Holy classic car auction, Batman! They sold THE Batmobile!
Man called Rick Champagne coughs up $4m for original motor
The original Batmobile has been snapped up at auction for $4.2m (£2.6m, €3.2m) by a fan of the 1960s television series.
The 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car was bought for just $1 in 1965 by customiser George Barris. He then spent $15,000 over 15 days turning it into the iconic vehicle for the Caped Crusader, played by Adam West in the ABC series that ran from 1966 to 1968. Barris held onto the car until he sold it at an outdoor auction on Saturday.
Auctioneers Barrett-Jackson said the tent was “brimming with excitement” for the Batmobile lot, which went to Arizona man Rick Champagne.
"I really liked Batman growing up and I came here with the intention of buying the car," Champagne told Reuters after he bought the motor. "Sure enough, I was able to buy it. That was a dream come true."
The Lincoln Futura was designed by Ford Motor Company and built in Italy as a concept car. The clear plastic canopy top and the huge tailfins were already on it before Barris added such crimefighting gadgets as the back parachutes, car phone and of course the smoke-maker for daring getaways. ®
$15,000 invested in the stock market in 1955 is worth $5.0m today.
Well, there's a meaningless statement., You don't invest in "the stock market". You invest in companies, which happen to sell their stock in the stock market. Those numbers might work if one invested in a specific set of companies, or some particular brokered investment account. But $15,000 invested in different companies or accounts might be worth $0 or $5b today.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics*, $15,001 (don't forget that original dollar to buy the vehicle...) in 1955 dollars is $128,512.67 in 2012 dollars (their calculator hasn't been updated with 2012-2013 inflation rates yet, so I'll call that close enough.) That would make his profit roughly $4m, or about 3,168%. Not bad.
Of course, even my analysis doesn't take into effect maintenance costs or any money he made for making the vehicle available to ABC for the show or for later public appearances. And we haven't even started talking about the non-monetary gratification which can come from owning a piece of US cultural history -- or even simply having a nice keepsake.
In short, some arbitrarily chosen index of some arbitrarily chosen market is a pretty poor basis for judging the value of an investment, and judging an investment of this type in purely monetary terms is very short-sighted.
PS. Adding promiscuous sex as your only value measure other than money is just plain sad.
Re: Rick Champagne
He'll be in trouble. You can't use the name "Champagne" unless you're from the appropriate bit of France. He should change his name to "Rick Sparkling Wine" immediately.
Surely there must be a video of him outbidding the Penguin for it?
You sir are a twit who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
You deserve to spend the next 10 years in the cell between The Joker and The Riddler adjacent to The Penguin and The Bookworm. And absolutely no Catwoman for you.
Re: Can't your run this story tomorrow?
You should find a hobby.