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Friday 30 September 2016

Batmobile creator and star car builder George Barris dies

Published 06/11/2015 | 02:36

Designer George Barris pictured in 1966 with the original Batmobile in Los Angeles (Lozzi Media Services/Barris Kustom Industries/AP)
Designer George Barris pictured in 1966 with the original Batmobile in Los Angeles (Lozzi Media Services/Barris Kustom Industries/AP)
George Barris pictured in 2007 with the 1966 Batmobile that he designed (Lozzi Media Services/Barris Kustom Industries/ AP)

George Barris, who created Batman's original Batmobile, along with scores of other beautifully customised, instantly recognisable vehicles that helped define California car culture, has died at 89.

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Barris Kustom Industries spokesman Edward Lozzi said he died on Thursday, following a lengthy illness.

Barris was still in high school in Northern California when he designed his first fully-customised car, a 1936 Ford.

Soon afterwards he formed Kustoms Car Club and went to work in earnest with his brother Sam.

Over the next 70 years he would design hundreds of cars for television shows, movies, celebrities including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra - and ordinary people.

Two of the most famous were the Batmobile, created for the 1960s Batman TV show, and The Munsters Koach, built for the TV's The Munsters.

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