Should It Be Legal To Build A Batmobile?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
should it be legal to build a batmobile

The replica-car business is the authentic and despicable cloaca of the automotive world, attracting scammers, liars, shade-tree hacks, shady African fiberglass molders, soon-to-be-disappointed owners, and lawsuit-addicted former poultry farmers in equal measure. A quick glance at the Gotham Garage website won’t reverse your opinion of the game, but the company, and it’s tatted-up owner, Mark Towle, are at the center of a rather interesting lawsuit.

At the heart of the issue is the George Barris “Batmobile”, which appeared as the vehicular star of the campy Adam-West-led Batman television show. The aforementioned “Gotham Garage” builds replica Batmobiles and has delivered two of them so far. Since the original Batmobile is nearly fifty years old, wasn’t made in any volume, and isn’t currently being produced by anyone, it would seem to be fair game for the replica makers, who regularly manage to get away with copying more recent vehicles.

Not so fast! DC Comics is getting involved. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, but it boils down to this: The Batmobile is part of Batman’s distinct trade dress as expressed in products derived from DC Comics. The article is worth reading because both arguments seem at least partially legitimate.

The recently-reimagined The Lincoln Motor Car Company That Makes Motor Cars And Is A Company Despite Being A Brand In Real Life And Not A Separate Company At All hasn’t weighed-in on the issue yet, which seems odd because the Batmobile is basically just a Lincoln Futura. If they fail to get involved, and the decision goes against DC Comics, there’s every chance that the replica builders of the distant future could rip off the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. And you thought Tom Hardy wearing an odd facemask and some leather bondage gear was scary!

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  • DrunkenDonuts DrunkenDonuts on Jan 06, 2013

    I'd like the Batmobile from the Christopher Nolan movies, please. And when traffic gets too awful, I'll take the one that flies.

  • Junebug Junebug on Jan 07, 2013

    The Black Beauty from the Green Hornet was way cooler and Bruce Lee could kick Adam West's butt any day of the week. As a kid watching both shows (Friday night buddy!) Batman was dumb, Green Hornet was - hey, this might could be true! However, I think a hit puberty way early just watching Cat Woman in that skin tight suit!

  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.