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back to article Holy classic car auction, Batman! They sold THE Batmobile!

The original Batmobile has been snapped up at auction for $4.2m (£2.6m, €3.2m) by a fan of the 1960s television series. 1960s TV series Batmobile The 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car was bought for just $1 in 1965 by customiser George Barris. He then spent $15,000 over 15 days turning it into the iconic vehicle for the Caped …

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Surely there must be a video of him outbidding the Penguin for it?

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$15,000 invested in the stock market in 1955 is worth $5.0m today.

Unless the guy had sex with lots of different women because of the car, I'd say he backed a loser.

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Boffin

$15,000 invested in the stock market in 1955 is worth $5.0m today.

Well, there's a meaningless statement., You don't invest in "the stock market". You invest in companies, which happen to sell their stock in the stock market. Those numbers might work if one invested in a specific set of companies, or some particular brokered investment account. But $15,000 invested in different companies or accounts might be worth $0 or $5b today.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics*, $15,001 (don't forget that original dollar to buy the vehicle...) in 1955 dollars is $128,512.67 in 2012 dollars (their calculator hasn't been updated with 2012-2013 inflation rates yet, so I'll call that close enough.) That would make his profit roughly $4m, or about 3,168%. Not bad.

Of course, even my analysis doesn't take into effect maintenance costs or any money he made for making the vehicle available to ABC for the show or for later public appearances. And we haven't even started talking about the non-monetary gratification which can come from owning a piece of US cultural history -- or even simply having a nice keepsake.

In short, some arbitrarily chosen index of some arbitrarily chosen market is a pretty poor basis for judging the value of an investment, and judging an investment of this type in purely monetary terms is very short-sighted.

PS. Adding promiscuous sex as your only value measure other than money is just plain sad.

* http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

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Anonymous Coward

Inflated

He spent the money in 1965, not 1955. Couldn't care less how much that might be in today's money but it's nice to see the original Batmobile.

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Holmes

"$15,000 invested in the stock market in 1955 is worth $5.0m today."

Unless you invested it with Microsoft...

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You clearly know nothing about investing so let me enlighten you. 'Investing in the stock market' consists of holding a fully diversified portfolio that has a beta of 1.0. You can either do it yourself or - since the 1970s - you could buy units in an Index Fund that tracks a market index, eg. S&P 500. You want an accumulation index, of course, not just a price index.

The $15,001 spent on the car wasn't a good investment at all - unless it gave rise to non-pecuniary benefits as I alluded to.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise it'd be better being the guy who put his money in the market in 1955. He could've bought that batmobile today and still be left with over $0.8m to spunk away on shagging upmarket hookers in Las Vegas.

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Facepalm

@Shagbag

You sir are a twit who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

You deserve to spend the next 10 years in the cell between The Joker and The Riddler adjacent to The Penguin and The Bookworm. And absolutely no Catwoman for you.

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No apologies

I call it the way it is.

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@Shagbag

>>The $15,001 spent on the car wasn't a good investment at all

>>it'd be better being the guy who put his money in the market in 1955. He could've bought that batmobile today

Except that if nobody spent that $15,001 way back when to make the Batmobile, how the f*ck was anybody going to buy said Batmobile today?

Or perhaps the plan was to not spend $15,001 in 1965, investing it instead, then buy another movie car, namely the Back To The Future DeLorean in 2013 with the money accumulated, then travel back to 1965 with $15,001 of future money and use that to build the Batmobile. then travel back to 2013 and buy the now existing Batmobile? Of course you'd need a few million for the DeLorean as well as few for the Batmobile, so your $800K surplus would be insufficient. Perhaps you should take a Sports Almanac back to 1965 to make up the shortfall.

Seriously tho, you sir are a perfect example of why no Economist or accountant has ever contributed anything worthwhile to humanity.

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Re: @Shagbag

"Except that if nobody spent that $15,001 way back when to make the Batmobile, how the f*ck was anybody going to buy said Batmobile today?"

