Batman Screen Used Batmobile up for Auction April 1st
Prop Domain Auctions are presenting their monthly auction up for absentee and live bidding on iCollector.com. This auction, taking place on Saturday April 1st, will be featuring over 200 lots screen used props from a wide range of movie categories including feature items from Superman, Batman, Stargate, Star Wars, Hellboy, and Chucky. Regular customers of Prop Domain are welcome to the auction, and secure registration for new bidders is available online.
The live auction will be presented with a live audio feed from the always entertaining David Brandon, who is the founder of Prop Domain auctions, and top ranked horror movie site, HorrorDomain.com. Bidders can enjoy the commentary on each item, how he came about to acquire each piece, and bid alongside fellow collectors in pursuit of authentic props and memorabilia. In addition to feature items from blockbuster movies, the auction will also have many one of a kind costumes and body parts from famous horror movies. Whether your budget is $10 or $10000, David will have something to offer you to use at your next party, or to add to your collection.
The premier piece of this auction is an incredible find. This is a screen used Batmobile from the Tim Burton movie Batman. David describes this piece in great detail, as well as many points to determine authenticity. The complete description is as follows:
This is by far, and bar none, the single coolest and most Iconic prop I have ever offered!
This is one of the original Studion Production made BATMOBILES Screen Used in the first two Tim Burton BATMAN films. BATMAN & BATMAN RETURNS! Obviously one of the stunt cars as both Heroes remain in their archives.
From what I understand only 3 cars were built for the first film. The 2 Heroes and this one they called “The Gurney Car”, though a few insert pieces were used like the close up cockpit.
This car never ran or drove, though it did steer! It was parked, towed, pushed, or ran along a rail while explosions went off and close crashes involving other vehicles were filmed to avoid damage to the Hero car.
That’s the good news!
The bad news is. In its more recent history it was delivered by Warner Brothers to a fabricator near Hollywood to cut up and use little more than the chassis to construct the freakish 6 wheel HOT WHEELS BATMOBILE seen in the last image! WHAT A WASTE!
From what I can see, the body is at least 75% complete. It has the entire front clip from the windshield forward, the windshield base firewall cowl panel, the canopy with rollers and both windshields, The upper vent panel with the portals on each side, both side and quarter panel intake ports, both side turbos with one round piece, both rear fins, the pair of seats, and the steering wheel. Nearly everything from the rear wheel wells forward and the fins are here!
The only parts missing appear to be the rear wheel wells, the trunk area with rear exhaust after burner, and the complete faux chassis. This would not take much fabrication to complete the body again, but it does not get much cooler than this for your UBER MAN CAVE!
To be absolutely clear! This is not some recast or resculpted replica! Those are all one single casting. This is also not one of the display only cars seen at Six Flags out in front of BATMAN THE RIDE and other places where the windshield is cast in and black!
I have loaded a whopping 40 photos so take the time to look through them all and ponder all of this evidence. It includes numerous valid points about the car itself and how it is made, Irrefutable Provenance and History photos, along with some Screen matches!
I have included comparison photos of the Hero car on set, what appears to be a BATMAN STUNT SHOW car, and this exact car with film production damage sitting on a flat bed at Warner Brothers and amongst the GOTHAM CITY SET moved around to several Six Flags theme parks during the 90’s. This Original Production Car was later replaced by replicas seen out in front of BATMAN THE RIDE shown in another photo. The “very different” display only body with wheels version seen later out in front of the ride at Six Flags BATMAN THE RIDE. Finally, the 6 wheel HOT WHEELS version they turned the car into.
I have irrefutably Authenticated and Screen Matched this exact car based on numerous valid and solid points of reference! Most notably on the windshield rivet placement with the production damage cracks in the windshield still taped up even now, the plugs and holes in the hood area, the rubber straps to secure the front clip, and what is a plethora of scratches and scuffs in the body that match this perfectly!
Though it had other uses for sure, this video clip seems to SCREEN MATCH this exact car on film from this angle.
See from :21 seconds in up to :23 seconds in. That filming angle matches perfectly with the driver side camera mount hole [See Photos]. Also note that the original film footage was blackened in post production to hide the rivets in the windshield! Note cursor in photo and watch the footage full screen to see what I mean. The modern DVD and Blue ray releases have covered this better but The black out still hides the rivets. There is still a visible circle around the mount hole showing where the camera mounted. They would have needed to damage one of the Hero cars otherwise. The only way they got that shot is by using this car!
I have also provided several ON SCREEN MATCHES of this Exact Car!
