Logansport team recreates Batmobile
Jeremy Brilliant/Eyewitness News
Logansport - While the auto industry gradually gets back on its feet, there's one Indiana car maker that hasn't suffered during the recession. In fact, business is booming in a Logansport workshop.
At Fiberglass Freaks, they spend hours sanding, slicing steel and buffing even the tiniest imperfections out by hand.
Mark Racop explains how he and partner Jeff Sandberg start with a molded fiberglass body. Thus begins the transformation of a 1970s Lincoln Town Car.
"It's really, really cool. I pinch myself daily to remind myself that this is not a dream," said Racop.
It continues with passionate craftsmen who help reincarnate a relic from the past. Racop and Sandberg reproduce exact replicas of the 1966 Batmobile at their small workshop in Logansport, Indiana.
"We have to build everything from start to finish for the Batmobile," he said.
Racop is head salesman and Jeff Sandberg in charge of production. Together they make the only officially licensed Batmobile in the world.
"He's Batman and there is no Robin here," laughed Sandberg. "My underwear goes on the inside of my clothing."
Everywhere this vehicle goes it draws a crowd. People can't help snapping pictures of a modern day classic.
In some ways the car is nothing like the original that was used in the movies or TV series. It's completely street legal and it has modern features like a DVD player and stereo - along with all the classic gadgets like a detect-a-scope or a Batphone with a twist:
"You can receive calls if you have a blue tooth cell phone by hitting the connect button right there."
The car also has a fully functioning flame thrower.
"It's pretty bad when you watch the movie and you start nitpicking the car to death and go, 'we could do better jobs than that,'" said Sandberg, who believes their car is better than the original.
Each car takes six months to build. Each part is crafted by hand. Even with a $150,000 price tag, this business is nearly recession-proof.
"The number of sales calls and inquiries has been just through the roof. We're just very blessed," said Racop.
Especially considering Mark is fulfilling a childhood dream he's had since he was two years old.
"My favorite scene from the movie has got to be Adam West as Batman carrying that bomb around and he just can't get rid of that bomb," said Racop.
Racop and Sandberg love the attention the Batmobile gets around town.
"It really brings about the reason we do this...to bring joy," Sandberg.
Fiberglass Freaks, which produces the Batmobile has made 14 of the vehicles so far. They've shipped them all over the United States and as far away as Italy.