Were you the lucky bidder? E3 Spark Plugs has just learned that the original Batmobile has a new owner. Other than the bandied-about phrase “some rich guy from Phoenix,” there’s no official word on just who dropped the $4.2 million final purchase price last weekend at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The 19-foot-long black, bubble-topped car was used in the 1960s Batman TV show and boasted all sorts of futuristic features including lasers, a batphone, the official Bat Ray projector and the ability to lay down smoke screens and oil slicks. The car’s base is a 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept that seller George Barris bought from Ford for a grand total of one dollar. Holy ROI!
Barris kept the car in his garage for a few years, until late 1965 when he got a frantic call from 20th Century Fox Television and William Dozier’s Greenway Productions. They needed a super hero-worthy ride for the new show and they needed it in 15 days. With short notice and a $15,000 budget, Barris created what has become arguably the most iconic of all Hollywood rides.
The Batmobile sale was undoubtedly the most anticipated deal of the auction, which featured Barrett-Jackson’s much-touted 5,000 series and famed Salon Collection of 50 unique and rare automobiles, and no doubt helped to attract the record attendance. But it wasn’t the only crowd pleaser at the January 19 affair in Scottsdale. Two new world records were set with the sales of a 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport for $2,035,000, making it the world’s most expensive T-26; and a 1956 Chrysler Diablo Concept Convertible for $1,375,000, a record for a Chrysler Concept car.