Replica Batmobile, Complete With Flamethrower And Jaguar Engine, Is Surprisingly Functional
A Batman fan in the UK has created a life-like, street-legal version of the 1989 Batmobile, and it could be yours for less than $145,000.
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The Daily Mail reported the car exists but doesn't say who the die-hard-Batman-loving mechanic was who created the beast. Although it was modeled on the all-American car from the 1989 Hollywood film starring Michael Keaton, which was built on a Chevy Impala chassis with a Chevy V8 engine, this version is quite British. This working replica sits on a British-built custom chassis, the engine is a Jaguar 3.2 liter, straight six cylinder — and the driver's seat is on the right side.
On Nov. 30, it will go up for auction in Weybridge, England, southwest of London. The auction house, Historics, expects it to sell for between £70,000-£90,000, or about $129,000, give or take.
"The car is like a dream for any Batman fan," Historics Auction Director Edward Bridger-Stille told the Daily Mail. "It brings traffic to a standstill with people wanting to be photographed by it. It is a smooth-driving car; however, there's not a lot of all-round vision — it's a bit like a fighter jet in that sense."
But that's not so different from the original. When Keaton plopped down in the seat, he was basically consumed by the car. Visibility wasn't really the point. When the late Anton Furst (a British-born set designer) created the hot rod, he was going for a dark, Art Deco-style vehicle, according to the folks at BatmobileHistory.com. It has an iconic jet-turbine intake nose, bat-wing-like flanks and, importantly, an afterburner for extra thrust.
The afterburner styling is also included in the DIY Batmobile with a flamethrower that burns a huge amoung of gas for a maximum of 15 seconds.
"But it is also quite quick thanks to its lightweight fibreglass body, and should be capable of 0-60 mph in less than five seconds," Bridger-Stille said. "This vehicle is believed to be one of the best after-production, fully road-legal models ever made."
It's not, however, the first after-production, street-legal 1989 Batmobile ever made. There was another one floating around the Internet in 2011. It was built by a race car driver and powered by a Boeing engine that had been salvaged from a Navy drone helicopter, according to Discovery News. It could reach 185 mph. But stylistically, it wasn't as accurate as this new model appears to be.
In January, the original TV Batmobile, the jewel of 1960s Detroit, sold for $4.6 million. That baby is far removed from the Keaton car and Christopher Nolan's Lamborghini-Hummer mix. The 1966 Batmobile was originally a Ford 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, according to CNN.
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