Holy Market Niche, Batman!

Updated on October 27, 2010



GREAT NEWS: Now that Mattel has released their excellent 1/18 scale model of the TV Batmobile (that all Batmobile enthusiasts have been waiting decades for), my opinion is that there is now no longer any reason to customize a Corgi Batmobile to look more like the real car. Yes, I've customized many of them, because for years, the Corgi Batmobile was the only die cast we had to work with. But now that a real scale version is available, I recommend people restore their Corgis to their original "stock" toy condition. The Corgi Batmobile is a great toy but it is not a very accurate scale model. Enjoy it as it was designed. Eventually, I will replace some of the photos of the customized versions on this page, but I don't know when I'll get around to it.


Welcome to my "About Me Page". My favorite car has always been the Batmobile from the 1966 TV series. This has led to one of my hobbies which is restoring Corgi Batmobiles. I've restored dozens of Corgi Batmobiles over the last several years. I began restoring and customizing them for myself, but as time went on many people asked me if I would restore their cars also. So for the last several years, I've done Corgi Batmobile restorations sort of as a hobby but mainly for other people. I've also sold Corgi Batmobile parts, replica boxes, and (at times) restoration services directly (see photos below). I'm mostly "retired" from restoring Batmobiles myself but my son and I still sell the parts. Ask for the current price list. Further down you can read my answers to some of the questions I get asked more frequently.

Reproduction parts for restoring most Corgi Batmobiles. Ask for the current price list. If you need a part which is not shown, feel free to ask about it. We might be able to help you anyway. The eBay messaging system is a hassle so I prefer that you email us directly by using any of the links on this page. If you use the eBay messaging system to contact me anyway and you want a response, make sure you choose the option to reveal your email address. Thank you.

Beat up Corgi Batmobiles (top) and restored Corgi Batmobiles (lower two photos). Virtually any beat up Corgi Batmobile can be restored to look nice as long as the metal body is intact.

Some Frequently Asked Questions...

FAQ 1. Do you have any restored Batmobiles for sell?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I generally don't have any Batmobiles for sale. In general, I have concentrated on restoring other peoples' Batmobiles that they have sent to me. But I'm not currently taking new orders.

FAQ 2. How do I replace the canopy?

ANSWER: To replace the canopy properly, you must remove the six rivet heads on the underside of the car. This is most easily accomplished by drilling them off. I do this in three steps. First, I make a small pilot hole (so that the larger drill bits don't slip off the rivet head later on). To do this I use a Dremel rotary tool and a small engraving bit (such as Dremel bit #106) for the first pilot hole. Then I make the pilot hole larger with a 3/32" drill bit and I finally use a larger drill bit (approx. 3/16") to actually remove the head. After the body halves have been separated, there are three more rivets to remove to get at the canopy. To reassemble the car, you can use a good epoxy to substitute for the rivet heads. If it is applied carefully and if it is a good consistency, the epoxy drops can actually look very similar to the original rivets heads. After it is cured, paint the epoxy "rivet heads" black (to match the car) or dull silver (to match the original rivet heads). See my response to FAQ #4 below concerning the use of rivets or screws to reassemble Corgi Batmobiles. Some people inquire if it is possible to replace a canopy without disassembling the car. To do so would require you to cut out as much of the original canopy as possible and then cut or grind the replacement canopy to somehow fit, then glue it in place. I haven't seen the results of this type of operation, but I don't think I would like it. So from my point of view, you must disassemble the Batmobile to replace the canopy.

FAQ 3. Do I need to disassemble the car to replace the antenna?

ANSWER: To do it properly, yes. Many people assume that the original plastic antennas are somehow "screwed in". They are not. They are inserted from underneath the rear deck (or "trunk"). However, if the only thing your car needs is a new antenna, it's worthwhile, in my opinion, to attempt a less invasive repair. Here are two options to consider:

A. Remove the base of the original antenna from the Batmobile. The best way I've found to do this is to use a rotary tool and Dremel bit #106. Grind down through the remaining plastic base of the original antenna until contacting the silver metal base that the antenna sits on. You can then use some needle point tweezers to remove the remaining parts of the antenna base from the antenna socket. Removing those remnants is difficult and you may be able to just leave them in place. Either way, on your replacement antenna, trim the outer edge of its base so that the base of the new antenna will fit in the socket hole. After verifying that it will fit, apply a small amount of epoxy into the hole and/or bottom of the antenna and set it in place. You will probably need to support the antenna in its desired position until the epoxy cures.

B. If you don't have a rotary tool or don't want to risk damaging your car by removing the base of the original antenna, you can try this approach: If the thick base of the original antenna is still present on the car (and it usually is), you can file the top of it so that it is flat and smooth. Obtain a replacement antenna that has a thick base similar in diameter to the original base (approx. 1/16"). All the antennas I sell can be used this way. Cut off a portion of the replacement base, leaving just a small portion of the thicker base portion. File it if necessary so that it will mate flush against the top of the original base. Use a small amount of epoxy to attach it to the original base. My experience is that regular model cement does not work very well on the type of plastic the antennas are made from. Since this method of repair won't be as sturdy as replacing the whole antenna, you will need to be careful not to bump the repaired antenna in the future.

FAQ 4. Do you use rivets or screws to reassemble your Batmobiles?

ANSWER: Usually neither. Some people do use rivets or screws to reassemble their Batmobiles but I usually use epoxy to replace the rivet heads. By way of explanation, if you open up a Corgi Batmobile, you can see how that the original "rivet heads" are actually part of the same single piece of metal as the upper body half. To install screws or rivets, you have to drill a hole in the rivet posts in the upper body. But the metal posts aren't that thick and are fairly soft and brittle metal. Often, when people drill into this and force a screw or rivet into the hole, it forms cracks in the rivet posts. Damaged rivet posts are almost inevitable when using self-tapping screws, especially for a #4 screw size. This is the screw size I've usually seen installed because its head is large enough to hold the bottom of the car in place without washers. Often the car will still hold together with broken rivet posts but I really hate to see this happen. In a few cases, such as if you are the lucky owner of one of my "Electronic Corgi Batmobiles" (a customized Corgi Batmobile with a flashing red beacon), I'm willing to tap holes for very small machine screws to replace the rivet heads. This makes it easier to change the battery. But rather than risk unnecessary and irreversible damage to the rivet posts, I generally reassemble the cars with epoxy "rivet heads" as this does no damage to the rivet posts. It does make it more difficult than screws to re-open the car if you ever want to again. But my assumption is that grown-ups will take better care of their Batmobiles now than they did as a kid and it won't be necessary to reopen the car again (which was Corgi's original concept as well).