Two extremely rare and Collectible items are coming up for Auction in Late January.
1966 BATMOBILE NO. 5
• Known as Batmobile no. 5
• Built as a Replica by engineer Jim Sermersheim in 1966
• Replica built from a 1958 Thunderbird chassis
• Customized metal body
• Acquired by George Barris after completion
• Restored approximately 25 years ago
• 351 CI V-8 engine
• Automatic transmission
• Letter of authenticity from George Barris dated April 3, 1986
Batmobile No. 5 has a unique and very traceable history, making it remarkably desirable to any enthusiast of Batman. No. 5 was not built by George Barris, nor any of the Hollywood establishment for that matter, but rather by a major fan of Batman, Jim Sermersheim in 1966. Using only photographs and the TV show as design references, Sermersheim built the car using a 1958 Ford Thunderbird chassis as the basis. It was very well detailed and dialled in right down to the interior, and Jim enjoyed showing it all over the United States and Canada. After about two years of showing the car, Barris acquired it from Sermersheim, approved it and protected it with the Barris design patent, thus, recognizing it officially as a Barris Batmobile
So, historically, Hollywood only commissioned four Batmobiles, the original and three fiberglass replicas for the TV show. But, in reality, there are five original Barris Batmobiles, the fifth having been created out of passion and adoration of the comic strip and television show. After many years in storage, Barris sold No. 5, accompanied by a letter written by Barris on April 3, 1986, discussing that it was a real Barris Batmobile complete with patent protections, to Robert Butts, the owner of Fantasy Cars in El Cajon, California, who along with his team, fastidiously restored the car back to its original splendor. In 1988, No. 5 was sold by Butts to its current owner as a gift to her husband, the ultimate gift for a Batman fanatic.
On July 26, 1988, Barris wrote a letter to the new owner congratulating him on the acquisition of the car; the next day another letter arrived from Barris discussing the licensing restrictions surrounding the car, telling him that if he were to show the car outside of his home, he would need to pay Barris Kustoms a fee to avoid infringement. Today, that owner is offering Batmobile No. 5 for sale for the first time in 28 years. It has remained in storage for the majority of its life and shows exceptionally well, with only a few blemishes stealing from its luster. Likely the world’s most recognizable car, the Batmobile is not for the shy or withdrawn and is certain to become the crown jewel of any collection, likely requested to attend show after show.
1966 YAMAHA BATCYCLE REPLICA
• Restored by Robert Butts
• Previously part of Harrah's Automobile Collection
• Harrah's Certificate of Authenticity
• Built from a Yamaha Catalina YDS-3
• Detachable sidecar
“Where does he get those wonderful toys?” – The Joker, “Batman,” the movie, 1989.
Indeed, Batman has enough toys to rival James Bond, and one of the most popular is the Batcycle. Robert Butts of Fantasy Cars in El Cajon, California, acquired and restored this Batcycle Replica in the 1980s along with Batmobile No. 5, both subsequently being sold as a gift to a major Batman collector and enthusiast in 1988.
This bike has not been touched since the restoration and shows very nicely with only the most minor blemishes besetting the overall appearance. The paint is shiny, the graphics appear beautifully and the overall detailing is outstanding. At one time, very early on, this particular Batcycle was part of Harrah’s Automobile Collection and will be sold with a certificate of verification issued by Harrah’s in 1967. The original Batcycle appeared early in the Batman television series, but infrequently.
The first Batcycle was a 1965 Harley Davidson with a sidecar. On lease, it was only used in one episode, “Not Yet, He Ain’t,” which originally aired March 24, 1966. Later in the year and in only five days, Richard “Korky” Korkes and Daniel Dempski of Kustomotive built a new Batcycle designed by Tom Daniel. Yamaha gave them four Catalina 250 motorcycles to base the new Batcycle upon, one Hero bike and three copies. Using basic Yamaha racing design concepts with a lot of Filon sheets, it was the Filon sheeting that also produced the sidecar wing.
Uniquely the hero Batcycle had three rocket tubes on the back of the sidecar, but the copy bikes did not; there were two Speedline patterns used on the sidecars in 1966, an “S” or a “Z” pattern, the Hero bike used both, but the copies only used the “S” design. The Batmobile may always gain the lion’s share of looks, stares and comments, but that’s likely due to the rare airtime the Batcycle got. Today, thanks to the new Batman movie franchise, Batman’s two-wheeled rides are gaining interest and popularity.