Old School Americana & Nostalgia

Cars

‘Batman’: All About TV’s Original 1966 Batmobile and Where It is Now

‘Batman’: All About TV’s Original 1966 Batmobile and Where It is Now

Batman’s ultimate accessory is the Batmobile, with the ’66 TV series version being an obvious fan favorite. This iconic Batmobile became the first to truly captivate the public’s imagination. The vehicle’s design, crafted by George Barris, showcases a captivating black-and-red exterior complemented by a custom windshield. The design also lets the show’s stars, Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) remain exposed.

Of course, the 1966 Batmobile had gadgets stacked high enough to make James Bond envious. It boasted an atomic turbine engine, a chain slicer, lasers, rockets, a telephone, radar, a dash monitor, an onboard computer, a police beacon, rear-mounted 10-foot parachutes for quick turns, a smoke emitter, a nail shooter, and a battering ram. The array of gadgets and slick design puts this version of Batman’s ride at the top for many fans.

George Barris Had Just Three Weeks to Complete the 1966 Batmobile

However, Barriss packed a painstaking amount of work into the real-life 1966 Batmobile. What started as a $250,000 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura concept car was swiftly converted into Batman’s famous ride within a mere 3 weeks. Upon its release, the Futura car was a groundbreaking innovation of its era. It was one of the first vehicles to incorporate gauges like temperature and fuel, aspects that are now commonly overlooked in today’s vehicles.

batman-all-about-tvs-original-1966-batmobile
The 1966 Batmobile in Hollywood circa 2006 (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

According to the George Barris website, the 1966 Batmobile boasts a weight is 5500 pounds. It has a completely hand-formed steel body. The wheelbase measures 129 inches, the total length spans 206 inches, and the maximum height reaches 48 inches.

The initial car was produced at a cost of approximately thirty thousand dollars. It was unable to exceed speeds of 45mph. Consequently, the footage showing the car in motion was accelerated during production.

Unique to Hollywood productions, George Barris kept ownership of the 1966 Batmobile after building it. Greenway Productions and Fox would lease the car from him during the season’s filming. Four replica cars were then created for the filming, totaling five cars. However, the original was always retained as the property of George Barris.

Batman’s most iconic ride spent years showcased at Gatlinburg’s Guinness World Records Museum. However, the 1966 Batmobile now belongs to the Hollywood Star Cars Collection, which is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee despite its name. The exhibit is open seven days a week, ensuring Batfans have the opportunity to see part of the Caped Crusader’s legacy in person.