WTF?

If nobody spent that $15,001 way back when to make the Batmobile we wouldn't be having this discussion. You'd be taking the bait on someother forum and I'd be busy shagging really fit looking whores in downtown Vegas with all the money I'd made off you from selling you crap investments.

The question is a non sequitor.

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I always wondered what was missing from the Reg forums.

Turns out it was sweaty handed bankers. Who knew?

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Anonymous Coward

Can't your run this story tomorrow?

I'd like to have read it in 1,000 other places before I read it here. I've only got 968 so far.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't your run this story tomorrow?

You should find a hobby.

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Happy

Re: Can't your run this story tomorrow?

I may be controversial but as a mid 40er whom has clear, fond memories of the caped crusader in his early, formative years and being as i visit the reg daily, i WANT it here first.....

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Black Helicopters

Forget the Batmobile

I want the Bat Cave! Or rather, be wealthy enough to construct my own lair...

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Re: Forget the Batmobile

I'd rather have the Greased Lightning.....Why, that car is automatic, It's systematic, it's haaaaaaayyyydromatic

WHY, ITS GREASED LIGHTNING.......

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Headmaster

Re: Forget the Batmobile

Look more carefully. That other car is Grease Lightning...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Forget the Batmobile

The film car "greased Lightning" was also white not red

Annon for obvious reasons plus I fancied OLJ

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Paris Hilton

Re: I fancied OLJ

Assuming you meant O*N*J, pretty much every re-blooded teenage male did, I suspect. I know I did!

Paris Hilton has nothing on ONJ. Kids these days...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Forget the Batmobile

Grease Lightning is the correct name. I dunno why people keep calling it "Greased Lightning", and there were two cars. The red one in the sort of "dream sequence" whilst they are singing the song, and the white one that appears for the race. The red one reappears when John and Olivia fly away in it.

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Re: Paris Hilton has nothing on ONJ.

Xanadu, ~..~... . Xanadu...............Xanadu.

(that is all)....

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Rick Champagne

Now that's a quality name. :-)

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Coat

Re: Rick Champagne

From Arizona?

He'll be in trouble. You can't use the name "Champagne" unless you're from the appropriate bit of France. He should change his name to "Rick Sparkling Wine" immediately.

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Re: Rick Champagne

Or "Rick French Whine" as appropriate.

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Re: Rick Champagne

If ever there was a man named appropriately to afford spending millions on a life sized Batman toy, 'Rick Champagne' is it.

Sounds like a parody playboy bachelor.

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Re: Rick Champagne

"You can't use the name "Champagne" unless you're from the appropriate bit of France."

That's only EU legislation and so only applies inside the EU. The US isn't so any old fizzy-pop can be labelled Champagne over there.

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Re: Rick Champagne (@TeeCee)

The restriction is only for wine makers. There are several areas in France called Champagne, for example in the Cher, Eure-et-Loir. Ardeche and another in Charente. In fact many Cognacs and Eau-de-Vie from the Charente are entitled to add "Fine-Champagne", "Grande-Champagne" or "Petite-Champagne" to their labels on the grounds that no one could confuse them with bubbly. There is also an village in Switzerland called Champagne where the french winemakers took them to court over Champange biscuits - and lost.

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Pint

Re: Rick Champagne (@TeeCee)

Most US producers of the wine formerly called Champagne now abide by the EU regulations, and call their version of bubbly Sparkling Wine or California Champagne (less common) There are still a few who were producing bubbly before the agreement was adopted by the US and who still use Champagne. Of course, if the company producing bubbly in the US is owned by a French Champagne producer, they do not use the term Champagne on their product, per orders from HQ.

Where's my glass of w(h)ine???

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Def
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FAIL

Re: Rick Champagne (@TeeCee)

It's still called Champagne in Kazakhstan too. Although I have no idea why. The "Champagne" I tasted (very briefly) in Kazakhstan when I was there over New Years tasted more like stale beer than sparkling wine.

