The Batmobile used by actor Adam West in the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2 million at a US auction.
The car was bought by Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from Phoenix, Arizona.
Rick Champagne, 56, who was just 10 when the high-camp TV series began in 1966, said it “was a dream come true”.
The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company.
It was the first time that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customizer George Barris, who transformed it in 15 days, at the cost of $15,000, into the superhero’s famous vehicle.
It had a V-8 engine, arguably one of the first in-car phones, and parachutes, which were deployed to help Batman turn sharp corners.
The Batmobile used by actor Adam West in the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2 million at a US auction
George Barris told reporters at the auction: “The car had to be a star on its own. And it became one.”
Since the show was cancelled in 1968, he has toured the Batmobile and was eventually housed in a private showroom in California.
Adam West, now 84, played the caped crusader in 120 episodes in four years of programming, with Burt Ward starring as the “boy wonder” Robin and comedian and actor Cesar Romero as Batman’s arch nemesis, The Joker.
The 60s show was camp in its portrayal of Batman. More recent incarnations of billionaire Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego – such as British director Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy – have had a much darker tone.
The newer Batmobiles have reflected the more brutal portrayal of Gotham City’s savior, such as the “Tumbler” of 2005’s Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale.
Batman was pulled over earlier this week after Montgomery police saw he had no tags on his black Lamborghini.
Lenny B. Robinson, the man dressed as Batman, was heading to a local children’s hospital, according to Montgomery County Captain Paul Starks.
According to Capt. Paul Starks, a man dressed as Batman was pulled over on Interstate 29 in Montgomery, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC.
“An officer on routine patrol saw a Lamborghini with the rear plate – it was the Batman symbol for the show. He pulled him over and said, <<what’s going on?>>”
However, Lenny B. Robinson had both front and back plates with him.
“The car was registered, and the man explained that he goes to hospitals and does work with kids (while in costume),” Capt. Paul Stark explained.
But it would appear he was short for a changing room – the Lamborghini is usually the vehicle of choice for Batman’s alter-ego, Bruce Wayne.
Lenny B. Robinson, the man dressed as Batman, was heading to a local children’s hospital
Capt. Paul Stark said that Lenny B. Robinson was not charged.
“They had a discussion about the law, and he let him fly so to speak,” he said.
“The police officer and Batman had a discussion, and he said next time, get it right,” Capt. Paul Stark said.
The precinct released pictures of the unusual event on both their Facebook and Twitter pages.
As for the reason why he didn’t have plates in? Capt. Paul Stark speculated that Lenny B. Robinson didn’t want to “ruin the effect” of being Batman – thus going completely method.
A tipster told Jalopnik that the plate’s screws simply would not fit with the luxury car.
The Montgomery police tweeted that the “batmobile was not towed”.
Lenny B. Robinson, it seems, loves showing up in public dressed as the Dark Knight.
From the look of his Facebook page, the business owner often makes appearances, and especially loves brightening young children’s days.
This isn’t the first issue the erstwhile Batman has faced. Last Halloween, his car got a flat tire as he was again driving to a Washington-area hospital to visit sick children.
He posed with Howard County Police Department’s Brandon Stickles, one of the officers who responded to the call.
Lenny B. Robinson still managed to get to the hospital, thanks to a ride from a friend.