We use cookies to remember choices you make on functionality and personal features to enhance your experience to our site. By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies. Please refer to our privacy and cookie policies for more information

Skip to main content

The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco' / 1966 Batmobile Recreation Original design by George Barris

Lot 101
Ω
1966 Batmobile Recreation
Amended
13 May 2022, 15:00 CEST
Monte Carlo

Sold for €49,450 inc. premium

Own a similar item?

Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.

How to sell

Looking for a similar item?

Our Motorcars specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.

Find your local specialist

Specialists

1966 Batmobile Recreation Original design by George Barris

• Faithful recreation of the original Batmobile
• Hand built bodywork on 1959 Lincoln chassis by Jay Ohrberg's Hollywood Cars
• Displayed in prominent collections including the 'Cars of the Stars' Museum
• A 'Crime-fighting' Automobile like few others

Footnotes

Although many Batmobile designs have made it to the silver screen in the iconic blockbuster movies and TV series, nothing feels quite as iconic as the 1966 'Adam West' era Batmobile. The idea came to the Batman producers at 20th Century Fox and William Dozier's Greenway Productions in late 1965, and they soon contacted renowned Hollywood car customizer Dean Jeffries to design and build a Batmobile for the new Batman TV series. Jeffries started the work, but as the studio was in a major hurry as the program was slated to air already in January of 1966, Jeffries declined, and another renowned Hollywood car customizer - George Barris - engaged with the project.

With only three weeks to finish the Batmobile, Barris decided that, rather than building a car from scratch, it would be possible transform the one-off 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car to become the Batmobile, which Barris had purchased from the Ford Motor Company. Design work was conducted by Herb Grasse, working as an associate designer for Barris, while skilled customizer Bill Cushenbery was retained to do the metal modifications to the car. The conversion into the Batmobile was completed in just three weeks, at a reported cost of 30,000 USD. The primer-painted, white-striped Batmobile was used in October of 1965 for a network presentation reel, and shortly thereafter painted gloss black with 'fluorescent cerise' stripes. Barris retained ownership of the car, estimated to be worth 125,000 USD in 1966 currency, leasing it to 20th Century Fox and Greenway Productions for use in the Batman series.

When filming for the series began, several problems arose due to the car's age; it overheated, the battery would drain, and the expensive Mickey Thompson wheels repeatedly failed. By mid-season, the engine and transmission were replaced with those of a Ford Galaxie. With that said, the original Batmobile certainly made its impact on fiction film, society, and automotive culture, with its eye-catching red lines and the voluptuous, aero-inspired design, which matches the best automotive show-car designs of the era.

There were just four original Barris-built Batmobiles made, they toured the USA, making appearances at county fairs and race meets. This faithful recreation exhibition car was created by Jay Ohrberg and Hollywood Cars. The car was later sold from a private collector in Los Angeles to became part of a German collection during the 1980s. The car was purchased by a private museum in 1991, and later resided in the famed 'Cars of the Stars' collection. This 'Batmobile' recreation is based on a 1959 Lincoln chassis - much like the original cars - with a hand-built body by Jay Ohrberg and his team of skilled craftsmen. It is finished in the classic livery of black with the red highlight lines and rides on Cragar wheels. The open cockpit is decorated with round windshields, and the interior is tailored with black seats with orange piping, black carpet, a Batphone mounted to the dash, custom steering wheel and Batman symbols on the doors.

Offered from a prominent Swiss-based collection, a service has recently been performed by a well-known Swiss specialist shop. Arguably the ultimate crime-fighting automobile - weather in Gotham City or your hometown - this striking automobile is a true head turner and icon of 20th century pop culture.

Please note that if this vehicle remains in Monaco or France, it will be subject to 20% Import VAT and 10% Import Duty (+VAT) both calculated on the hammer price. In some cases, the 10% Import Duty (+VAT) shall not apply however please speak to our recommended shippers for full confirmation of charges. All customs charges will be invoiced and collected directly by our customs agent, Benaim. Please note that if you purchase as an EU Company, the VAT amount will be calculated based on your registered country's rate and paid directly there. Import rates to other EU Countries may vary and an administration fee will be charged to prepare the necessary customs clearances. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.

Saleroom notices

Please note the correct chassis number is 57WA15630L.

Additional information