Batmobile Creator George Barris Dead at 89: Designer Also Created Cars for The Munsters, The Green Hornet

George Barris
George Barris, who created the iconic Batmobile used on the 1966 Batman TV show, died on Thursday, Nov. 5. Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic

A legend is lost. George Barris, the man who designed TV’s iconic 1966 Batmobile for the Batman TV series, died on Thursday, Nov. 5, according to a Facebook post penned by his son, Brett Barris. He was 89 years old.

“Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky,” Brett wrote. “He passed on peacefully in his sleep at 2:45 a.m. He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home.”

George Barris

Brett added that his father “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.”

George’s most well-known car was driven by Adam West’s Caped Crusader on the TV series, which ran from 1966 to 1968. He also designed other iconic TV vehicles, such as The Munsters’ Koach, the truck from The Beverly Hillbillies, and even K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider.

Batman and Robin

“If you’ll remember that pow, bang, wow is going out, throughout the whole script, that gives you an idea of what I had to contend with,” George told NPR of the iconic 1966 Batmobile in 2010. “I said, ‘Well, if you’re going to make these exciting sounds and all this thing that comes up, I’m going to do the same thing to the car.’”

Barris launched Barris Kustom Industries after moving to Los Angeles following World War II, and one of his first assignments, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was to work on cars for Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, High School Confidential, and 1960’s The Time Machine.

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