This past Saturday, as you may have heard, the original Ford Futura showcar that was modified into the first Batmobile sold for a Bruce Wayne-wealth-worthy $4.2 million dollars.
The event was broadcast, of course, so we can all vicariously enjoy the fruits of insane wealth, and the video feed of Barris and his team was especially interesting. In fact, we sent the video down to Jalopnik's Center For Noticing Things In Internet Videos (co-operated with CalTech's New Media Lab) and they got some very compelling results.
Starting at about 2:30 into the video, look at that dark-haired guy behind George Barris. He's reacting far more dramatically to the expensive goings-on than anyone. I'm not sure who he is, exactly — he's too young to be one of the original builders of the car, but he's clearly heavily emotionally invested in the vehicle.
Below $3 million, he's pleased. Not ecstatic, but clearly happy. Once that price hits the $3 million mark his joy erupts, openly, exuberantly. It's a beautiful thing to witness.
But as that price lingers around $3 mil, he starts to break. It's clear he's questioning some fundamental things in his life, and not coming up happy. Once the price edges over $3 million, there's a break. The sober reflection turns to anguish, his face contorting into a mask of remorse and pain.
Soon afterwards, he retreats inward. Sunglasses hide his shame and regret, and he withdraws from the world. Have we lost him?
Maybe not! The human psyche is a wonderfully resilient thing. By the time the price jumps to $4 million, our intrepid emotional-spelunker is over it. He's grown up a little, maybe become a little jaded, maybe lost some innocence. But he's free. Free of the hype, the overblown, empty excess, free of — yes — the Batmobile.
Find peace, sweet, sweet prince.
UPDATE: Our man here is George Barris' grandson, according to our informed commenters. That makes his journey even richer, I think.