KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 53rd annual World of Wheels exhibit was at Kansas City’s Bartle Hall over the weekend and featured everything from custom cars to the classics.
One of the most popular rides at this year’s show was the iconic Batmobile. In fact, there were three Batmobiles that have appeared on television and the silver screen.
Whenever there was crime in Gotham City, Batman and Robin slid down into the Bat Cave and jumped into their ride — the Batmobile.
The black and red wonder car was their crime fighting weapon on wheels.
“Basically this was his rolling Bat Cave. It had Bat scanners. It had the red lights and everything he needed to fight crime in Gotham City this car did it,” said Bob Millard, World of Wheels manager.
In the 1960’s, the first Batmobile made for the Batman tv show was considered totally high tech. It’s equipped with Bat gadgets like the Emergency Bat Turn Lever, a nail spreader and of course, the Bat Phone. Commissioner Gordon, times have changed.
“What? Surely you must be jesting,” Gordon answered.
No joke commissioner. Take a look at the 1989 movie version of the Batmobile that then-Batman Michael Keaton used to cruised the streets of Gotham.
“It has guns that come up out of the front of it and it shoots the smoke out the whole thing. The top comes off and it has an ejection seat also,” Millard explained about the car.
Oh and commissioner. Wait until you see the Batmobile of the 2000’s. It’s part post apocalyptic tank and part transformer all thanks to its builder Bob Dullum.
“When Bruce Wayne aka Batman is in this thing and he is driving through the city and he wants to get off the expressway, he doesn’t take the exit ramp. He just hits the jet engine and flies over everything and lands on another road escaping police,” Dullum explained.
The design of the Batmobile has evolved over the 50-plus years since it careened off the pages of comic books into the homes of millions of Americans via television and then exploded on to the silver screen.
However, for the thousands of Batman lovers, its powerful crime stopping genius will always remain.