Holy sticker shock, Batman! On Saturday, the original Batmobile from the 1966 television show sold for $4.62 million in a Barrett-Jackson auction, tying with the 2010 record set by the Aston Martin DB5 from “Goldfinger.”
The auction included cars of the company’s prestigious Salon Collection and totaled $29.2 million in sales – a price that would make Bruce Wayne do a spit take. Estimated to safely sell for $3-4 million range, the Batmobile final bid far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
The winning bidder of the Batmobile was Rick Champagne, a Phoenix businessman and longtime car collector. A fan of the campy action show growing up, Champagne was determined to win the Batmobile when he attended the auction. When asked where he planned to store the famous vehicle, Champagne said with a smile, “…in my living room. I’m going to tear down a wall and put it in my living room.”
The famed designer George Barris fabricated the Batmobile for $30,000 on the base of 1955 Lincoln Futura concept, which he originally purchased for $1 in December 1965. The purchase was an incredible steal, considering that the Futura concept was built for $250,000 (equaling approximately $2 million in 2009), completely handcrafted at Turin’s Ghia Body Works.
He built the famous car over only 15 days, integrating such iconic Batman gadgets as the Bat Beam, the Batphone, and the Bat-tering Ram into the Futura’s body. Until now, the Batmobile had a distinguished place in Barris’ personal collection. George Barris was present for the highly publicized event, even adding his famed Batman jacket to the sale.
Although the 1966 Batmobile was the highlight of the auction, other impressive cars of the Salon Collection were Clark Gable’s 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe (sold for $2,035,000), a 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport (also sold for $2,035,000), and a Duesenberg J Murphy LWB Custom Beverly Sedan (sold for $1,430,000).