistic company, was the proud owner of the iconic Batmobile. Final bid was $4.6 million. Immediately after the sale Speed TV interviewed him, and a representative for Barrett-Jackson confirmed that he was in fact the buyer. During the interview he told speed that the car would be placed in his living room.

After the sale Jackson said, “the energy in that room was just electric. We haven’t experienced anything like that since the Futurliner.” He was referring to a General Motors concept bus that sold in the 2006 auction for $4 million.

Image Credit: Helga Esteb /

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