Avid car collector and self-confessed automotive gear head, Jay Leno, recently had the opportunity to test drive a really unique and bespoke vehicle - which most could only dream of.
Anyone who wasn't born a minute ago would be familiar with a vehicle that has made several appearances in various films - the Batmobile. The 'Keaton' Batmobile from the hit film, Batman and Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton was what got me into cars.
To me it is still the most iconic vehicle of Hollywood, even ahead of the Austin Mini’s from The Italian Job, the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader or the DeLorean from Back to The Future, among others.
I was four and I still have a faint memory of watching it at the Capitol Theatre and till date, it is still my favourite. It was unlike anything I have seen before. It was futuristic, sleek and to be honest I find it sexier than Michelle Pfeiffer in latex.
It barely had lights, had a fictional aircraft engine, an afterburner and that tail which pretty much look like angle wings but in a more gothic fashion a symbolism for silent guardian angel maybe?
Thankfully I had an opportunity to see it in its entirety when I visited Warner Bros theme park in Brisbane.
When Joel Schumacher took over, there were two different Batmobiles for Batman Returns and Batman & Robin. While the 'Kilmer' Batmobile was still bearable the fins looked ridiculous it had a stupid face and it had a skeleton like design. It looks like a piranha on wheels.
The Batmobile from Batman & Robin's looks so bad, I don’t even want to talk about it.
After an absence of eight years in the silver screen, Batman was rebooted in the hands of Christopher Nolan - and among things we got a new Batmobile, and even a backstory.
I have to admit, my initial reaction to first teaser picture of The Tumbler was not very positive. It looked funny, had no front axle, didn't look as sleek as anything as the previous ones and wasn't really flashy or attractive. Then I thought why it would work.
Batman is not about a fashion statement, he is a vigilante, a guy in an outfit fighting crime. He needs the muscle, firepower and speed to get things done quickly and it doesn't have to look pretty. And it does have to look a little provoking – to announce his arrival – and to pancake cop cars in the evening news.
Function over fashion.