1] Most notably is the one of BATMAN standing in front where you can clearly see one of the center hood plugs! The other one is hidden behind his head but through a filter it is barely seen.
2] Second are the 2 frames showing the portal blowing out during an explosion. This proves the theory they were attached by velcro to act as exhaust ports in just such a shot!
3] Third is the shot bursting through the cars. I have added arrows pointing to one of the hood plugs and several rivets in the windshield! This shot also explains the numerous scratches on the front fenders!
Aside from the solid direct source history, along with Screen Matches and Photo Provenance, there are numerous solid and tangible clues to prove this to be an Authentic Original Production Made and Screen Used BATMOBILE. In my research I have found the following 28 so far!
[Note that a person can be convicted of murder in a court of law with only 12 matched points to their fingerprints!] All of this evidence proving authenticity would stand up in court!
1] The front clip is a separate piece as apposed to a one piece solid body or with a center removable hood as seen on display only and running fan-made replicas.
2] There is a steel tubular swivel bar on each side cut off from the frame up front to tilt up the front clip to open. [See photos] With no motor ever in the car, this was to access cameras and equipment mounted on or underneath the hood!
3] There is a leading edge molded into the front clip to mate up with the cowl panel. This is to stabilize the front clip when down and lend support to cameras and equipment mounted on the hood area!
4] There are 2 plugs in the hood similar to those used on furniture to hide screws. These are just in front of the slot the canopy slides along. These plugs hide the bolts securing a steel brace underneath. This brace is to add more stability to the hood when cameras and equipment were mounted to it!
5] There are 3 camera mount holes in the front clip hood area. 2 large asymmetrical and 1 odd smaller hole as a secondary support. These holes supported the camera and equipment for the first shot described above. The angle and distance match perfectly! They used this car for that shot to avoid damaging one of the two hero cars. A replica made solely for display would not have, or need these holes!
6] There is a power plug receptacle with 2 ground lines hidden in the lower driver side firewall cowl area to power up and run lights, cameras, and equipment. This power plug receptacle is what originally convinced me! When I saw it, the holes in the hood made perfect sense! This plug is located on the lower driver side firewall cowl area for easy wiring to cameras and equipment mounted on the driver side hood which perfectly matches the Screen Use in BATMAN for the for-mentioned shot!
7] There is a definitive perfect circle around the driver side hood hole with a cable trail pointing to the power receptacle under the driver side firewall cowl panel area that still beads water because a rubber bushing was used to protect the paint and the cable had to be fed through the driver fender inside to wire up the power receptacle! I would not have noticed this fact if it had not rained here.
8] There are rubber straps with horizontal steel rods through them to grab, and steel knuckles to attach on each side to secure the front clip to the rest of the body. These are there to secure the front clip with tension but provide easy access to mount cameras and equipment on or underneath the hood. These areas are merely sculpted on all replicas and the straps would not be safe enough to secure the front clip on any stunt attraction show car. Especially one driven every hour on the hour, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year!
These rubber straps are Unsightly on a Hero, Unsafe on a driving stunt, and Unnecessary on a display only car!
9] There are sculpted in details underneath the slots in the firewall cowl panel area which are completely hidden when the body is intact and the canopy is slid in place! These are made to mate with the front clip when it is down. What would a replica built solely for display need with this hidden feature?
10] The canopy still has the roller mechanism that slid it back and forth. The sliding slot has been honed or worn out wider and been touched up over the past 30 years. A replica made only for display would be one solid casting and would not have this roller mechanism or the slot. The canopy slides forward to install or access cameras and equipment mounted inside the cockpit dash area.
11] The windshields each show a PRY POINT located in the upper rear section of each framing. These PRY POINTS were deliberately notched in the same spot on each side. They were used to PRY THE WINDSHIELDS OUT FOR DIFFERENT SHOTS AND CAMERA ANGLES which were needed for the second shot! No need to remove the windows on any display only replica!
12] The windshields are both riveted in plexiglass with the for-mentioned taped up cracks! Display only replicas are a one piece body shell so you can not see through the windshields. They are riveted on this car to remain intact near an on film explosion as a blast percussion wave would shatter or blow them out. Said blast wave is what caused these cracks as they are cracked out from within, not in from external damage!
13] The two portals on the sides of the top vent were attached by velcro! This is because they were the exhaust vents for said Explosion blast percussion waves!
14] The steering wheel was removable to allow a camera to be mounted on the inner dash area.
15] The seats are made for safety and appearance as apposed to comfort or eye appeal.
