It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that George Barris, the creator of the amazing 1966 Batmobile and many other legendary cars passed away on Thursday aged 89 following a battle against a brain tumor.
George was born in Chicago on November 5, 2015, at the age of three he was sent by his father to live with an uncle and his wife in Roseville, California following the death of their mother.
By age 7, Barris was making models of cars using balsa wood and modifying their design and appearance with careful attention to details so his entries won contests sponsored by hobby shops.
According to Barris, some of his first film work consisted of making soft aluminum fenders for a Ford police car that crashes into the rear of a Mercedes Benz convertible driven by Cary Grant’s character in North by Northwest. The idea was to give the collision a comedic quality while also preventing serious damage to the expensive Mercedes. He also built and supplied cars for the 1958 film High School Confidential and loaned some of his customs for the “future” scenes in the 1960 film adaptation of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. Other Barris-built film cars included a modified Dodge Charger for Thunder Alley, a Plymouth Barracuda for Fireball 500, the futuristic Supervan for a film of the same name, a gadget-filled Mercury station wagon for The Silencers, and a sinister rework of a Lincoln Continental Mark III for The Car.
Barris’ most famous car was surely the one Adam West and Burt Ward drove during the Batman TV show but he has a rich automotive history including inventing The Munsters Koach, the truck for The Beverly Hillbillies and he also helped remodel KITT for later seasons of Knight Rider. IN later years he worked on cars for Jurassic Park and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
The Batmobile sold at auction in 2013 for $4.62 million.