Original Batmobile In 1963 -- two years before customization of the TV Batmobile was started -- 23-year-old Forrest Robinson and a friend finished building what would become the earliest-known officially licensed Batmobile. This '63 Batmobile is the earliest known car in existence that was sanctioned by a DC Comics licensee, according to Heritage Auctions.
Photo by: Heritage Auctions

Meet the Original Batmobile

by / December 2, 2014

Though many associate the Batmobile with those seen in more recent Batman movies, or even the late-'60s Batman TV show, comic book lovers recognize this earlier car built by Forrest Robinson in 1960 as more authentic, as it has features seen in DC's Batman Comics from the 1940s and '50s, including the prominent front-end bat-nose and rear-end single fin, according to Heritage Auctions.

Original+Batmobile+newspaper+clippingThe '63 Batmobile, custom-built from the ground up, started with a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 frame and the 324 Rocket engine -- a predecessor of 1960s muscle cars. During the build, Robinson replaced the Oldsmobile body with his custom-designed body that sports the Batmobile's iconic dorsal fin, bat-nose front end and pocket sliding doors.

When Robinson completed the vehicle in 1963, he painted it space-age silver, and initially used the car for regular driving. When Batmania began, however, the car was leased by a DC Comic Book licensee for a promotional campaign. It was repainted in official Batman colors, according to Heritage Auctions, badged with official Batman labels, and toured the Eastern U.S. as "Batman's Batmobile."

In 1966, the car was returned to Robinson, who needed cash to start a fabricating business and sold it for $200. Within a few years, the car lay abandoned in a New Hampshire field and, for almost 50 years, remained long forgotten. It was discovered in 2008 and has found its way to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, where it's being auctioned on Saturday, Dec. 6 with an opening bid of $90,000.