Also known as the Keaton Mobile, this particular model from Tim Burton’s Batman is one of the top popular Batmobiles among fans.
The most iconic Batmobile
Of all the cars that have appeared on the screen, the Batmobile from the “Batman” series is probably the one with the same presence as the Bond car from “007”.
In contrast to James Bond’s vehicles, which are basically production cars with gadgets inside, the “Batmobile” from the series has a wild, exotic appearance and specifications.
From the first generation Batmobile, based on the 1955 Lincoln Futura, that appeared in the 1966 TV series, to the Tumbler that appeared in Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), the fictional car has been the most popular car in the world.
Among them, the vehicle known as the “Keaton Mobile,” named after Michael Keaton who played the Batman, in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), has been immensely popular as a symbol of the Batmobile among fans.
Due to its popularity and influence, several replicas of the model have been produced and sold. Moreover, one of the replicas was listed at the MPH March auction held by Bonhams, a British auction company, but was later withdrawn for unknown reasons.
The Keaton Mobile is said to be the most popular and influential model in the history of the Batmobile, as it was the launchpad for director Tim Burton, who has now established his reputation as a master of the genre, along with Beetlejuice (1988), also starring Michael Keaton.
According to an interview with Burton himself, when he set out to create a new Batmobile for the film, he did not expect it to be one of the most difficult challenges in filmmaking.
Concept illustrator Julian Caldow created renderings of the gothic-inspired drafts of his early works, and sculptors Keith Short and Eddie Butler molded the FRP body panels. It was completed as a vehicle to be driven in the movie. In addition, the gadgets were designed to actually work, a principle that was carried over to the Tumbler.
It is said that two of the Keaton Mobiles made for the film are still in existence, one owned by the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and the other has been taken in by John Peters, the producer of this film.
The current status of this “other car” is often introduced as now being a part of a private collection. But as far as I know, this car is owned by the “Hani Collection” in Kagoshima, Japan, and was exhibited at Japanese events such as “Tokyo Concours d’Elegance 2010” and “Special & Vintage Car Festa 2012” in Kagoshima.
However, according to one theory, six Keaton Mobiles were made for the movie, including for promotional purposes, so the one in Kagoshima might be one of the promotional models.
In any case, the car that was set to be auctioned in March is proudly described as a “recreation”, so we can be sure that it will be free from any arguments for its authenticity.