A Batmobile with 5.7-liter V8
As mentioned above, the Keaton Mobile is the most popular and influential Batmobile of all time, and the number of replicas made in later years rivals that of the original Batmobile from the 1966 TV series.
According to some sources, while the real Keaton Mobile is based on a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, this replica was built in England using components from the 1965 Ford Mustang. The Chevy Impala, with its GM-style separate frame/body structure, seems to be relatively suitable for this kind of customization. The Ford-style unibody Mustang, however, would have required major modifications.
In fact, in the photos provided by Bonhams, the only structure that can be seen under the body is a tubular steel space frame. In addition, the engine has been replaced with Ford’s 350 cu. in. V8 instead of a 289 cu. in. V8, which was the largest engine available for the first-generation Mustang. In other words, it might as well be a custom car that is practically a full scratch build.
This replica was actually built surprisingly recently. It was completed in 2016 and as soon as it was completed, it was purchased by the London Motor Museum in Hillingdon. It was opened to the public along with American classic cars and hot rods.
However, the museum ran into trouble with the local government and closed its doors in 2018. The vehicles in the collection, including this amazing Batmobile replica, were temporarily evacuated to another location. After that, the museum may have tried to revive itself, but the current COVID pandemic didn’t make that dream come true, thus making their cars to be listed on auctions.
This replica is in a slightly “charming” condition, with the FRP fibers sticking out from the paint job. On the other hand, according to an interview with a Bonhams specialist conducted by a British tabloid newspaper, the car is still officially registered with the license plate “KBY 411C” and is “possibly road legal”. But considering its huge size (nearly 23 ft in length) and poor condition, it would be a challenge to drive on public roads.
The production of further Batmobile replicas has been now banned by DC Comics/Warner Brothers, the copyright holders of the “Batman” series. With that in mind, the price may be reasonable, albeit conditional, for dedicated fans.
RM Bonhams has set an estimate of £20,000 to 30,000 for this replica without a reserve price. But unfortunately, the car has been withdrawn from the auction for unknown reasons. We are not sure whether the actual seller decided not to sell, or a private buyer has contacted the seller personally to buy the car.