Car manufacturers are always reinventing their model. In 1962, Ford introduced the Ford Mustang, a two-seater concept car. Fifty-five years later, the Mustang, a four-seater 8-cylander eco-speedster, is a popular modern collector car for the driver on the stylish swift go. That’s what a classic car is. Ever evolving, growing, improving. And doing it all without the risk of losing its original appeal, its special personality. The Batmobile, originally introduced in DC Comics #48 in 1941 was far different from the superhero transport seen in the modern Batman films. But it was in 1966 when movie car designer George Barris interpreted a vision.
Barris purchased a 1955 Ford Futura, a futuristic vision built entirely by hand in Italy. Barris purchased the quarter-million dollar keeper for a mere one dollar, transforming it ten years later, into television’s Batmobile. The vehicle included specs such as the Batscope, with TV-like viewing screen on the dash, and the Bing-Bong warning bell and Bat-Light flasher. I remember seeing the Batmobile daily, as I walked home from school in Beverly Hills. Barris had a display dealership on Wilshire and it just couldn’t be missed.
Newer and more modern forms of the Batmobile seem much more post-apocalyptic and dangerous. There’s even one where when it’s crashed in The Dark Knight when it turns into a Bat-motorcycle. Estimates for what a real-life Batmobile would cost today topple $10 million. And though I’d love to own one (who wouldn’t), somehow the kitsch in me would somehow rather ride around in the driver’s bubble of the 1966 TV version. Maybe it’s because if anything, that Batman was purposely more “Holy Groovy!”