This FWD Batmobile Replica Will Sell for Too Much Money at Mecum

The Cadillac-based build apes the car driven by the first “dark” Batman.

byLewin Day|
This FWD Batmobile Replica Will Sell for Too Much Money at Mecum

Batman was once mainly seen as a lovable and campy character when playfully portrayed on screen by Adam West in the 1960s. However, the late 1980s saw the caped crusader take a turn towards a darker aesthetic, with Tim Burton's Batman (1989) setting the film franchise on a trend that has continued to this day (minus a few detours here and there.) That film debuted a Batmobile to match, and now, a replica of that classic is coming up for auction, as reported by CarScoops.

For the 1989 film, the Batmobile was designed by Anton Furst and Julian Caldow. The striking vehicle featured a jet engine intake front and center as its most defining feature, paired with an afterburner at the rear. The movie car was built on a pair of Chevrolet Impala chassis that were stuck together and was powered by a simple Chevy V8. Yes, sadly, the jet was just for show.

This replica diverges in this respect, instead built using a front-wheel-drive 1976 Cadillac El Dorado as a base car. Up for sale at Mecum's Indy 2022 auction, the vehicle features a 502 cubic inch (8.2-liter) Cadillac V8 up front, driving the front wheels. Much of the donor vehicle's functionality remains intact, with this Batmobile outfitted with air conditioning, power steering, and automatic transmission for carefree cruising.

The bodywork does a solid job of aping the movie car, though in places it's more "inspired by" than a scale-accurate reproduction. In particular, the front "jet intake" diverges somewhat from the appearance of the movie original. 

Naturally, though, like any good Batmobile, it features plenty of buttons and switches and gauges in the interior. In particular, the canopy opens automatically via a switch, and twin machine guns pop out of the hood via another. It's probably ill-advised to pop the Brownings up at the traffic lights in the presence of law enforcement, whether they're props or not. We're betting they're fakes, though.

We've seen other replicas of the 1989 Batmobile before; this one makes it obvious that a Cadillac makes a far better donor vehicle than an MR2 in this case. Meanwhile, the latest film went for a look more inspired by classic American muscle rather than the jet-powered theme of yore. 

There's no word on price, but we'd expect it to come in significantly cheaper than the $680,000 figure a real jet-powered replica was listed for back in 2019.

It's a fun build and one that's sure to draw attention pretty much anywhere it goes. Just don't expect scorching performance from the Malaise era underpinnings, nor stunts matching some of the more fanciful maneuvers in the Hollywood film. Oh, and be careful parking at Cars and Coffee.

Got a tip? Let the author know: