It was one of the coolest things I ever saw on television, and I was just a wee lad of four years old.
Oh, how I loved to watch the Batmobile in the Adam West-ravaged, 1960s TV series, "Batman," leave the Bat Cave.
First, there was the firing of the ignition, which always included the stock shot of flames shooting from the Batmobile's exhaust. That was cool, too.
But there was something about the black, souped-up 1955 Lincoln Futura zooming from the cave that captivated me.
That's because there was this small guard rail that would flip down, enabling the Batmobile to pass through. THAT was the coolest thing.
Some things just grab us and don't let go, particularly from our youth.
There was something about that guard rail flipping down that I thought was just so awesome in its simple auspiciousness.
That image comes to mind as I read that the Batmobile is going up for auction. It'll happen on January 19, 2013, at the Barrett-Jackson auction house in Scottsdale, AZ.
The Batmobile is a 19-foot long, black work of art---maybe the coolest vehicle ever, something that Henry Ford could never have conceived in his wildest imagination.
So how much will it fetch in auction?
No one is saying, which is appropriate, because mystery has always been such a large part of the Batman character, from the comic books to the "Dark Knight" movies.
George Barris and his original Batmobile creation
The original Batmobile (there have been some replicas) was created by George Barris, a Los Angeles-based car customizer. I don't know if Barris was given a blueprint, a clay model, or was just left to his own devices, but regardless, he created a masterpiece. The machine (it seems too small to call it a car) has been kept in marvelous condition over the years.
There was so much for a small boy to love about the Batmobile. The flaming exhaust, the bubble top, the siren, the wings, etc., all captivated. And, come on---it was 19 feet long!
Thanks to YouTube, here's a 29-second clip of the boys racing to the Batmobile and leaving the cave. Watch for the guard rail flipping down just before the machine hits the highway!