George Barris, designer of that most recognizable of TV cars known as the Batmobile, has passed away at age 89, reports comicbook.com.
Barris’ son Brett posted 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.”
The Batmobile appeared shortly after Batman himself, first as a red sportscar with an understated gold bat hood ornament. It wasn’t called “the Batmobile” (and it didn’t fully assume a dark color and other batlike features) until 1941.
The TV version designed by Barris was based on the Lincoln Futura concept car, which was pretty bat-like to begin with. This version is the image that most people conjure up in their heads when they hear the word “Batmobile,” though more recent versions like the sleek “art deco” version from the Burton-era films and of course the “tumbler” vehicle from the Christopher Nolan movies have done their best to usurp that pop-culture throne.
Still, the popularity of Barris’ distinctive take on the Batmobile endures, if only because it’s a convertible – which means you can actually see Batman and Robin in the car from the outside. Many a kid growing up in the 1960s and 70s got yelled at by their mothers when they lost the teeny-tiny Batman and Robin figures that came with the Corgi model Batmobile, I can tell you. Those little guys fell out of the vehicle’s open dome at the drop of a ha. Or in Batman’s case, a cowl.
You can see some of the Batmobile’s best moments in this YouTube video, and of course you can check out our Batmobile-related stuff in stock in the Atlanta Classic Comics ebay store.