RIP George Barris, Designer of the Batmobile


RIP George Barris, Designer of the Batmobile

Arguably, there is no more iconic vehicle in pop culture than the Batmobile. Sure you can make a case for the TARDIS or the Enterprise – and rightfully so – but no matter what incarnation it’s in, everyone can recognize the Batmobile.

Just driving Batman’s car is half of Batman’s swagger, and though it’s the cheesiest and campiest era of Batman (sorry Joel Schumacher), the Batmobile from the Batman ’66 TV show is undeniably cool. For the time period it was sleek and cool, even if not all that intimidating. And – let’s be honest – every one of us who watched that as a kid dreamed of jumping into every convertible we saw without opening the doors.

Hell, my grandfather had the car it was based on when I was a kid. I would spend hours in the front seat pretending to case the Penguin or the Riddler after a bank heist. (For those of you taking score, that was before Tim Burton’s Batman. I’m a bit of an old man)

Sadly, the designer of the immortal car has passed away.

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George Barris was a premiere car designer and customizer long before they were famous on reality TV. He made a name for himself by finding a niche in the Hollywood car industry with his company Barris Kustom, breaking out with other iconic vehicles in The Beverly Hillbillies and the Munsters (the Dragula!).

The Batmobile, which he based on the Lincoln Futura, was incredibly built in only 15 days due to studio demands, but would last in Pop Culture forever. Barris actually owned the car until it was sold at auction in 2013 for nearly $5,000,000.

His death was announced by his son Brett on Facebook.

"Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky. He passed on peacefully in his sleep at 2:45 am. He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home. He lived his life they way he wanted til the end. He would want everyone celebrate the passion he had for life and for what he created for all to enjoy. Thank you all for the posts and calls, your love is deeply appreciated. Peace"

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Barris was a legend in the industry and created something that will live forever, even in the minds of generations who didn’t grow up on Adam West and Burt Ward.

George Barris was 89. He will be missed.