It’s the crime-fighting dream car that every kid had in their toy box. But what’s it like to have the keys to a full-size, street-legal Batmobile? As luck would have it, VINwiki recently sat down with Casey Putsch, creator and former owner of the world’s only turbine-powered Batmobile, to hear just how bat-tacular the experience could be. And judging by Putsch’s numerous jaw-dropping adventures with the car, its safe to say that it exceeded all expectations.
Putsch explains the entire project was inspired by an eBay listing for a Boeing turboshaft engine. One questionable impulse buy later, the idea of a turbine-powered Batmobile was jettisoned from the drawing board and into real life. Getting the 40-year-dormant engine to run, however, involved time, elbow grease, and actual grease… which happened to ignite, nearly catching fire to his generous friend’s race car shop. The rest of the car was slightly simpler: Corvette front and rear suspension and tubular space-frame to tie the front and back together under the custom body.
Following an impressively-quick five months of wrenching, the car was ready to hit the road. Its first task? Trailering a Formula Atlantic car to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Once there, Putsch proceeded to put the bat-beast on track and chased a Smart Fortwo, all while firing off blanks through the deployable fake machine guns and yelling Christian Bale-inspired one-liners over the onboard PA.
Without spoiling the remainder of the video, Putsch goes on to recall his many memories of late-night escapades in the car, most involving surprisingly-accepting police officers, bewildered freeway drivers, and the craziest visits to night clubs this side of Gotham City.
The car was reportedly listed on eBay in 2011 for a very Bruce Wayne Buy-It-Now price of $620,000. What it sold for is unknown, but Putsch seems grateful for the experience of creating and enjoying the world’s best tribute to the world’s greatest detective.