Barris Clones

Batman premiered on January 12th, 1966, and it became a huge hit instantly. While Adam West and Burt Ward became stars overnight, so did the Batmobile. George Barris knew that requests for displaying the car would conflict with the production schedule of the TV show, as well as sometimes requiring the car to be in more than one place at the same time.  He needed to make a mold of the Batmobile to produce duplicate cars.

It took weeks and weeks of pleading by the producers of Batman, but National Periodicals licensing company, LLC finally delivered an contract. The new agreement called for allowing Barris to make a mold and build two 1966 Batmobile replicas.

Barris made a mold of the #1 car and cast three replica car bodies in fiberglass in "one long weekend."   The replicas differed from the 1955 Lincoln Futura screen-used Batmobile in numerous ways: the dashboards were made of curved metal, covered in foam and black vinyl. The headlight buckets and tail light buckets were capped. The seats had no chrome surrounds, and the door panels had no chrome trim. The beacon lights were much larger, and with odd beacon cages. The trim on the windshields were black rubber.

Aside from one short scene in "The Contaminated Cowl," where the #4 dragster Batmobile replica was heavily obscured with equipment in the Batcave, the replicas were never used in the making of the Batman television series. Instead, the three replicas were used for touring all over the country.

The #2 car was used by the World of Wheels for many years during the 1980s, and is the most widely seen replica.  The #2 car is currently owned by Dr. Dave Anderson of Virginia, and was purchased for the price of $216,000.

The #3 car originally had rear canopies, but had been missing them for most of it's life.  It was sold by the Pat Hart estate in 2011 for $600,000 to Stewart Morris in New Jersey.  Click HERE for an interview with Steve Tansy, who drove the #3 Batmobile and other Barris cars.  The #3 was refurbished by the son of Dick Dean in 2015, and was displayed at a museum in New York.

The #4 dragster was a souped-up car that was used for exhibitions on the drag strip circuit. "Wild" Bill Shrewsberry drove the car at Muholland and several other strips across the country. The #4 car had a working flamethrower and working parachutes.  The #4 has changed hands several times, but is now owned by Doug Jackson of Nevada, who bought it for $217,000.  Fiberglass Freaks completely restored the #4 car in 2015.

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