January 20, 2013 07:40:53 GMT
The Caped Crusader's vehicle customized from a $1 concept car has been sold to Rick Champagne for a price that ties the record set by James Bond's car.
The famous customized car used in the 1960s ABC Batman TV series starring Adam West has gone under the hammer. The Caped Crusader's cruiser was purchased by the winning bidder for Lot 5037 at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. in Scottsdale, Ariz. for $4.6 million.
The iconic car was 19 feet long and built from a one-of-a-kind 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which was purchased for 1 dollar only. The owner King of Kustomizers George Barris created the vehicle in three weeks at a cost of $15,000 funded by 20th Century Fox.
The bubbly-windowed car uses a V8 engine & automatic gearbox and features a Batphone & an oil squirter created from lawn sprinklers. It also has a fake jet exhaust, created from a painted 10-gallon bucket, in the back and two packed parachutes that actually work to effect a "Bat turn." It's road legal as well.
"I think it is the most valuable car in the world and the public really get a kick out of it when they see it," the owner Barris said during the sale. "I designed and built the Batmobile and I have shown it all around the world but now I think it is time that someone else can enjoy it."
"The Batmobile is true Americana and it's hard to put a dollar figure on something like that," agreed Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson "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 the real star of the show."
The winning bidder was Rick Champagne, who has been attending the Barrett-Jackson auctions for 15 years. The car collector from the Phoenix area joked that he would store the car "in the living room," as saying, "I'm going to tear down a wall and put in my living room."
According to THR, the price he's willing to pay for the car ties the record set during a 2010 auction for the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger". Last year, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car was sold under the hammer for $805,000.