Iconic Vehicles of Television: How Much Are They Worth
How much would you pay for the Batmobile? We’re talking the 1960s classic driven by Adam West’s campy Batman and wisecracking Robin. How about $4.2 million? An Arizona man with an affinity for the Caped Crusader bought the original Batmobile for just that sum on January 19, 2013, according to NYDailyNews.com. The auction has inspired us to look back at the most iconic TV cars and learn where they are today.
Rick Champagne achieved his Dark Knight dream of obtaining the Batmobile this past weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, the New York Daily News reported. Champagne will have to pay an additional $420,000 in premiums in addition to his winning bid at the Barrett-Jackson auction. Based on the 1955 Lincoln Futura, George Barris customized the iconic car with 15 grand and 15 days. Barris was the previous owner but felt it was time to allow someone else time behind the Bat wheel.
The General Lee
The very first 1969 Dodge Charger used in The Dukes of Hazzard soared over a cop car in the series’ opening credits, but during the 2012 Barrett-Jackson auction, it couldn’t clear financial expectations. Lee 1 (out of more than 300 during the show’s run) was sold BF Goodrich tires, cement ballast and all for $110,000, according to Fox News. The auction house likely had high expectations after John Schneider’s General Lee sold for nearly $10 million on eBay in 2007, according to TMZ.com.
The Love Boat
The 550-foot cruise liner from the sitcom, Love Boat, was seized by the Court of Genoa after sitting idle in an Italian marina for years. The boat was awaiting payment for repair costs that the shipyard failed to produce. Turkish ship breaker, Cemsan, obtained the now unloved boat in March 2012 for 2.5 million (roughly $3.3 million), according to Newsfeed.Time.com. Once an icon of the cruise liner industry, the Love Boat was sadly dismantled for mere scrap.
Star of the ’80s series, Knight Rider, K.I.T.T. was created by TV car creator extraordinaire, George Barris. In 2007, the restored 1982 Pontiac Trans Am went up for sale with an asking price of $149,995 at Kassabian Motors, a Dublin auto dealership, according to Fox News. It’s one of four documented camera cars used when Hasselhoff was behind the wheel. Fans should be aware that K.I.T.T.’s cockpit buttons labeled ski mode, rocket boost, eject and oil slick don’t perform those functions as advertised; however, they do light up. Unlike in the TV series, this K.I.T.T. cannot hold a conversation.
The Beverly Hillbillies’ Jalopy
The 1921 Oldsmobile driven by the Clampetts in The Beverly Hillbillies TV show was neither auctioned nor scrapped. The Ralph Foster Museum, committed to preserving items related to the Ozarks region, currently holds the original vehicle from the series. Despite the Hillbillies’ long journey to Beverly Hills, the jalopy is back where it began.