SHEENA BARNETT: Saying goodbye to the Batmobile



Tupelo, we’ve lost an icon.

It was a vehicle you probably saw cruising around town, and you couldn’t forget it if you saw it. You may have even taken a picture of it.

It was the one, the only, Batmobile.

The Batmobile already had seen its best days long before its owner, my best friend Spencer Pleasants, was even born.

His grandmother passed down her 1985 Buick Le Sabre to him after he got his license, and he fashioned it into the Batmobile, in honor of his favorite superhero.

In 2008, he was excited for the second in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight,” so he painted the car in bats and comic book phrases like “Pow” and “Bam.”

He couldn’t forget his other favorites, so he also painted a Bible verse on the trunk and David Bowie lyrics around the back glass.

He was told the paint would wash off, but it didn’t. He embraced the bats and freshened up the paint job every so often.

The inside was just as interesting. He had a flag tacked to the ceiling, along with pictures of his favorite celebrities. It wasn’t always the smoothest ride: He rarely had heat or air, and rainwater always managed to seep in on his seat somehow.

Still, that car had fans.

Rarely a day went by that people didn’t ask to take a picture of it, or with it. Plenty of times Spencer and I would watch people as they gawked at the car.

When the final film in Nolan’s Batman trilogy hit the big screen, Spencer talked the officials at the Malco into letting him show off the car that night in the parking lot.

We didn’t take too many rides in the Batmobile because it was terrible on gas. But there were still plenty of rides I took with Spencer in the Batmobile, rocking out to our favorite bands and talking for hours about life.

Like the actual Batmobile, that painted Le Sabre was like a tank. I thought nothing could stop it.

Little did we know that our last ride would be, well, our last.

Earlier this month, a deer decided to take out the Batmobile as well as itself.

Therefore, the Batmobile is dead.

Spencer has a new ride, and he loves it, mostly because it has air, heat, a sunroof and a CD player.

But I’ve nicknamed it the Dadmobile, because it’s a gold Ford Taurus and looks like something owned by a stuffy father of three, not by a 20-something who’ll blast the New York Dolls.

Of course, Spencer-the-artist sees art and inspiration everywhere, so he’s nicknamed his new set of wheels Valentino, after a famous Taurus, Rudolph Valentino. He promises that after a while he’s going to paint over the boring champagne color.

I hope he does.

It’ll be hard to follow the Batmobile, but I’m sure he can do it.

In highways full of dishwater-colored SUV’s and sedans, the Batmobile was a flash of color and individuality – and we need more of that around here.

RIP, Batmobile.

Hello, Valentino.

Sheena Barnett is entertainment reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact her at or (662) 678-1580.

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