Newark, N.Y. --- The work was completed last week and ever since Butch Bouwens has seen people flock to his new creation that he often parks out front of his business on Route 31.
"Pretty popular people wouldn't stop coming in,” said Bouwens, the owner of Butch’s Body Shop. "They want a picture, they want to look at it…everybody likes it.”
“I even got a dozen doughnuts today,” he said of a visitor who simply wanted a picture with the vehicle.
Bouwens loved the old Batman TV show growing up and he maintains that the Batmobile is probably the most famous, and coolest, car in the world. So after years of monitoring an ad in the newspaper he finally decided to buy the fiberglass frame of the Batmobile from a local person trying to sell it.
He then bought a 1973 station wagon and gutted the frame to begin work on his Superhero cruiser.
"We basically had to glue metal all inside this fiberglass body and then we had to weld it and fabricate it to the frame," Bouwens said of the process that even includes an old fashion red “Bat Phone” in the center console.
Five years later his work is complete and while he built it for his own enjoyment he’s quickly realizing how many others enjoy seeing such an authentic-looking replica.
"People go by, I watch them, then they come back through,” Bouwens said of folks passing his business and creation on Route 31. “Some people get out some people slow up, it's all different things.”
Now Bouwens is thinking of ways to turn his Batmobile into a money-making venture that could help him recoup the costs of creating it or help local charities raise money.