When most people think about the original Batmobile, their mind jumps to the Ford Futura based ride that Adam West cruised in during the late 60s Batman television series. However, unbeknownst to most people. that was not the first of the classic, world famous cars that belonged to the caped crusader.
Instead, the original was actually built by Forrest Robinson and All-Star Dairy back in the early 60s and was even sanctioned by DC Comics in 1966, just months before the classic comedy Batman show began. Unbelievably, this modified 1958 Oldsmobile 88 with a 324-cubic-inch Rocket V8 was the only car ever built by Robinson. For the body, Robinson’s creation measred over five metres in length, two metres in width, and included a fin, a bat-nose front end, and a pair of pocket sliding doors.
So, why have you never heard of this car and what the hell happened to it?
Well, after being bought up by a comic book company and used for a shot promotional tour, this bad boy was sold for only $200. And since then, for the past 45 years, it has actually been sitting unused and forgotten in a junk pile!
Fortunately for the legions of Batman fanatics, though, this piece of Gotham history has been brought back from the dead by owners Sid and Alicia Belzberg and restoration expert Mario Borbon. “Masterfully restored by Mario Borbon of Borbon Fabrications, it is hard to believe that such a complete wreck can come back to life the way it did,” says film director Christopher Rutkowski.
Now, after a few years of work, the ride is taking the next step into the limelight as Heritage Auctions is bringing it to the public and putting it up for auction, with the bidding set to start at $90,000. This should be chump’s change, of course, considering the car has been officially deemed the “earliest known car in existence that was sanctioned by a DC Comics licensee.” Some experts wage that the car good garner upwards of $1 million.
“This is a great piece of lost pop culture and Americana,” Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment and music at Heritage Auctions, which is handling the auction, said in a statement. “After it was removed from the field, it went through a few owners before the most recent owner, Toy Car Exchange, put the car through a painstaking frame up restoration with the original engine and other original parts lovingly restored and rebuilt.”
Currently, the bidding is set to begin on December 5th at 8 P.M. PT, so if you have the cash and you love everything Batman, it’s time to pony up. If that’s not exctly in your price range, well, 4wheelonline will keep you updated with what happens to this piece of pop culture history.