LOS ANGELES (CBS13/AP) - George Barris, who created television's original Batmobile, along with scores of other beautifully customized, instantly recognizable vehicles that helped define California car culture, has died at age 89.
Barris Kustom Industries spokesman Edward Lozzi says Barris died Thursday, following a lengthy illness.
Barris was still at San Juan High School in Citrus Heights when he designed his first fully customized car, a 1936 Ford.
Soon after he formed Kustoms Car Club and went to work in earnest with his late brother, Sam.
In 2013, Barris sold the original Batmobile for $4.2 million to Arizona car collector Rick Champagne. Barris bought the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car for $1 and spent $15,000 customizing it into the Batmobile seen on in the 1960s "Batman" series.
Over the next 70 years he would design literally hundreds of cars for television shows, movies, celebrities, heads of state and just regular folks.
Two of the most famous were the Batmobile, created for the iconic 1960s TV show, and The Munster's Koach, built for the television show "The Munsters."
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.
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