This is one of the original Batmobiles from Batman returns (1992) starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. Designed for scenes where Penguin is remotely controlling the car, this vehicle features a 100% electric powertrain powered by a 48-volt battery array.
The new Batmobile first appeared in the 1989 film Batman by director Tim Burton. It was an entirely new design with no connection to the earlier George Barris Batmobile, and it set the trend for the many outlandish Batmobiles that would follow.
Fast Facts – A Batmobile from Batman Returns
- This is one of the original Batmobiles from the 1992 film Batman Returns, it was designed for the famous scene where the penguin remotely controls the car and has an all-electric powertrain capable of speeds in the 25 to 30 mph range can reach .
- The Tim Burton Batmobile, also known as the “Keaton Mobile”, was designed by Julian Caldow under the direction of Tim Burton and Anton Furst.
- A number of Batmobiles were made for the films in 1989 and 1992, some with detailed interiors for interior shots and others for exterior shots, like the car you see here which has a hidden stunt driver’s cab behind the cockpit.
- With an asking price of $1.5 million, this unusual piece of four-wheel cinema history is likely to be sold to a well-heeled collector. Hopefully they will replace the batteries and get it working again for demonstration rides.
Tim Burton’s Batmobile
1989 a new one Batman Film opened in cinemas. It became the fifth highest-grossing film in history at the time of its release, grossing over $400 million at the box office, and was critically acclaimed for its new, far darker take on Gotham City. The film would later win an Academy Award for Best Artistic Direction.
Above video: This is the original theatrical trailer of Batman Returns. The film broke a number of box office records and grossed over $267 million USD worldwide.
Aside from Michael Keaton’s Batman and Jack Nicholson’s Joker, the film’s most memorable character wasn’t a person at all, but a four-wheeled, jet-powered car – the new Batmobile. The design for the car was credited to Julian Caldow, who worked very closely with director Tim Burton and production designer Anton Furst.
The cars were based on a Chevrolet Impala chassis and most were powered by a Chevrolet V8. At nearly 20 feet in length, the Batmobile had a significant presence on the road, aided by its distinctive tail fins and front jet intake.
The vehicle received a fiberglass body, steel wheels with high-profile tires, side intakes and a cockpit with two seats and a sliding jet fighter-like top. The jet intake at the front was taken from a British Harrier fighter plane, and a flamethrower was fitted at the rear to simulate an afterburner.
As you’d expect from any Batman film, the Batmobile was outfitted with a wide array of gadgets, tools, and weapons, including machine guns, oil slick dispensers, Batmissles, smoke screen emitters, side-mounted disc shooters, and “shinbreakers.”
The Tim Burton Batmobile is featured prominently in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), as well as the Batman ’89 comic book series, an installment of the Batwoman TV series, and will apparently make a reappearance in the new series flash Film that should be released in late 2022.
The Batman Returns Batmobile shown here
The vehicle you see here is a Batmobile from the 1992 blockbuster Batman returnsa film that will see Tim Burton return with much of his original 1989 crew to direct, though he originally said he didn’t want to make a sequel.
It is powered by a rear-mounted electric motor and has a bank of 48 volt lead-acid batteries. For obvious safety reasons, nobody tried to charge the batteries.
This Batmobile has a hidden compartment behind the cockpit for the stunt driver, containing basic controls including a steering wheel, side windows and a front main window from an air intake above the sunroof.
This setup with the hidden stuntman was in for the scene Batman returns where Penguin gains remote control of the Batmobile and takes it on a destructive journey through Gotham with Batman in the cockpit, but is unable to control the car.
The vehicle might not be road legal for obvious reasons, and due to its electric powertrain powered by lead-acid batteries, it would have a somewhat limited range at best. Top speed is stated as 25 – 30 mph and the new owner may want to swap out the batteries for newer, lighter lithium batteries to improve range and reduce weight.
The car also has a working flamethrower built into the jetted exhaust, as well as independent suspension with airbags in the front and four-link suspension in the rear.
If you would like to read more about this unusual piece of cinematic history, or inquire about purchasing, you can visit the listing here at the Classic Auto Mall. It is listed for sale in Morgantown, Pennsylvania at a price of $1.5 million.
Images courtesy of Classic Auto Mall
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