|The Batmobile at auction last month.|
BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Holy Moly, Batman! The Batmobile isn't really the most expensive movie or TV car of all time! Journalists got it only half right last month when they reported that a $4.6 million winning bid for the original Batmobile from 1960s TV show Batman set a record for vehicles made famous through television or film.
A check with major auction houses and market tracker Historic Automobile Group International finds that the Batmobile did fetch the most ever for a TV car, but not for one that appeared in a television show or a movie. That honor goes to 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra featured in the 1965 film Redline 7000 -- and auctioned in 2009 for millions more than the Batmobile fetched. Sam Murtaugh of Mecum Auctions, which sold the Daytona Cobra, isn't surprised the sale of Batman's car got more publicity. "The
'65 Shelby is an icon to auto-racing collectors, but the Batmobile is way more recognizable to the general public," he admits. "My 11-year-old sons recognize the Batmobile, but they wouldn't know what a Shelby is." Still, Murtaugh and other experts say top movie and TV cars seldom garner big bucks solely because to their Hollywood connections. Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson, which oversaw the Batmobile auction, estimates the car could have garnered up to $2.5 million just because famed custom-vehicle maker George Barris built it out of a one-of-a-kind 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. "It was a very wild concept car," Jackson says, although he adds that the vehicle's conversion into the Batmobile upped its value sharply. "The Batmobile is truly an iconic American brand," he says. Experts say cars from James Bond movies or films starring late actor/racing enthusiast Steve McQueen also enjoy big boosts on the auction block. "Steve McQueen is still seen as the King of Cool and an iconic figure in automotive history," says Ian Kelleher of Canadian-based RM Auctions. "Cars that you can prove he owned or drove tend to sell for way above their market value." Here's a look at the five TV and movie cars that industry experts say have attracted the highest auction bids in history. The list excludes vehicles sold in private sales, as pricing for such deals isn't typically made public. The rundown also omits an $11 million Ford GT40 that served as a camera car for McQueen's 1971 racing movie Le Mans but didn't actually appear in the film (although it did garner 2012's top auto-auction price).