Posted by on 4/1/2020 to
Another character in the classic Batman TV series was the 1966 Batmobile. Before it became one of the most famous vehicles in the world, the Batmobile was actually a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car built by Ford Motor Company. This vehicle was built in Turin, Italy and cost $250,000 but was never put into production. In 1959, a red Lincoln Futura appeared in the MGM movie, It Started With a Kiss starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds. Many years later, the Lincoln Futura was sold to car customizer George Barris who was affiliated with Ford at the time. Despite the original cost of $250,000, Ford Motor Company sold the Lincoln Futura to Barris for $1.00.
Producer, William Dozier approached George Barris about building a Batmobile for the upcoming TV series. Barris had only 3 weeks to complete the project. Barris knew he had the perfect vehicle for Dozier, the 1955 Lincoln Futura. The Batmobile was completed and delivered to 20th Century Fox in October, 1965. It was considered very valuable and was insured for $125,000. The original Batmobile made its television debut on January 12, 1966 in the episode Hi Diddle Diddle. After the series was cancelled, Barris still retained ownership of the vehicle. In addition to auto shows, the Batmobile went on to appear in movies such as the TV movie and roast, Legends of the Superheroes.
In addition to the original Batmobile (#1), George Barris also built 3 replicas out of fiberglass which were used for car shows and appearances around the country. The only replica ever featured in a Batman episode (The Contaminated Cowl) was the #4 Batmobile which was also used in drag racing competitions. A 5th replica was built by Jim Sermersheim using the TV show and photos as a reference. George Barris eventually acquired this Batmobile and it became known as the #5 Batmobile. In 2013, Barris decided to sell the Batmobile at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. The original 1966 Batmobile sold for $4.62 million to Batman fan, Rick Champagne and set a record for TV and movie cars.