Batman DVD site!!
Model as featured on the DVD George Barris and the Batmobiles!
The model I built...as seen in the Batman 35th Anniversary DVD.

See story below!

 

Originally how it came No wheel wells & a rough finish Now comes the epoxy Applying the epoxy resin and balsa wood and the wheel wells, etc.
And the balsa wood Primer flat black After a coat of Gloss Black The rear minus all the details The rollbar and beacon under construction
Just after a coat of gloss black The rear almost complete Sideview Front view The size of a coffee table
Real aluminum tubing and parachute packs Notice the detail Beacon operational and small details added All complete except for canopies Almost complete

Hover over each photo for more details

 

Back in 1997, I purchased a 4 foot x 2 foot (1/4 scale)  one of a kind  Batmobile model from a collector in Las Vegas, NV--sight unseen.  I was told that the model was built for George Barris and came with the documentation to prove it.  Being very  excited about the prospects of the model/prop and the history behind it, I gladly paid the big price tag.  Three days later the huge package arrived in the mail.  After opening the box I was less than thrilled. 

Yes, it did come with some documentation (original letters from George Barris, etc). Yes, this styrofoam mass was shaped crudely like the Batmobile, but lacking any detail to speak of. This model was roughly 20% finished!  Everything from the wheel wells to the back-end to the interior and even much of the overall shape of the car was in need of a major facelift.  Even the tires were those that you'd see on a child's "Little Tykes" toy (see the two top left photos for an idea of what needed to be done). 

It was basically a disaster, but what could I do? Following some initial denial, I accepted the fact that I'd overpaid for this vague replica of a car I loved and it was unlikely I'd recoup my investment any time soon. After all, I'd agreed to buy it sight unseen.

Happy the car also came with some interesting and unusual letters and photos (which I still have), I decided to make the most of my pricey model and embark on the journey of finishing it on my own. 

Not having much practical knowledge of custom model building (nor having a garage or studio at the time), I spent most of my free weekends and nights over the next 18 months completing it.  My work area for this large project turned out to be our ironing board placed in the living room of our old apartment.   Slowly, the car evolved from a raw, rough piece of styrofoam in to a smooth, shiny, gloss black finish.  The smooth finish was accomplished by using gallons and gallons of expensive epoxy resin.  All the car's details were done by studying  ENDLESS photos of the #1 Batmobile and by watching scenes from the Batman TV show over and over.

Some of the features included real aluminum pipes, a flashing beacon, cloth parachutes, aluminum rims and rubber tires.  The final cost was over $1,000.00, but enjoying each moment of the restoration was worth every last penny!

In the end, you could say this labor of love is what drove me to build this website. 

Eric

 

The #1 and my model with George Barris            At Barris shop in '98

The model is currently owned by George Barris.

         

A special thanks to Dean Franchi for his assistance in building some of the key parts. 

 

 

1/25 Scale Models

1/25 scale model    1/25 scale model    Check out the detail on the dashboard    1/25 scale model

"Caped Custom" garage kit beautifully made by Jim Apitz.

 

TonyMoe's masterpiece    TonyMoe's masterpiece    The Revell Futura customized by TonyMoe    An Aurora model by TonyMoe    1/43 scale courtesy of Tony Moe

 The work of TonyMoe

 

Click here for more photos of Marcelo's work

Courtesy of Marcelo Ribeiro

        

Customized by Chopper    Customized by Chopper    The Dynamic Trio

The work of "Chopper"

 

By Michael R. Spressler    By Michael R. Spressler    By Michael R. Spressler

 A Lunar resin model customized by Michael R. Spressler

 

Scooters Batmobile

A montage of a "T&T" model customized by Scot Fleming