2:17pm PT by Graeme McMillan
World's First Real-Life Batmobile Up For Auction
We’re all familiar with the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman TV series, but it’s far less likely that you’ve seen the first real-life Batmobile, built from scratch years before the TV show debuted and officially sanctioned as a legitimate Batmobile — and soon-to-be up for auction to the highest bidder.
The car was designed by Forrest Robinson in 1960 using design elements of multiple comic book Batmobiles from the 1940s and ‘50s — most notably the single rear fin and “Bat-nose” front end — and built over the next three years by Robinson and Len Perham, a friend.
The car — which was originally painted silver and used by Robinson as his regular vehicle — didn’t officially become a Batmobile until after the television show debuted in 1966, when a local company (and official DC Comics licensee at the time) leased the car, repainted it in a color scheme matching the show’s Batmobile — itself a repainted Lincoln concept car — and toured it as “Batman’s Batmobile” across the Earthern U.S.
Just a few years later, the car was left in a field in New Hampshire, sold by Robinson and abandoned by its new owners. It lay undiscovered until 2008 before eventually ending up in the hands of a company called Toy Car Exchange, which restored it back to its original condition before placing it up for auction via Heritage Auctions.
For those who love the idea of having this particular piece of pop culture history in your garage, start saving now: the starting bid is $90,000 (Bruce Wayne would be proud). Bidding is open online until the night before Heritage’s floor session, which takes place Dec. 6.