Holy hot wheels! When Rick Champagne was a kid, he always dreamed of driving a car just like the one his hero Barman drove on the 1960’s TV show. Now, as fate (and a $4.6 million bid) would have it, the Phoenix businessman has driven away with one of the six original batmobiles produced for the series by legendary designer George Barris.
The 1966 vehicle was actually built over a 1955 Futura concept model (which Barris had purchased for a mere $1), and features such accessories as a batphone and an oil sprinkler created from a lawn sprinkler. Even more impressive is the fact that after 47 years, the car is still road legal. Barris proved that when he appeared with the original Batmobile during Nassau County’s 3rd Cruise to the Show event on Long Island last September 30th (see www.examiner.com/article/3rd-annual-cruise-to-the-show-september-)
Champagne’s purchase of the Batmobile tied the record for the highest price garnered by a movie car at auction. In 2010, Sean Connery’s Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger also brought in the same amount. In comparison, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car came in $1 million shy of its expected price, selling for a “mere” $805,000.
When asked where he planned to keep his now toy, Champagne sounded more like the Joker than the Caped Crusader by telling reporters he planned to keep in his livingroom, after tearing out a wall.
For another related article see http://www.examiner.com/article/the-return-of-james-bond-s-aston-martin-db5