Classic Auto Mall, a consignment house located in Pennsylvania, the US, is selling the original Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton in the films Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
The iconic Warner Bros. Pictures’ 1989 car was designed by illustrator Julian Caldow. It was then developed as a prop car at Pinewood Studios in England by the SFX team led by John Evans.
More about the Batmobile
First time on public sale
Keaton played Batman in the two live-action films on the Caped Crusader directed by Tim Burton. In the films, he is seen ‘driving’ the car as he goes up against supervillains to save Gotham City.
After its use in the 1992 film, the car ended up at New Jersey’s Six Flags. It was used as a prop for the Batman Returns roller coaster before a movie car collector bought it.
Now, the same 1989 car, in pristine condition, is being offered for the first time in a public sale for USD 1.5 million.
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Steampunk-like external design
The instantly recognisable machine has a fibreglass, all-black body. Bat-style fins on the sides of the cockpit and a jet engine turbine at the centre of the nose section are part of its unique design.
The exterior design incorporates lots of air intakes; there is a large air scoop on the roof and multiple air intakes on the sides. The car runs on 15-inch wheels covered in Mickey Thompson tyres.
Overall, the external design evokes a strong steampunk influence and gives the appearance of a supercar.
The car can go up to 48 km/h
The interiors are more ‘Batman-esque.’ Inspired by the McLaren F1, the car seats three. But its arrangement is unique — there are two regular seats at the front and an elevated third, which functions like the actual driver’s seat.
Classic Auto Mall says that the car’s cockpit has “buttons, levers, lights, control panels and an overabundance of nonfunctional bells and whistles.” Apparently, parts of the interiors are more for cinematic purposes than actual driving experience.
Its most unique feature is perhaps the drivetrain — a battery-powered 48V system that delivers a top speed of around 48 km/h, as per the consignor. The speed may not be what even Michael Keaton-era Batman would appreciate, but the Batmobile comes with a functional flame-thrower.
Classic Auto Mall says that the batteries have not been charged since around 1993. It is not clear if the car has been tested for speed, but the consignment house says that it didn’t want to “risk a failure or fire.”
(Main and Featured images: Classic Auto Mall)