News that “Kustom” car king George Barris is auctioning off his original Batmobile had me reaching for my own moment of bat-glory. A roly poly Burt Ward–looking more like The Penguin–and a well preserved Adam West were at a TCA press tour in 2003 to promote the CBS reunion TV-movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. The network had the iconic Batmobile parked out front of the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood for the occasion and yours truly took advantage of the photo op.
Note how Ward looks like he just spotted a half-price wings special across the street, West looks like he’s trying to find his agent to get him the hell out of there and I look around seven years old.
The Batmobile, one of several used on the 1966-68 series, was quickly modified from a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car Barris reportedly bought for a buck. Now 87, Barris added, among other things, the two parachutes at the back (they helped with the “Bat-turns”), the red Bat-phone between the car’s two seats and the shiny black with red trim paint job. Thousands of metal Corgi replicas of the car were sold; wish I knew what ever happened to mine.
The Batmobile will be part of the Barrett-Jackson auction on Jan. 19 in Scottsdale, Az. Jay Leno is probably already building a batcave.

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