George Barris, Carmaker Who Designed Original Batmobile, Dies at 89 | NBC Southern California

George Barris, Carmaker Who Designed Original Batmobile, Dies at 89



    AP Photo/Courtesy Barrett-Jackson/George Barris
    Famed auto customizer George Barris poses with the original Batmobile in Los Angeles in October 2012. Barris died Nov. 5, 2015 at the age of 89.

    George Barris, the custom carmaker who designed the Batmobile made famous in the mid-1960s "Batman" television series, died Thursday at his Los Angeles home at age 89.

    Barris' son, Brett, announced his father's death in a Facebook post.

    "King of Kustoms" Still Going Strong

    [LA] "King of Kustoms" Still Going Strong
    Ageless George Barris customized his first car before World War II. He gained fame with the Batmobile and other customs for TV and film, and he's still looking for new automotive frontiers. NBCLA's Patrick Healy visited with Barris at his landmark North Hollywood shop.
    (Published Saturday, May 7, 2011)

    "Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car King George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky," he wrote. "He passed on peacefully in his sleep at 2:45 a.m."

    Barris — who died 15 days shy of his 90th birthday — also created vehicles for the TV shows "Knight Rider," "The Munsters" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" and the films "North by Northwest" and "Teenage Confidential."

    Born in Chicago on Nov. 20, 1925, Barris and his brother Sam migrated to California as children and developed a keen interest in automobiles.

    By their teenage years, they were creating custom cars.

    Barris and his brother moved to the Los Angeles area and opened their first shop in 1945, growing that business into a multimillion-dollar operation.

    Barris Kustom Industries is still operating in North Hollywood.

    The Batmobile — which Barris made in about two weeks from a 1955 sedan he for bought for $1 — became arguably the most famous car ever created. It sold in 2013 for more than $4 million.

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