Upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction stirs interest in Batmobile trivia

 For immediate release


Contact: Brian Grams, director, Volo Auto Museum

(815) 385-3644; brian@volocars.com


Upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction stirs interest

in Batmobile trivia


VOLO – With only 15 days to complete the feat and a $15,000 budget, George Barris took a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car out of storage and created arguably the most famous entertainment industry auto ever — the Batmobile.


The legendary car customizer crafted the iconic car late in 1965 for the live-action TV series “Batman,” as well as the movie adaptation, featuring Adam West.


With the singular, steel-bodied original soon headed for a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., the phone calls have been fast and furious at Volo Auto Museum, where the No. 7 Batmobile long has been a chief attraction.


“The one going up for auction is the first one built,” said Brian Grams, director at the museum at 27582 Volo Village Road, Volo.


After crafting the original, Barris made a mold and created several fiberglass duplicates “for exhibition use and for backup cars in case [the first] one broke down on the set,” Grams said. “Ours is car No. 7.”


Only a handful, including Volo’s, are DC Comics-approved, actual Batmobiles, bearing the trademarked red-orange “bat” logo and permitted to be displayed under the title of “Batmobile.”


Barris himself appears regularly at Volo Auto Museum, which also has his personal seal of approval to claim true “Batmobile” status for its car.  “It’s not the original,” Grams said. “But it’s an original … visually speaking, they look identical.”


Which perhaps is why the morning news team from WGN TV requested the car’s use for its Dec. 11 newscast, in which a spoof of the Barrett-Jackson auction is planned, Grams said.


No doubt the upcoming auction is no laughing matter for Barris, who owns the No. 1 Batmobile and will sell it Jan. 19. Holy masterful tailfins, Batman. We wonder how high bids will go.


“[Barris] says it’s the most important movie car ever built, which you can’t argue,” Grams said. “I can’t think of a car more famous than that one. He’s thinking $3 million.”


Meanwhile, should you wish to view one of the original’s closest, most bona fide cousins, stop by the Volo Auto Museum, which features hundreds of classic, muscle and Hollywood cars. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $11.95 per adult, $6.95 for children ages 5 to 12, and $9.95 for veterans and military personnel with ID. Admission is free for military personnel in uniform and children younger than 5. For other information, visit www.volocars.com or call (815) 385-3644.