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Tampico's 'Batman' and his wheels. Tampico's 'Batman' and his wheels.

Longtime Batman fan even has a Batmobile

Tampico resident converted a 1997 Chrysler to fit his Bat-needs

Batman’s secret identity is Bruce Wayne but it turns out the superhero has yet another alter ego and he lives in Tamaulipas.

Tampico local Eduardo Graziano has been a fan of the Dark Knight since childhood but has taken his Batman obsession much further than most aficionados.

For starters, he drives his very own Batmobile.

Graziano’s dream of owning Batman’s iconic wheels dates back to his high school days but it took him more than two decades to finally achieve his goal.

From his living room — or more accurately his Batcave — Graziano told the newspaper Milenio that since the vehicle is not available commercially, he decided to build his own.

“. . . I always thought that one day I was going to be able to buy one but since they don’t sell them, I gave myself the task of making one,” he said, surrounded by a plethora of other Batman memorabilia.

Once he had come up with a design for his eye-catching car, Graziano told himself that “it was now or never” and decided to go ahead and make it a reality. The first challenge was finding a vehicle that he could convert to the required specifications.

“I needed something long. I saw some on Facebook, at car auctions and at dealerships but none fit the dimensions  . . .” Graziano said.

But finally he found exactly what he was looking for — a 1997 Chrysler LHS — and the fun began.

Although he is neither mechanic nor carpenter, Graziano used knowledge that he gained while studying systems engineering to make the necessary modifications.

“I started to cut, using a disc-cutter, chisel and hammer to remove what I didn’t need,” he explained.

He then proceeded to make all the necessary adornments out of fiberglass to ensure that there would be no mistaking what kind of vehicle it was.

“. . . I made so many changes, my friends came and suggested certain details,” adding that “it’s not an exact replica of the 1989 [Batman film] model, it’s an adaptation.”

“I had to take the size of my garage and the streets into account,” he explained.

Still, the sleek black design replete with wing-shaped tailfins, a sliding top entrance and Batman insignias mean that whenever he drives the streets of southern Tamaulipas, people turn their heads and perhaps momentarily imagine that they have been transported to Gotham City.

Graziano explained that the project took him two and a half years to complete but he hadn’t kept track of how much money he had spent.

“I feel a lot of satisfaction to have it . . . and to have finished it on my own,” he said.

Apart from having the Batmobile, Graziano is a proud collector and owner of more than 1,000 Batman-themed products including mugs, glasses, masks, costumes, ships, mini-Batmobiles and t-shirts.

Even some of his kitchen items including cutting boards, ice trays and his oven are Batman-inspired and when he goes to sleep at night it is on a bed with a huge Batman symbol on its head and a Batman bedspread.

“Fans usually have a designated room to amass all their purchases, but here it’s all the rooms,” he said proudly.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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