Batmobile designer George Barris dies
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George Barris, the man behind the iconic 1966 Batmobile featured in the Batman television series (famously starring Adam West as Batman), has died, according to a Facebook post posted by his son, Brett Barris. He was 89 years old.
"Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky. The post states.
"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".
His most famous vehicle, the Batmobile came about when ABC asked him to create a signature vehicle for Batman. Barris rolled out a Lincoln concept car called the Lincoln Futura that he had been keeping in storage and used that as his base, constructing the car in and incredible 15 days.
The Batmobile was built for US$15,000 although Barris famously purchased the Futura for only $1. It was powered by a 6390cc Ford FE V-8 coupled to an automatic transmission and weighed a titanic 2 tonnes.
Barris kept the car in his personal collection and in 2013 sold the car at auction for US$4.6 million.
Other motoring works by Barris featured in The Beverly Hillbillies, Knight Rider as well as his design for the Munster Koach for The Munsters.
He also designed novelty cars or performed customizations for celebrities ranging from Bob Hope to John Wayne to Elton John.