Two classic Ferrari roadsters and the original Batmobile were among the star lots during a week of car auctions in Arizona that raised more than $200 million.
The Batmobile sold for $4.62 million in Scottsdale as Batman fans and automobile collectors joined the events.
The vehicle from the 1960s Adam West TV show ("Pow!" "Zap!" "Kaboom!") was joined onstage at the Barrett-Jackson sale by its creator, George Barris, who had previously vowed never to sell it.
Earlier, the two Ferraris sold for more than $8 million each, leading auctions that also included Lamborghinis, Porsches, Bugattis and Aston Martins. The sales, held by five auction houses, generated an aggregate $223.8 million with fees, according to Hagerty, a U.S.-based classic car price database. The total was $39.9 million higher than last year, it said.
"These sales defied financial gravity," Simon Kidston, founder of the Geneva-based classic car adviser Kidston, said in an interview from Arizona. "There are a lot of people squirreling away money in classic cars at the moment. They see auction results that suggest the market is holding up, and they like the kudos of taking cars to events where they meet like- minded people who are comfortably off."
The Batmobile was adapted by Barris in 1966 from a Ford concept car called the Lincoln Futura, a bubble-windowed coupe handbuilt in Italy. Though it didn't carry a formal estimate, dealers said that it might fetch as much as $5 million on Jan. 19. Barrett-Jackson's week-long series of sales, from Jan. 13- 20, took $102.5 million from 1,340 offered cars. Just four were left unsold.
The 500-horsepower custom car has a fake jet exhaust in the back (a painted 10-gallon bucket), a Batphone and two packed parachutes that actually work, used to effect a "Bat turn."
The Caped Crusader's cruiser is almost 20 feet long and has controls for various imaginary James Bond-like gadgets on the dash. They include oil slicks, an ejector, rockets, nails and an anti-theft system.
During the TV show, which ran from 1966 to 1968, molds were made from the original and some half dozen fiberglass replicas were created for stunt work and promotional events. In 2007, one sold at auction for $233,000.
Barris calls himself the "King of the Kustomizers" and has made innumerable TV and movie cars, including the "Back to the Future" DeLorean, "The A-Team" van and KITT Trans Am.
A metallic-blue 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider led Gooding & Co.'s Jan. 18-19 event with a price of $8.25 million, just beating the $8.1 million paid for a dark-red 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta "Competizione" at RM Auctions.