When you hear the word Batmobile, what image pops into your head? Is it the Batmobile from the early TV show? Or is from the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises? Or maybe it is this Turbine powered Batmobile, that we featured last year:
It seems that, like many things these days, there is no single source of truth, other than the one that stays in your memory or your imagination. And yes, we have seen numerous Batmobiles surface in auctions over the last years, like the Batman Returns Batmobile, on eBay, and most recently this original 1966 Batmobile by George Barris sold for an astounding $4,620,000 at auction.
But have you ever heard of a Batmobile used to deliver milk? The mind does have to do a couple peculiar back-flips to picture this concept, but today’s featured auction proves this is not a figment of the imagination. Now we have a picture you can add to your vivid Batmobile-filled memory bank. Our remarkable find today is this 1964 Batmobile from All Star Dairies; Authentic And Used Before The 1966 Barris Batmobile:
As you can see, this Batmobile has seen better days, and needs some serious restoration to make it look like it used to in 1964:
If it’s difficult to picture the caped crusader and his sidekick Robin hopping out of this 1964 version to catch bad guys, you’d be right. This Batmobile was commissioned to sell All Star Dairies “Batman and Robin” branded milk, ice cream, and fruit drinks back in the mid-‘60s. The listing mercifully explains it all:
“Yes that’s right, this icon has been hidden away for decades, only to come back on the scene, after much research, and locating the person, still living, that built it from 1961 to 1963. I did an extensive phone interview with him and his wife several months ago. This car was hand built by a gentleman in New Hampshire, as stated, from 1961 to 1963 in his garage. He 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!”
The listing goes on to note that various items from the All Star Dairy are included in the auction, such as the ones featured in this photo, from the listing:
All the Batman-branded dairy products pictured above were licensed by D.C. Comics, but apparently the car was not. The seller says this car was leased as their Batmobile for two years, as evidenced by the attached newspaper clipping from a Keene, NH newspaper in 1966:
This car is certainly unique, and we wish the seller well in his sale. We’d love to see the car again, once someone restores it to its original glory.