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Holy Road Tax Batman!

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Anonymous Coward

That would work if it wasn't a registered classic, and not in america.

Apart of that, have a vote down for bothering.

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Now he just needs a cave to store it in...

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Anonymous Coward

Added equipment

You forgot the most important added equipment:

Batlabels.

Lots and lots of Batlables.

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Pint

At least it's clean ;-)

As we can all see in this Youtube video the old classic beats the modern one in a straight on race.

Although I'm still not too sure if the driver in the 1989' version didn't ease on the throttle a little bit in anticipation of seeing the female host of the show wash the classic in her bikini.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least it's clean ;-)

I'm not 100% sure the Batmobile is clean... better check the extended video of the same car wash scene here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srnvMmBMICU

(NSFW depending on your workplace)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least it's clean ;-)

Is soaping the bodywork using your bottom and a carwash cloth standard industry practice these days?

I need to go back to the training video, excuse me ....

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FAIL

"The Lincoln Futura was built in Italy by Ford Motor Company"

It wasn't.

It was designed by Ford, but it was built by Ghia in Italy.

Ghia didn't become part of the Ford empire until 1970, where it soon became a top of the line spec on Escorts, Sierras and Granadas.

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FAIL

So that's where that supid name came from. Nothing remotely eyetalian about those Ford. Shame.......

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Boffin

@Sir Wiggum

Blimey. I don't know who needs to get out more - you for knowing that, or me for being impressed by your knowing that.

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@Chris

Well, Wikipedia also has the scoop on this as you can see.

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Headmaster

Not the original Batmobile

Batmobiles appeared in the film serials in 1943 and 1949

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Re: Not the original Batmobile

I bow to your knowledge, hardly anyone heard about 1943 and 1949 serials today.

But I am afraid there was no Batmobile in these series. In 1943, Batman used the same limousine as Bruce Wayne, and in 1949, Batman and Robin were drivin Ford Mercury.

So I believe the one auctioned is the first Batmobile in existence.

And a pretty one it is. Batmobile in Tim Burton´s Batman was impressive, yet at the same time too cartoonish.

And Tumbler is infinitesimally more practical, but not much to look at.

I stand ready to be corrected.

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Atomic Batteries to Power!

This may be the original Batmobile from THE series, but it was not the only one. As with the General Lee, imitations were used for a number of purposes, either to shoot two scenes at the same time, or when there was a stunt (such as they were) that risked damaging the primary vehicle.

A car dealer I knew in Coventry had one of them for a while, as a publicity gimick. I believe it was on a Lincoln chassis, and weighed tons as the bodywork was just metal bashing by hand. It was good for about 40mph in a straight line, the turning circle of a lorry, and the brakes off a bicycle. The suspension didn't bounce as Americars normally do, because it was hard down on the stops at all times.

House Rules Post your own message

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IT Angle

Watched it live on TV...

...as the SO is a car fan, that was pretty much the only thing on TV at home last week. The best part was hearing the apology from one of the TV commentators who'd been complaining they were giving too much attention all week to something that was never going to be a big seller. Never underestimate the power of fandom...

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A different batmobile fo me

Surely the batmobile to buy is the Tumbler from Dark Knight. Not very pedestrian friendly though.

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Wasn't Rick Champagne the guy that signed those fake cheques that the Reader's Digest used to send out every year?

I always slightly distrust people with names like Rick champagne or Bob Diamond for example.

dunno why..

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When I carried mail for the Eagle, I had a Robert Diamond, aka Bob Diamond on my route... nice guy...

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Unhappy

Sadly, I think I remember that was Tom Champagne.

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Linux

All together now...

Dada dada dada dada

Dada dada dada dada

BATMAAAAAN!

Icon = Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot

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Paris Hilton

To the Batmobile Robin... Oh fsck, somebody sold it!

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