Batboat from 1960s fails to sell at auction

Batboat The Batboat was one of two made by Glastron Industries in the 1960s

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One of a pair of Batboats made for the 1966 Batman movie and the 1960s TV series has failed to sell at auction.

The vessel, complete with tail fin and flashing beacon, was put up for sale by Batman collector and enthusiast Mark Perkins at Brooklands in Surrey.

He has owned the Batboat, made by Glastron Industries, for four years but said he had now run out of space.

"It's not your everyday piece of machinery," he said. "It's as good as new and ready to fight crime."

The Batboat, which had been expected to fetch between £36,000 and £40,000 at the Weybridge auction, was made from a standard Glastron V-174.

Nuclear-powered

The makers added a red flashing beacon, glowing eyes, "Bazooka hatches", seats for Batman and Robin at the front, twin windscreens, and an aft deck cover with a glowing Bat-Signal on the tail fin.

A water squirter and jet nozzle were added to make the Batboat look as if it was nuclear-powered.

Mr Perkins's boat, which has all its original running gear and is sea-worthy, was never used for filming the movie starring Adam West and Burt Ward but as a promotional tool across the US.

"When we roar down the River Thames the looks we get, especially dressed up as Batman and Robin on a Sunday afternoon, are just fantastic," said Mr Perkins, who lives in Berkshire.

"It makes everyone smile."

He said before the auction he thought the boat would go to a museum or private collector.

A spokesman for auctioneers Historics at Brooklands said hundreds of people attended the six-hour auction.

Two Ferraris sold for a total of £400,000, one of them a 1972 Ferrari Dino which changed hands above its estimate for nearly £250,000.

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