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Batmobile creator and star car builder George Barris dies

George Barris, who created Batman's original Batmobile, along with scores of other beautifully customised, instantly recognisable vehicles that helped define California car culture, has died at 89.

Barris Kustom Industries spokesman Edward Lozzi said he died on Thursday, following a lengthy illness.

Barris was still in high school in Northern California when he designed his first fully-customised car, a 1936 Ford.

Soon afterwards he formed Kustoms Car Club and went to work in earnest with his brother Sam.

Over the next 70 years he would design hundreds of cars for television shows, movies, celebrities including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra - and ordinary people.

Two of the most famous were the Batmobile, created for the 1960s Batman TV show, and The Munsters Koach, built for the TV's The Munsters.

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