If you had as much money as, say, Bruce Wayne, wouldn’t you buy the original Batmobile if you had a chance?
Rick Champagne, a Phoenix, Ariz. man who loves Batman and Robin, will be the Batmobile’s newest owner, after winning an auction to purchase the iconic car for $4.2 million Saturday.
The two-seater that was retrofitted with futuristic details for the Batman series starring Adam West and Burt Ward from 1966 to 1998, was sold in a BOOM! POW! BID! flurry of bidding in Scottsdale, until Champagne SLAMMED! the bidding with a $4.2 million wave of his bat paddle.
“I really liked Batman growing up and I came here with the intention of buying the car,” Champagne, 56, told Reuters “Sure enough, I was able to buy it. That was a dream come true.”
Champagne must have a Bruce Wayne-style bank account too. In addition to the $4.2 million winning bid, he’ll have to pay another $420,000 in taxes, title sand more.
Batmobile was built based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, built in Italy by the Ford Motor Co. Noted customizer George Barris in 1965 spent $1 to buy the concept car and $15,000 to transform it for the show. It took him just 15 days to customize the car, and he’s owned the Batmobile ever since that time, until Saturday’s auction.
The Barrett-Jackson auction was the first time the car was put up for public sale. In addition to the $4.2 million bid price, the buyer will have to pay an additional $420,000 in premiums to own the special car.
“With every pow, bang, wow, wee, I wanted the car to do something just like the actors,” Barris, 87, said before the auction. “The car had to be a star on its own. And it became one.”
The car is most memorable for its Bat gadgets, including a car phone years before most cars had one, along with the ability to spill oil, smoke and nails to stop vilians. Let’s not forget those real parachutes that came out, allowing the Batmobile to make those quick Bat turns.
The Batmobile toured the country once the series ended, and even appeared in a movie now and then before it got put away in a private showroom in California.