In late 1966, George Barris and the Producer's of Batman decided to build copies of the Batmobile.  Barris and his crew pulled a mold from the #1 Batmobile and created 3 fiberglass copies.  These pages are dedicated to those three cars.

Batmobile # The original #1 #2 #3 #4
Photo
Information The #1 page The #2 replica page The #3 replica page The #4 replica page
Date built October 1965 November 1966 November 1966 November 1966
Builder Barris Kustom City Barris Kustom City Barris Kustom City Barris Kustom City
Construction Steel Fiberglass Fiberglass Fiberglass
Chassis 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car 1965-1966 Ford Galaxie 1966 Ford Galaxie 7-Litre 1965-66 Ford Galaxie
Engine 390ci V-8 390ci V-8 352ci V-8 (original) 427ci V-8
Transmission Auto on the floor Auto on the floor Originally a manual 4spd & changed to a C-4 automatic Auto on the floor
Weight 5500 lb 3800 lb 3800 lb 3800 lb
Reason created Batman TV show Exhibition/Touring Exhibition/Touring Exhibition/Touring
Unique feature Originally built in 1954 Last replica that was owned by Barris Was missing its rear canopy for years Seen on the Batman TV show in '67
Hood Opens near canopy area Tilt-up front end Tilt-up front end Tilt-up front end
Trunk Yes None Yes None
Interior details Roll top dash Padded dash/sparse int. Padded dash/sparse int. Padded dash/sparse int.
Steering Wheel Currently, a modified 1958 Edsel 1958 Edsel A modified 1958 Edsel 1958 Edsel
Exterior door handles Yes None Yes, but non-operational Yes, but non-operational
Headlights Yes None Yes None
Canopy Trim Chrome Black Black Black
Beacon Cage design Conical Shaped with 12 vertical slats Cylindrical with 8 vertical slats Cylindrical with 12 vertical slats Cylindrical with 12 vertical slats
Lights on Roll bar Originally Red/Red combo  Originally Red/Red combo Originally Yellow/Red combo Red/Yellow combo
Current Location Phoenix, Arizona Virginia New Jersey Henderson, NV
Current Owner Rick Champagne Dr. Dave Anderson Morris Family Doug Jackson
Last sale price $4,200,000 Unknown $600,000 $217,000

 

Original photos of the 3 replicas being built in late 1966

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The #1

The #1 stripped, to be replicated

1966

"Tubs", back left; Jeff Cruz, back right

Building the replicas

Michael "Gale" Black, left

1966

Jeff Cruz, right

1966

Jeff Cruz

Courtesy of Barris Kustom Industries

Working on two cars

1966

Michael "Gale" Black, center

1966

Working on the center console

Working on one of the replicas

Working on one of the replicas

1966

Michael "Gale" Black

Welding

Welding the frame

Replicating

One of the replicas

Read the original Barris Kustom City press release for the replicas

 

 The Replicas --Questions & Answers

Why were replicas built? From the agreement dated August 15, 1966, "...all of the parties hereto are desirous of exhibiting to the public for profit vehicles copies from and representing exactly the aforesaid Batmobile...BARRIS is authorized to construct such copies of the Batmobile vehicle as FOX and GREENWAY may approve..."

How many replicas did Barris build in the sixties? Three

When were the 3 replicas built? In early November of 1966

Why did Barris build 3 replicas? From an original 1967 document, "The demand for bookings (car shows & appearances) has been greater...as we do not have enough cars and can not move them around the country quick enough to fill all the requests.  Naturally, another car would bring more income which would be beneficial..."  

Did one of the replicas drag race? Yes, in 1967 Bill Shrewsberry was hired by George Barris to drive the #4 Batmobile at various exhibition races across the country.

1967 ad     1967 Program     May 1967 ad     June 1967 ad     1967     1967 cardboard signs

Listen Now  to hear audio of the Batmobile at the Motor City Dragway in 1967

Were the cars identical? No, each one was unique in its own way.  "Such copies of the Batmobile shall be faithful reproductions as to the quality  and design of the Batmobile currently used  by FOX and GREENWAY."  The "Dragster" did have a larger racing engine (427 ci), a bigger tire & rim combination and four small holes on each side of the rear canopy (to prevent the canopy from blowing out).  It also shot flames from the turbine exhaust.  Also, replica #2 & 4 did not have headlights while #3 did.

How were they created?  Fiberglass molds were pulled from the original Batmobile and used to create numbers 2-4.  A 1965-66 Ford Galaxie frame and suspension were extended 11 inches to handle the new replicas .  

Molds   Molds   Molds

Were any of the replicas used on the Batman TV show or movie? Yes, the #4 Batmobile was seen during "The Contaminated Cowl" episode which aired January 4,  1967.  The key to spotting the replica is the cylindrical beacon cage (versus conical shape of the #1), the different colored arch lights & the larger red antler lights.  The replica arch lights have a red/yellow pattern versus the red/red on the #1.  See the group of screen captures below from the episode.  The replica is pictured on the left & the #1 is on the right.

#4 Batmobile    #4 Batmobile   Replica photos   The #1 Batmobile       

How were the Batmobile's brought to the different events in the 60's? By the "Bat" Ford Galaxie Country Sedan station wagon and the Wells Cargo Bat-trailer or the Promotions, Inc. 40' trailer. 

  Bat-wagon and trailer    Wells Cargo, Inc.    Wingdale, NY    Bat-Trailer

Why was there writing placed on the front fenders of the replicas and what did it say? From the agreement dated August 15, 1966, "BARRIS agrees to affix permanently upon each vehicle produced hereunder appropriate copyright and trademark notices and supplied by NATIONAL PERIODICALS in the following form..."

"Batmobile"--The Barris Kustom Insignia--"Powered by..." The Ford Oval Insignia--"Greenway Productions...Mr. W. Dozier"--"Filmed at "20th" Century T.V."--"National Periodicals Inc. "67"--"Design Patent...George Barris"--"ABC-Television...Batman"

Lower front fender

Why did the replicas have a furry or "flocked" finish at one time? Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's flocking was becoming a new fad for automotive finishes.  A flocked finish was comprised of nylon flocking fibers sprayed on an epoxy base.  The flocked finish could be described as looking & feeling like a stiff carpet.  The replicas were "Bat fuzzed" in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

For more information on the replicas read my exclusive interviews with Dick Dean, Michael Gale Black, and Bill Shrewsberry.

  

Courtesy of Barris Kustom Industries Vintage Touring sign Sign from 1974 Graphic image of the sign #4 Sign Sign used by Barris when he had a replica on display

Original touring signs for the Barris replicas