The spirit of Adam West lives on with this special 1960's recreation.
There have been many variations of the Batmobile through the years, but there’s something special about the original machine from the 1966 television series. It’s not every day the opportunity arises to own a Batmobile, but for $250,000 (approx. $330,000 CAD) in spare change you can geek out with Batmobile replica number 005 as approved by the designer himself, famed Hollywood movie car guru George Barris.
There’s also an interesting story that accompanies Batmobile replica 005. For the mid-1960’s television series, Barris created the first Batmobile from the Lincoln Futura concept car, then followed it up with four replicas for touring and promotion. Meanwhile, a Batman superfan by the name of Jim Sermersheim decided to build his own copy of the Batmobile, using a 1958 Ford Thunderbird chassis as the starting point.
Fabricating a replica of something that had originated from a one-off factory concept vehicle is no easy task, but Sermersheim’s attention to detail was, in a word, extraordinary. So much so, that when Barris learned of its existence (he was reportedly not happy about an unlicensed Batmobile touring the country) he bought it, inspected it, and was so impressed that he officially approved it as a genuine Barris Batmobile replica. It joined the official fleet and became number 005.
The car eventually went into storage until Barris sold it to Fantasy Cars in El Cajon, California in 1986. It had deteriorated to the point of needing restoration, so it was brought back to life and sold to its current owner in 1988 – a woman we can only describe as the best wife in the world, as she bought it as a gift to her Batman-loving husband.
It's now listed for sale with JamesEdition, and is advertised as looking great and being fully functional, save for the jet engine sticking out the back which is just a prop for obvious reasons. There are a few minor flaws common with an older restoration - some touched-up areas on the finish and a crack in the paint on the hood among the problem areas. Power comes from a period-correct 352 cubic-inch V8 that powered the 1958 Thunderbird, and it’s perfectly streetable should you fancy a drive as the caped crusader.
There is at least one other company that builds vintage Batmobile replicas, with the deluxe model costing as much as this one. However, $250,000 seems like a very fair price to own this Barris-approved version that actually toured with the official replicas back in the day. So guys, start treating your wives with the love and respect they deserve, because if you’re worthy, she just might buy you a Batmobile.
Photo credit: JamesEdition