Posted Jan 21st 2013 3:00PM
As jam-packed with excitement as Barrett-Jackson was in Scottsdale, AZ this past weekend, there is no doubt that the sale of the original 1966 Batmobile stole the show. As the car crawled towards the auction block the audience was already building into a bidding frenzy.
With so many people trying to get on stage, the lead auctioneer had to request a bit of space in order to be able to spot its potential bidders. By now the audience was on the edge of their seats waiting to see if there was a buyer out there with more Bat-Money than Bat-Brains willing to break a sales record.
Just before the auction opened, George Barris himself was so kind as to saunter onto the podium and share some of his disjointed reminiscing over the creation of the car. There was even speculation of some pre-sale consumption by Barris, as his slightly slurred ramblings were cut short to get the sale going by auctioneers. His microphone was cautiously pried away and we were off to the races. The first million was reached within a mere 10 seconds, and the bids just kept piling up. Clearing its reserve of US$2.7 million dollars was barely an issue, and the hammer nearly dropped there before the car caught it second wind climbing to an astronomical US$4.2 million.
As fans of the franchise we can appreciate a level of fan-crazed bidding, however there's something a little unsettling about the final bid on the Batmobile. Previous appraisals speculated the value of the car at around US$200,000, and at this same auction some vastly more impressive items such as Clark Gable's Mercedes 300SL Gullwing failed to meet its initial reserve and wound up being renegotiated for US$1.85M!
The saddest part in this transaction has to be that the Batmobile will not be on display for the public now that it has traded hands. The new owner, a one Mr. Rick Champagne made mention after the transaction that the Batmobile would be finding its new home in his garage, or possibly his living room. Having blown that kind of money on the car we suppose he can put it wherever he pleases, and if he chooses to decorate his living room with it that's up to him. We've heard of Champagne taste on a beer budget before, but a US$4.2M Batmobile in the middle of your house sounds more like a Champagne budget with beer taste to us.
Click here for a full gallery of the original George Barris Batmobile or click past the jump to watch the sale from start to finish.
Video Source: YouTube
News Source: Barrett-Jackson