The iconic Batmobile from the 1960s television show is set for the auction block this weekend.
The midnight-black and fluorescent-red-pinstriped car that Adam West's Batman used to battle villains in Gotham will be up for grabs Saturday at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
There is a reserve price for the car, but neither the auction house nor the car owner, famed car customizer George Barris, would confirm the lowest dollar amount they would accept. But auction organizers have indicated it's in the multimillion-dollar range.
The heavily modified car, known around the world, was built at Barris Kustom Industries auto shop on Riverside Drive in North Hollywood. It has been on display there in a gallery since the television show ended in 1968.
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See it leave the shop in December in the video above.
The one-of-a-kind 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car was originally created by a design team at Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln styling department. The 19-foot-long, two-seat, bubble-topped grand touring car prototype was entirely hand-built in 1954 by Ghia Body Works in Turin, Italy, and unveiled in its original pearlescent "frost-blue" white paint finish in 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show.
In late 1965, 20th Century Fox Television and William Dozier's Greenway Productions tapped Barris to come up with a car to foil Batman's enemies. Barris, who also made the Munster Koach and "Beverly Hillbillies" jalopy from the 1960s TV shows, turned out a monster.
The car features bulletproof Plexiglas bubble windshields and the Bat Ray (dual 450-watt laser beams that blasted obstacles to bits). It also has a Bat-O-Meter, which identified the location of the bad guys, as well as oil squirters (fashioned from lawn sprinkler heads) to foil evildoers.
Barris said he transformed the Lincoln in just 15 days for $15,000.
"I saw the script and it said, 'Bang,' 'Pow,' 'Boom,' " Barris, now 87, said. "That's exactly what I wanted the car to do. I wanted it to be as big a character as the actors."
Selling the car is bittersweet for Barris. It's been his trademark for years. His cellphone's ring tone is a familiar theme song: "Na na na na na ... Batman."
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