Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

This October 2012 file photo provided by Barrett-Jackson/George Barris shows the original Batmobile in Los Angeles. Batman's original ride, from the 1960s TV series, has sold at auction for $4.2 million on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.

Courtesy Barrett-Jackson/George Barris/The Associated Press

An Arizona man with a special fondness for caped crusader Batman and his sidekick Robin bought the original Batmobile driven in the iconic television series with a bid of $4.2-million (U.S.) at an auction on Saturday.

Rick Champagne, a Phoenix-area logistics company owner, came away with the black, futuristic two-seater featured in the "Batman" series starring Adam West and Burt Ward from 1966 to 1968, following a flurry of spirited bidding at the Scottsdale, Arizona, auction.

"I really liked Batman growing up and I came here with the intention of buying the car," Mr. Champagne, 56, told Reuters in a brief interview moments after he bought the car. "Sure enough, I was able to buy it. That was a dream come true."

Story continues below advertisement

The Barrett-Jackson auction was the first time the car was put up for public sale. In addition to the $4.2-million bid price, the buyer will have to pay an additional roughly $420,000 in premiums.

The Batmobile is based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Co.

In 1965, the concept car was bought for a nominal $1 by noted customizer George Barris, who had a mere 15 days and $15,000 to transform the vehicle for the show. He has owned it ever since.

Mr. Barris told Reuters he had supplied vehicles for movies and television shows before, but this one had to be markedly different than the others.

"With every pow, bang, wow, wee, I wanted the car to do something just like the actors," said Mr. Barris, 87, in an interview before the auction. "The car had to be a star on its own. And it became one."

The car has a V-8 engine and instruments in the steering wheel, plus innovative items like a push-button transmission.

But generations may remember it best for Bat gadgets added for the series, including a car phone and the ability to deploy such things as oil, smoke and nails to thwart villains – not to mention twin rear parachutes for quick Bat turns.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Barris said the vehicle toured the country after the series and a movie and then was housed in a private showroom in California. He said it was time to part with the popular car and let a new owner have the Bat keys.

*****

Send your automotive maintenance and repair questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies