This Batmobile was built by Z Cars in the UK using a 1965 Ford Mustang as the base. It has a fiberglass body, Spaceframe chassis, 4-speed manual transmission and a 380 hp 5.7-liter Chevrolet small block V8.
Interestingly, the original 1989 Batmobile was also built in England, it was based on a Chevrolet Impala chassis with unique bodywork designed by concept illustrator Julian Caldow and built by John Evans with his special effects team at Pinewood Studios .
Quick Facts – A recreation of Tim Burton’s Batmobile
- In 1989, the Tim Burton movie “Batman” was released, and the Batman universe would never be the same. Burton’s art deco vision of Gotham City set the tone, and the jet-powered Batmobile became an overnight sensation.
- The original Batmobile was built at Pinewood Studios in England to a unique design penned by Julian Caldow. The fake jet engine used real Rolls-Royce jet engine components, and turbine blades from the British Harrier jump jet were used for the nose.
- Of all the Batmobiles that followed, the Tim Burton Batmobile is arguably the most famous, and it’s certainly the most influential.
- The Batmobile replica you see here was built in England by the Z Cars team. It’s based on a 1965 Ford Mustang spaceframe and running gear, with a 380-hp 5.7-liter Chevrolet small-block V8 providing the power.
Reinventing the Batmobile
The first Batmobile the world saw existed only in the pages of comic books, it was not until the release of the 1943 serial film Batmanthat the world saw a real Batmobile – it was a black 1939 Cadillac Series 75 convertible.
Later in the 1949 serial film batman and robin the two rode in a 1949 Mercury.
In 1965, work began on what many consider to be the first true Batmobile. It was based on the unique 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car and built by George Barris in just a few weeks.
This would be the car that was used in the 1966 Batman TV series starring Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson/Robin.
The humorous, campy style of the 1960s Batman TV series and movie was fundamentally changed when Tim Burton took over the franchise for his 1989 film. Batman. The Burton Batman was much darker and grittier than anything that had come before it, and its take on an art deco Gotham paid homage to the comic book’s original vision for the city.
The Batmobile that was developed for the 1989 film was also a fundamental change in design, it was a long, low and menacing vehicle with a centrally mounted jet engine, two large rear batwings and a passenger compartment. central fighter jet type with room for two under a sliding awning.
Two of these Batmobiles were originally built, one is now on permanent display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in California and the other is owned by Batman producer John Peters living in his Malibu home.
Build your own Batmobile
There are very few people who have seen the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman and left the movies with no desire to immediately own their own Batmobile.
This desire was stronger in some than in others, it was so strong in some that they took to building their own versions – usually using the running gear and engine of an American car, with a chassis to spatial structure and fiberglass bodywork like the original.
Some of these replicas were extremely poorly made, but others seemed indistinguishable from the originals used on screen. Many have been made road legal in various parts of the world and exhibited at shows, much to the delight of attendees.
The Ford Mustang-based Batmobile shown here
The Batmobile replica you see here was built by Z Cars in England, as mentioned above it was built on a 1965 Ford Mustang running gear, with a space frame, fiberglass bodywork laid down by hand, and it’s powered by a small 380-hp 5.7-liter Chevrolet. V8 block.
The stylized jet engine running in the middle of the car is of course not real, however it has a realistic exhaust, as well as a rotating fan blade in front in an effort to make it look as real as possible.
The engine compartment was hot rodded, with flames on the valve covers, a mesh intake screen and tubular steel manifolds.
Although not faithful to the original, the interior has been well detailed, with an array of gauges, switches and levers, and a small yoke-style steering wheel. There is seating for two and the overhead canopy snaps into place when the car is in motion.
Original Batmobiles are rarely auctioned off, and when they do, they can fetch incredible sums. Well-built recreations or replicas like this offer all the glory at a greatly reduced and much more affordable cost – probably a few tens of thousands rather than the millions it would take to get an original.
Until relatively recently this replica of the Batmobile was on display at the London Motor Museum, it is now offered for sale by Bonhams in a live online auction. At the time of this writing, there are still a few days left to bid, you can click here if you want to see the list or register to bid.
Picture above: This is the original trailer for the 1989 film “Batman” by director Tim Burton, you will see the Batmobile featured several times.
Images courtesy of The Market by Bonhams
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