Even more than the first production 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 or even the 1968 Shelby EXP, perhaps the most highly-anticipated car to go up for auction at this weekend’s Barrett-Jackson auction was the legendary 1966 Batmobile. Hailed as “the world’s most famous car” by Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson, prior to the actual bidding, some believed the car was over-hyped, and would not fetch the stratospheric prices predicted for it.
The cynics were quickly silenced once bidding began, with the bids going into the seven figure range almost immediately. The crowds cheered ever more loudly as bidding continued. When the hammer finally came down, the car fetched $4.2 million dollars before fees. After fees, the Batmobile’s final selling price was $4.62 million. The winning bid was made by Rick Champagne of Ahwatukee, Arizona, CEO of Champagne Logistics. To keep the excitement level high, the Batmobile’s creator, the legendary George Barris, accompanied the car onto the stage, and offered his personal Batmobile jacket to the winning bidder.
The Batmobile started life as a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that Barris bought from Ford for $1. It was built as a rush order from the studio with a 15-day deadline and a $15,000 budget. Since its original building, Barris has always retained ownership of the car.
Although the sum fetched for the Batmobile is impressive, it is closely matched by the $4.1 million paid for the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 featured in the James Bond movies Goldfinger and Thunderball at an RM Auction in 2010.
Source: Speed TV, Barrett-Jackson