Holy Bat Project! 1966 Batmobile Replica

The young and young-at-heart in the 1960s were captivated when Batman hit the television airwaves. It was a blockbuster hit in the ratings for a couple of years and I remember being glued to the TV every Wednesday and Thursday nights. One of the most memorable tools in Batman and Robin’s arsenal was the Batmobile, a car built for the show by the famous George Barris and his crew. The machine has been replicated over the years, including this incomplete edition which was built off a Lincoln using plywood, fiberglass, resin, and vinyl. Located in Vista, California, this special creation is available here on craigslist for $10,000. Thanks, MattR, for bringing this trip down memory lane our way!

Barris and his company were recruited by 20th Century Fox and ABC in 1965 to come up with a special car for their upcoming new show. Time was limited, so they drew from the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that Barris already owned, which had been built by Ghia of Italy a decade earlier. The Futura would be transformed into the now-iconic Batmobile in just three short weeks. Barris leased the car to ABC during the show and kept it until 2013 when it was auctioned off for more than $4 million.

Because of the show’s popularity and the need to have more than one car in reserve should something happen, three copies were made by Barris. Largely used for promotional purposes, they were built between 1966-67 and used the platform of a Ford Galaxie 500 for their underpinnings. All these cars are in different private collections today, although other tribute Batmobiles seem to pop up.

We’re not sure how this project car came about, but it’s a 1964 Continental under the skin. With a 429 cubic inch V8, it does not currently run, yet the seller says it might not take much to change that. Regardless of how the car got this far in execution, the seller doesn’t have the resources to finish it, so someone else will get the opportunity. There is no title or VIN, so getting it registered for street use will no doubt be challenging.

One of the components of the body of this vehicle is high-strength plywood, which is not something that gives me a warm-and-fuzzy feeling should you get into a traffic skirmish. But if you intended to use the car in completed form on a limited basis for parades and events, I assume the combination of materials is acceptable. For parties interested in seeing how close this project might be compared to other replicas, the photo posted here is from a Mecum auction in 2015. The most noticeable difference is that this car doesn’t yet have the see-through bubble that protected the Caped Crusaders.

When this car is finally completed, you must wonder if it will enjoy the features of the original Batmobile, which might include:

  • Bat-Light Flasher
  • Mobile Telephone
  • Bat-Scope with TV Viewing Screen
  • Rear-Ejected Emergency Parachute
  • Flames that shoot out of the back (how did they do that?)
  • Batgirl on the Bat-Cycle (maybe not; Robin was young and impressionable!)

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Comments

  1. John

    It was a good effort but looks like the plexi windshields stopped him. Not something you could scrounge up in your junk pile or at Home Depot..If It were me (and it wouldn’t be) I’d put a regular windshield on it, paint it iridescent blue, slap some Cragar Classic’s on it and be done with it –

    Like 4
    • douglas hunt

      i wonder if the boat industry couldn’t make those windshields, i recall a catamaran performance boat with dual bubble screens, so maybe?

      Like 2
  2. Don Page Jr.

    When the first episode of Batman aired on Jan. 12th 1966, I was 13 years and 5 months old. I was hooked, not on the show, it was the Batmobile. Loved it then and still do. A few years ago, I was pulling into a local car cruise-in when I saw a Batmobile. Briefly talked to the owner and he told me a friend of his built it. His friend must have been an artist because it was a spot-on recreation. As he pulled out, He flipped the switch to activate the flame coming out of the rear. That wasn’t very impressive but I’m sure it was for safety reasons. The one posted above isn’t even close. From every angle it just doesn’t look right.

    Like 8
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I wonder how many of these have been built over the years.

    And, kudos who anyone who successfully did one, whether or not it was done “correctly” or “right.” You have to admire the artistry.

    Like 11
    • Richardd Adams

      Accurate or not, after spending time building it, what do you do with it after it is done ?
      Just asking, as I notice I may be running out of years…..

  4. Ronald Bajorek

    I’m Batman

    Like 8
  5. Steve Clinton

    Close, but no cigar.

  6. charlie morrison

    For many years I thought the bat mobile was built on a GM platform,wow! Thanks for putting this up. I guess your never too old to learn something new. Yo the gentleman who put this effort in this project I feel bad that it was not completed and I hope the new can bring it back to its glory.

    Like 5
  7. Howie Mueler

    I guess for the price its not too bad, it looks like the wheels are not centered in the wheel wells.

    Like 1
    • Ronald Bajorek

      Holy Long John Silver, Batman!

      Like 1
  8. Robert White

    I still have one Batman card left that I found in the family fridge when I was taking it to the dump because it had passed the beer storage phase in the 90s.
    Unfortunately, my last Batman card is of Robin on his Bat-Go-Cart.

    I always wanted to drive the Batmobile since I was knee high to a grasshopper back when it first aired.

    Bob

    Like 2
  9. 370zpp

    This would be be perfect to buy and ship (far) overseas and sell it.

    Like 1
  10. Joe Haska

    When I was B/J a number of years ago one sold for big money and I couldn’t believe it at the time. Does anyone else remember that and what the final out come, might be. At the time I thought it was the worst buy , I had ever witnessed.

  11. Sam61

    Zappp, Pow, Bafff, %$@&#€&?….holy bat guanno!

  12. ismaelaquino

    The plexi wood doesn’t inspire to much safety, but finished and just taking it autoshows would be nice.

  13. Bob Mck Member

    If I could fix it, I would be proud to park this in my shop.

    Like 1
  14. Troy s

    I remember when Cars illustrated did a spoof car test on the batmobile, dressed up for the occasion and all. Thats my wonderful contribution.

    Like 1
  15. Kenn

    Fire out the exhaust accomplished with a spark plug in the exhaust pipe hooked to a Model T coil.

  16. AMCFAN

    It’s too bad the builder didn’t title it as the donor car. A small road block. Still the basic car is here. No mistaken it. There has been a huge amount of work that would be hard to replicate.

    I say it is a fantastic deal. This is what it would look like pulled from a cave…..the bat cave find!

  17. rustylink

    Holy Half Hearted Attempt Batman!

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