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by Jay Traugott
The original Batmobile from the classic '60s TV show is going up for sale for the first time ever next month.
The Batmobile has certainly evolved over the decades and everyone seems to have their favorite generation of the iconic car. Despite the advancements in technology and visual effects, there are still a number of fans out there who's preferred Batmobile still remains the original 1966 Lincoln Future concept. Converted into the Batmobile for the old TV series starring Adam West as the Caped Crusader, the George Barris Batmobile is set to be auctioned off on January 19th at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Starting off life as a Lincoln prototype in a styling department exercise, the 19-foot-long two-seater with a bubble top was hand assembled in 1954 by Ghia Body Works in Turin, Italy, and was unveiled at the 1955 Chicago Auto Show. With unique design bits like instruments located in the steering wheel and a push-button transmission, the car was meant to serve as a "rolling laboratory" for future Ford innovations. Before its Batmobile conversion, it was even featured in the film "It Started With a Kiss" alongside Debbie Reynolds. Not long after, George Barris acquired it and stowed it away in his garage.
It wasn't until 1965 that 20th Century Fox's TV studio asked him to construct a Batmobile for the upcoming TV series. Barris had just 15 days and a $15,000 budget to complete the task. Power comes from a Lincoln V8 and still includes a number of Bat-happy gadgets. After the Batman TV series went off the air, the car was still displayed in numerous shows and museums across the US. Most recently, it was featured in a documentary that'll appear on the DVD release of "The Dark Knight Rises". Up until now, the car remained the property of George Barris and this will be the first time it has ever gone up for sale, following the recent replica that went up for auction.