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DC COMICS IN THE MEDIA

’63 Batmobile 4

All Star Dairy Robinson Batmobile

BATMAN FAMILY IN THE MEDIA



HISTORY:[]

The Batmobile was conceived and customized starting in 1960 by 23-year-old Forrest Robinson. After finishing the design, Robinson and a young friend, Len Perham, begun building the car in the Robinson family barn. Robinson completed the car originally painted space-age silver in 1963-two years before the George Barris customization of the TV Batmobile was started. Built in New Hampshire, as stated, from 1961 to 1963 in his garage. Robinson bought a mid 1950s rolling Oldsmobile chassis, then preceded to build his own fiberglass mold, and pull this body off as a plug! The 2 flat tails look like that of a 1959 Chevy. For the windshield he used a mid 1950’s Buick one turned upside down!  

In 1964 he was in the US Army and was on tour with his wife and this car, in North Carolina. The executives at All Star Dairies, a national dairy co-op, still in business in Louisville, Kentucky, approached the owner about leasing the car from him for 2 years, and painting and badging it as the All Star Dairy Batmobile. All Star Dairies had a legal agreement with National Periodic Publications, which owned and still owns D.C. Comics, and thus Batman and Robin, Superman, etc. to manufacture and sell Batman dairy products. Remember this was the height of the Batman craze! In fact all of the Batman drinks, milk, ice cream and promotional buttons had a Copywrite 1966, National Periodical Publications  printed on them.  

The car was not licensed by D.C. Comics, but Batman dairy products were licensed by D.C. Comics to be promoted by All Star Dairies, and All Star Dairies leased this car as their Batmobile for 2 years. The original owner kept the car for several years after getting it back from All Star Dairies.

The car, or what was left of it, was re-discovered in 2008 and dug out of the dirt by Bobby Smith of Swanzey, NH. It was sold online to a Chicago Car rare auto dealer, who sold it to auto historian George Albright, who meticulously researched and tracked down the original builders of the car, retired DC Comics executives, as well as former ALL STAR Dairies executives, all of whom had very distinct memories of the car. Albright supplemented the research with other ALL STAR Batman memorabilia, such as milk cartons and ice cream containers with the National Periodic Publications copyright (then owner of DC Comics).

In February 2013 the car was purchased by Toy Car Exchange LLC and transported to Borbon Fabrications in Sacramento, CA, a company that specializes in vintage car restorations. Restoration was beautifully and accurately completed more than a year later and the car made its debut at the renowned Sacramento Autorama, America's longest running indoor car show, where it won first place in the hand built sports car class, ahead of such legendary classics as the Shelby Cobra.  The Batmobile will be auctioned for the very first time on Dec. 6 at Heritage Auctions  . It could now bring $500,000 or more. The opening bid is $90,000. 


The ’63 Batmobile auction begin on November 17, 2014, and it ended on December 6, 2014. According to information that Comicbook.com received from Heritage Auctions, the ’63 Batmobile sold for $137,000.

Of course, this amount is quite a bit less than the $4.2 million that the ’66 Batmobile wound up selling for when it was auctioned off. But famous cars that have appeared in TV shows or movies tend to command premium prices, so $137,000 is actually a pretty good price for an abandoned ice cream promotional home-made kit vehicle.

UPDATE: 7-13-2015

This car just ended on ebay and did not sell, the last bid was for $200,100 and did not reach there reserve price.


PHOTOS:[]

MONITOR'S NOTES: EBAY LISTING []

