Batman '89's Batmobile Hits the Road in New Video

WIth a long body, a low profile and an automated roof, the Batmobile as designed for Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie is both an iconic screen vehicle and something that's incredibly difficult to drive safely anywhere except on a soundstage. That might not be immediately obvious when you look at the car onscreen, but if you've ever seen it in person (such as at Warner Bros.' events at Comic Con International in San Diego) you'd probably believe it pretty quick. That's part of the conversation around collector Mike Fernie's replica car, which he broke down a recent video on YouTube.

There are a couple of "hero" cars from the production out there in the world, but most of the Batmobiles that you see at conventions and (occasionally) on the street are replicas like this. Which is probably just as well, since building it likely gives people a sense for how challenging it is to actually corner with the thing.

"Is it easy to drive? No. Is it fun to drive? Fuck yes," Fernie says.

You can see the video below.

So fun, it seems, that Fernie has backed down from plans to part with it. According to Carscoops, the Batmobile was originally listed to be sold at auction earlier this year but was withdrawn prior to the start of the event.

The car, colloquially known as the Burton Batmobile, was used in two of the Batman films -- both directed by the filmmaker. That would Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), obviously. It was designed by Anton Furst and built on a Chevrolet Impala chassis.

In Returns, fans found out that in addition to all of the wonderful toys the car had in Batman, the car was also capable of jettisoning most of its mass to become a "Bat-missile" which would allow the Dark Knight to ditch damaged parts or drive through close quarters.

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Each subsequent version of the Batmobile has struggled to keep up with the "cool" factor set by the 1989 movie (although arguably even that vision of the character came from the '66 TV series as much as the comics).

Fans may get another look at the car in The Flash, which is set to feature a guest appearance by Michael Keatoin's Batman. The vehicle showed up -- albeit under a tarp, and so only implied, rather than shown -- in THe CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event last year.