A king among car customizers, George Barris, passed away at home early Thursday morning. He was 89.
Known for his many custom creations for film and television he is best know for the iconic Batmobile featured in the 1966 Batman TV series. Barris purchased the 1955 Lincoln Furtura concept car from Ford for a mere $1. In 15 days and with a budget of $15,000, he created the memorable 19-foot long Batmobile. After the series ended, he purchased the car and put it on display at his North Hollywood custom workshop. The legendary prop sold at auction in 2013 for an amazing $4.62 million.
Barris started customizing cars at an early age and opened a shop after World War II with his brother Sam. Designing “Kustom” cars for private buyers and his adventures in racing soon drew the attention of Hollywood studios and the stars themselves. In addition to Batman, they supplied cars for Knight Rider, The Time Machine, The Munsters and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Family surrounded Barris at the time of his passing. His son Brett wrote on Facebook, “He lived his life the way he wanted til the end. He would want everyone celebrate the passion he had for life and for what he created for all to enjoy.”