OK, So before I do a wrap up on the 4 Monster Jam shows, I wanted to share a “circle of life” moment that happened this past week. I was selling something on Craig’s list, and as a second thought, I searched “batmobile” and “batman” and scanned the few listings. One caught my eye, a guy had a garage full of batman stuff, including a cardboard standee of Michael Keaton. I sent out an email, and mainly due to the seller being persistent, finally decided to drive over to his house and see what he had.
Well, the world of the batman seems to always double back on itself, and this visit was no exception. I finally arrived at the right address, and figured I would rummage through his bins of bat stuff, and go home, but the first thing that caught my eye was a large photo of a guy standing in front of a homebuilt batcar, out of a corvette. I instantly recognized it as the same car that I tried to hire when my now 19-year-old son turned 4 years old, for his Batman themed birthday party! “Where did you get this photo?” I asked. “That’s me, and the car I built, I used to do birthday parties in the 90’s.”
apparently Randy had found out that being the first guy with a great costume paid off in attention and getting hired for events, when he put together a Darth Vader costume in 1977 when Star Wars came out.
Then when the first Keaton Batman movie came out, he bought the best Batman costume he could find, did some upgrades and the batmobile was the next obvious step! As many bat builders do, there is the first try, and then the redo after you learn what to do, and NOT to do. So His first try looked like this:
The side mechanics were not holding up well, and the rear fins started to wobble.
As the batman and his batmobile did appearances around los Angeles all through the 90’s a refit was done, to improve the gadgets and modify the exterior.
With the help of friends and hired fiberglass bodyworkers, he incorporated the licence plate into the upper window shades, relocated the lights to look like the Keaton car, and of course added an “afterburner”.
He “batgadgeted” the interior of the car, and continued to make appearances for years! All this before the Keaton build cars got their hands on screen accurate bodies.
Well after a decade or so, the bat costume was getting tattered, the car was leaking, and Randy was ready to get rid of his bat car, and so sold it for around 20 grand to a guy named Mark Shields out of state, and Mark keeps the car famous on the internet, with his “supergenius” ways.
It was a weird fun bat meeting of two guys who caught the disease of owning a batmobile! Hats off to Randy Hecht and his one of a kind Corvette conversion, he brought a lot of smiles to birthday boys and girls, and managed to even crash the premier of a few batman movies as well!
To the Batmobile!
10/2014 UPDATE! Like I said, All roads lead back to Gotham, and it has again. My son is now 24 and married, and the “BATVETTE” has circled around again. Randy contacted me to “introduce” me to a bat pal I all ready knew and also to tell me his Batvette had a new home. Stay tuned, all the latest as I gather info on this unique bat-ride! Stay tuned, batfans, the best is yet to come!