“Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky. He passed on peacefully in his sleep at 2:45 am. He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home. He lived his life they way he wanted til the end. He would want everyone to celebrate the passion he had for life and for what he created for all to enjoy.” – Brett Barris
Those were the words released today by Brett Barris, the son of the legendary Hollywood car maker. George Barris, the car designer who created the iconic 1966 Batmobile for the Batman television series, has died, according to a Facebook post posted by son, Brett Barris. He was 89 years old.
DC also issued a statement calling Barris
“a true creative genius,” adding “George’s design contributions to the legendary 1966 Batmobile thrilled fans of the classic Batman TV show, left an indelible mark on Batman legacy and lore, and is still recognized as one of the most iconic vehicles of all time.”
This is a huge loss for us here at PopCultHQ, especially myself. George Barris is sort of local celebrity in part of the woods here near the outskirts of Chicago. The very same places where Barris has spent many of his years when not doing his Hollywood cars. Local classic Volo Auto Museum actually houses many of the Barris classic cars so I have gotten to see and touch them in person, as well as hear many great stories from the people who run the Volo Auto Museum in an interview I did with them on another site. I grew up loving Batman, Green Hornet, The Monkeys and so many more that Mr. Barris had a hand in. It has been ages since Barris has built any new vehicles but he would constantly make appearances at Volo and many car conventions to keep close to the fans. I was a huge fan of George Barris cars and will always keep him in my heart every time I see them. RIP George Barris.
Barris Car History:
Barris began building model cars and customizing at an early age, then moved to Los Angeles after World War II, launching Barris Kustom Industries.
The instant popularity of his custom cars looks caught the eye of Hollywood, and his first films included works on cars for Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, High School Confidential and 1960’s The Time Machine.
Barris is most known for his iconic Batmobile for the 1966 TV series. ABC asked Barris to create a signature vehicle for the comic book turned TV series hero. Barris rolled out a Lincoln concept car called the Lincoln Futura that he had kept in storage for about decade and used that as his base, constructing the car in just an incredible 15 days! The lasting effects of the iconic car has endured fans ever since. The 1966 Batmobile was built for $15,000 although Barris purchased the Futura for $1. Barris kept the car in his personal collection and in 2013 sold the car at auction for $4.6 million.
The success of Batman and the Batmobile led to more work, including Mannix, The Beverly Hillbillies, Knight Rider, Green Hornets’s car and designing the Munster Koach for The Munsters and making custom cars for celebrities ranging from Bob Hope to John Wayne to Elton John. More information on George Barris can be found on his official website.