While most Batman fans are content with collecting Batmobile action figures, 29-year-old Zac Mihajlovic from Camden, New South Wales, decided to build a real one for himself. He spent the past two years modelling a street legal version of the iconic batman car from the 1989 film starring Michael Keaton.
Zac is now the proud owner of Australia’s only working and registered replica of the 1989 Batmobile that can be legally driven on public roads. And although he has been offered a lot of money for it (a six figure sum, he says), the Batman fan plans to keep it and use it to make sick children happy. “It’s my absolute pride and joy,” he remarked. “I feel like if I do nothing else for the rest of my life, I’ll die happy.”
Zac was only five years old when he first watched Batman and his obsession began. “At the time, being a five-year-old kid, it scared me but I never forgot it. I just love Batman because he’s one of the only superheroes that don’t have powers so being able to connect to him on a human level is great.”
To create the Batmobile, Zac combined his passion for Batman with the second greatest love of his life – building cars. Zac said that he was interested in doing something unique, that no one had ever done before. “It’s about committing to something and trying to do something that no one else has done; that was a big motivation for me to do it.”
He first got the idea for the project four years ago, and he set to work with the help of his friend Scott Cox, under the guidance of his grandfather John Greene, a retired engineer. It took Zac two years just to collect all the parts required for the monster project – they weren’t easy to come by, but he was lucky enough to get some of the parts that were used on the original car in the film.
“It’s got adjustable suspension, it’s got a working afterburner, which is from the film – no machine gun, sadly, no grappling hooks, no bombs that come out of the wheel, but beyond that, it’s pretty close,” he explained.
Despite the absence of lethal weapons, Zac’s Batmobile has garnered a lot of attention and interest. He describes the reaction to the car as ‘insane’, every single time he takes it out. “I was on the freeway and there was this noise, I thought something was wrong with the car, but it was actually the news helicopter from Channel nine chasing me down the freeway. That was pretty memorable,” he recalled.
And he’s had some pretty bizarre requests from people around the world – like a Sheik in Dubai who offered him an enormous sum in exchange for the vehicle. There was also a couple who wanted to ‘christen’ the car. When Zac told them he wasn’t interested, they offered to pay him whatever he wanted.
Zac really isn’t interested in cashing in on his incredible dream machine; instead, he has teamed up with the Make-A-Wish foundation to make dreams come true for terminally ill children. “It’s a brilliant, brilliant charity because it gives kids, sadly, their dying wish,” he said.
“I dress up as Batman and I surprise the kids – sometimes it’s knocking on someone’s door and surprising them, or sometimes it’s taking them out to dinner.” Zac has helped 40 children meet their hero so far, and he plans to continue doing it for a long time to come.
As for all the female attention that his ride receives, Zac isn’t too fazed because he already has a woman in his life – his girlfriend Annabella Leone. “We’ve been dating for about four years – and I can just say I was with him two years prior to the Batmobile. I have the passenger seat and if any girl out there wants it, I swear to God, she’s dead,” Annabella joked.