16] There are 4 stepping points with non slip adhered inlays on the car to get inside safely. 2 on each side. 1 is on top of the intake port and 1 is on the top of the quarter panel. Both are adhered into sculpted in areas on the passenger side so they won’t pull up but only the one on top of the quarter panel is sculpted in on the driver side. The one on the driver side intake port is not sculpted. It is merely the adhered inlay. This is because it is the most likely to be seen on screen and BATMAN does not need sculpted in steps! LOL! This feature is the same on the Hero cars.
17] There is a huge area underneath the front clip where the paint has burned off and the fiberglass has lightly melted. This happened during an explosion shot during filming!
18] The driver side disc launcher door was cast separately in original mold. On this it has been grafted in. [SEE PHOTOS]
19] There are 2 bolts on each side that bolt the lower front clip to the firewall cowl panel. I believe these were installed after production when the car went from being a FILM PROP to a THEME PARK DISPLAY CAR.
20] This body appears to be cast in white mostly with a gel coat of black as an outer shell, 3 layers of white, and a final coat of black. You can see this in the upper intake and portal panel cut near the corner which sows about an inch of material cut through. [Not shown in pics]. All replicas are cast solid in black.
21] The Screen Match clearly showing the hood plug Proves its Screen Use in BATMAN!
22] The Screen Match of the portal blowing out Proves its Screen Use in BATMAN!
23] The Screen Match of this car hitting the other cars with the plug in the hood and rivets in the windshield, which also explains the front clip scratches Proves its Screen Use in BATMAN!
24] Filming on BATMAN RETURNS started in June 1991. BATMAN RETURNS was released on June 19th, 1992. BATMAN THE RIDE WAS OPENED on May 9th, 1992. This exact car has been irrefutably matched to being in at least 3 different Six Flags parks which means it was transported from park to park for some time. The ads only used the words “AUTHENTIC BATMOBILE” when this specific car was in that specific park.
25] The Screen Matched photos of THIS EXACT CAR sitting on the GOTHAM CITY set irrefutably proves that THIS EXACT CAR existed long before any fan-made replicas were even conceived!
26] The original advertising and promotion material from back then cites, and I quote! “COME CHECK OUT THE AUTHENTIC BATMOBILE!” This is CORPORATE WARNER BROTHERS who owns SIX FLAGS attesting publicly that “THIS IS AN AUTHENTIC SCREEN USED BATMOBILE!” That specific ad campaign followed this specific car around the country and and was only used for the specific theme park it was in, and only when it was there! THERE YOU GO FRIENDS. RIGHT THERE!
27] The source to me and the history told to me upon purchase are ROCK SOLID!
28] I spoke directly to Jay Ohrberg who did not work on BATMAN but built everything for BATMAN RETURNS and all the SIX FLAGS’ replicas and STUNT SHOW cars. He did not build this car, yet it existed back then. Conversations with him and weeding out all other possibilities leaves this as being an original BATMAN Screen Used Car built in England!
I do want to note a few facts!
1] The car I have now and offered here may have been altered during production and or since for other uses. [AKA touring around to the different theme parks.] Things like the rivets in the windshield, the brace under the hood with the plugs, and misc bolts may not have always been there from the day the car was cast.
2] I am guessing on use in the sequel BATMAN RETURNS. The scenes with the BATMOBILE in it are simply too dark to definitively Screen Match. At minimum I believe this may have been used as the lighting and continuity stand in.
3] The comedian Jeff Dunham owns the BATMAN RETURNS equivalent to this though from what I understand his did drive but was built using a plywood under structure. Rumor has it that he paid $300,000.00 for it, and has almost $1,000,000.00 into his car between the original purchase price and the upgrade costs.]
Again! What a waste! If not for it though, this would never have fallen into private hands! I literally saved this from a land-fill friends! This is the only Production Made and Screen Used TIM BURTON 1989 BATMAN BATMOBILE ever offered for sale at any price or in any condition! Now it can be yours!
So, as you can see, I am shooting for the moon right out the gate, but in the real World, this is worth what someone is willing to pay for it! That reserve is by no means engraved in stone folks. I will know the number when I see it so go ahead and place your bids! One never knows what deals may come!
This may be your only chance here! Next auction I offer it in pieces!
In addition, there are pieces from a wide range of movies. Bidders should note that lot numbers are subject to change as items are added. The catalog is generally sorted into alphabetical order for easy browsing the day before the auction. The auction starts at 10AM Pacific Time on Saturday April 1st, 2017 with full bidding available on iCollector.com