Taking the love for Batman and Robin a step further, an ardent fan has purchased the original Batmobile for a whopping $4.2m (£2.6m) at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from the Phoenix area, bought the iconic automobile that transported the superhero and his sidekick in the Batman series featured on television from 1966 to 1968. The show starred Adam West and Burt Ward with the Batmobile based on the concept car, 1955 Lincoln Futura, built by Ford Motor Co in Italy.
This was the first time that the Batmobile was put up for public sale. Mr Champagne will have to pay additional costs of $420,000 in premiums as well as the $4.2m auction bid price.
50-year-old Mr Champagne said: “I really liked Batman growing up and I came here with the intention of buying the car. Sure enough, I was able to buy it. That was a dream come true.”
The legendary luxury car boasts a V8 engine and instruments in its steering wheel along with innovations like the push-button transmission. The car was initially bought for a nominal $1 by famous customizer George Barris who had 15 days to work his magic and transform the concept car into the historic Batmobile for the TV show. He worked from a budget of $15,000 to create the original Batmobile and since the transformation and its rise to fame, Mr Barris has continued to own the vehicle until the Barrett-Jackson auction. The car is well-loved for its state-of-art gadgets that include a car phone, twin rear parachutes for quick Bat turns and the ability to deploy oil, smoke and nails to stop villains in their tracks.
Since the series ended, the Batmobile has toured the United States and has also featured in a movie. Soon after, the car was housed in a private showroom in California and Mr Barris now feels that it is the right time for the car to be in the hands of a new owner.