A car museum owner in the US has paid a cool R1,2 million for a batmobile last seen in the original ‘60s Batman TV series. Is this memorabilia madness?

A car museum owner in the US has paid a cool R1,2 million for a batmobile last seen in the original ‘60s Batman TV series. Is this memorabilia madness?

The Batmobile was based on the Lincoln Futura, the brainchild of Lincoln Mercury's post-war chief stylist, Bill Schmidt. Inspired by a scuba-diving encounter with a shark, Schmidt sketched a low, long, wide, and flat vision of the future with a predatory full width grille, ominously hooded headlights, and killer tail fins.

Built by Ghia in 1955, the R1,75-million concept car made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in January 1955. Unfortunately, the stylistic excesses of the Futura seemed woefully at odds with the design ethics of the ‘60s. And so it happened that the unwanted car ended up in the possession of television set and prop designer George Barris.

In 1965, Barris was commissioned to build the Batmobile for ABC's upcoming Batman TV series. But because the show was about to go into production, he had only three weeks to build it. He quickly realized it wouldn’t take much work to modify the Futura for the part. While retaining the chassis and the basic shape of the car, Barris overhauled the nose and tail with numerous bat-like shapes and references.

Devoe Moore, who runs the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum in Florida, said he'd initially meant to bid about R655 400 for the car, which was one of the seven Batmobiles used in the TV series.

Moore said the 1966 Batmobile will join his two others from the Batman movies along with a Batman motorcycle, and a jet plane from the movie.

He said he paid the amount to keep the car out of commercials and other promotions. "I'm glad I have it. I just didn't want to pay that much. But it's important to preserve the history," said Moore.

The Batmobile was one of more than 200 cars auctioned at an event in Daytona Beach, Florida, the reported this week.

Among the other big sellers were the Ecto-1 - a Cadillac-based hearse - as seen in the cult 1985 movie that went for R391 000 to a museum in Illinois and the Mazda RX7 driven by actor Vin Diesel in , which went for R327 700 to a museum in Chicago.

Another bidder paid R406 800 for the 1946 Ford convertible from the movie and The Star Cars Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, bought the time-travelling DeLorean from for R339 000.

Original article from Car