When the Batman TV-series began in 1966, starring Adam West as the caped crusader, producers commissioned four vehicles for on-set use and publicity tours. All four Batmobiles were designed by George Barris, who crafted three from the chassis of the ’65 Ford Galaxies, and one from a drag racer. But thanks to the efforts of a jeweler and auto-hobbyist, another Batmobile was produced in 1966, known as Batmobile #5, and now you have a chance to buy the last of the lineage.
Jim Semershein was a jeweler by trade, but an auto-enthusiast at heart. He took on the project of transforming a 1958 Thunderbird into the Batmobile that Adam West drove on television. What he engineered in his garage was a profoundly accurate facsimile. When original designer George Barris saw the car, he was blown away by the meticulous, painstaking attention to detail that Semershein had taken. The 351 cubic inch V8, the outside frame and interior adornments were near perfect replications of Barris’s original bat-car customizations. After touring the country with his creation for two years, Semershein eventually sold the car to Barris, who was so impressed by the immaculate copy job that he wrote a letter averring its authenticity, making #5 (semi)officially a true Batmobile. Whether or not you consider it completely authentic, you would have to be blind as a bat not to see the resemblance.