The world's first custom car, started in 1960 and finished in 1963,  that was sanctioned and toured as a Batmobile by a DC Comics licensee was conceived and built by 23-year-old Forrest Robinson. Forrest begun building the car together with a young friend, Len Perham, in the Robinson family barn. Robinson completed the car in 1963 - two years before the George Barris' customization of the  Lincoln Futura Concept Car used for the TV Batmobile was started.  The 1963 Batmobile is the earliest known custom car that was actually  sanctioned by a DC Comics licensee  to be used as a Batmobile. The ’63 Batmobile was custom-built from the ground up. Starting with a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 frame and the famous 324 Rocket engine—a predecessor of 1960s muscle cars—Robinson replaced the Oldsmobile body with his custom-designed fiberglass body, sporting the Batmobile’s iconic dorsal fin, bat-nose front-end and pocket sliding doors, reminiscent of the 1950s DC Comics Batmobiles.  When Robinson completed his masterpiece in 1963, he left the car unpainted —a stunning piece of art-on-wheels was simply covered in a coat of white gelco. Robinson had also planned to build a glass-domed roof on the Batmobile which he did not have a chance to complete as he was called overseas on an army assignment. For a few months in1963 Robinson was using the unpainted Batmobile as a driver to commute to the Aberdeen weapons testing grounds in Maryland from Keene New Hampshire where he was attending military courses at that time. His fellow soldiers were very impressed with his newly minted Batmobile! Shortly after that  Robinson was transferred overseas at which time the unpainted Batmobile stayed in storage with his brother for several years . Upon Robinson's return from overseas in 1966, Batmania had started in earnest and Robinson's comic book inspired Batmobile even in its unpainted white color caused such a sensation that ALL STAR Dairies and its New Hampshire affiliate, Green Acres Ice Cream (a DC Comic Book licensee), leased it for a promotional campaign. In 1966, after three years in storage the unpainted Batmobile was finally painted in official Batman colors, badged with official Batman labels, and toured the Eastern U.S. as “Batman’s Batmobile”, as noted in a 1966 Keene Sentinel newspaper article. The Batmobile was returned to Robinson in late 1966, around the time when replicas of the Barris TV Batmobile were built and made available for touring. 

In 1966 the only other real Batmobile was the TV Barris Batmobile built in 1965 that was being used for the TV series. Replicas for touring were not built until the last few months of 1966. So the Robinson Batmobile became the first Batmobile that was officlally publicly toured as a Batmobile in addition to being the first attempt at a real Batmobile being actually  built and driven in 1963.  Unlike the Barris Batmobile the Robinson Batmobile has features similar to the 1950s comic book cars with the large single dorsal fin and a bat nose (instead of the Bat Mask seen in the comics) on the front. The bat nose was a compromise by the builder who thought it looked better then the bat mask seen in the comics and technically overcame heating and aerodynamic problems involved with installing a large mask on the front of the car. The amazing thing is the nose is indeed identical to that of a an actual bat.  The car was originally painted  a comic book blue/purple  color as depicted of the Batmobiles in the comic books of the 1950s. When we restored the car we repainted the car in the more popular black and Red Color theme originally seen in the comic books of the 1940s and of course later seen in Black and Orange on the original Barris TV Batmobile. We still have the original decals made by 3M and authorized by National Periodic Publications (then owner of DC Comics) for All Star Dairies with the official Batman Logo as seen in the period photo from this listing in case the new owner wants to repaint the car to the original purple blue comic book colors with white finishes replete with the original decals.  The Robinson Batmobile was returned to Robinson in late 1966, (after several replicas of the Barris Batmobile were built for tours at that time), used  as a regular driver this time without the Batman decals and colours until he sold the car in 1967. Within a few years, the car lay abandoned in a New Hampshire field and for several decades remained a long-forgotten piece of American Pop Culture. 

Only two designs for custom cars were used in the 1960s as real Batmobiles. The TV one and this one that is comic book inspired. 5 TV Batmobiles were built and only this one of this earlier design.

In 2008, the '63 Batmobile was discovered by Bobby Smith of Swanzey, NH. The car then changed hands several times. In February 2013, Toy Car Exchange LLC purchased the Batmobile from George Albright a well known car historian who had it listed here on Ebay and transported it to Borbon Fabrications in Sacramento, CA - a specialist in vintage car restorations. Restored to pristine condition, lovingly, in a painstaking, year-long process, retaining the original frame, parts, and engine, the Batmobile was given a second life Early in 2014, the long-forgotten ’63 Batmobile debuted at the renowned Sacramento Autorama, America's longest running indoor car show. It won first prize in the handbuilt sports class, ahead of legendary classics such as the Shelby Cobra. 

In October of 2014, the car was invited to the prestigious Pasadena Car Classic show, where it was displayed together with three other Batmobiles.

1956_Oldsmobile_88_-_THE_FIRST_BATMOBILE

1956 Oldsmobile 88 - THE FIRST BATMOBILE

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