Sumter dermatologist Lane Latham, decided seven years ago he needed a hobby. He found one that would soon take up a lot of his time: he'd build his own Batmobile.
“Like everything, it was on the Internet,” Lane says. “I saw that somebody else had done it and I thought well if this guy can do it well maybe I can too.”
Lane decided to build his Batmobile from scratch but says he had no idea what he was getting himself into. It started out only as a frame. He then constructed each part of the car into his very own version of a Batmobile from the 60's TV show.
“Every six months, even to the very last year, it was like is it ever going to get done,” Lane says. “There was always something that went wrong.”
Mechanic Bruce Pate helped Lane turn his idea into a reality.
The flashy interior and exterior of the batmobile is now an eye-catching sight that turns heads wherever he goes.
“The first day I'm driving it back from the paint shop, I had somebody stop in the middle of traffic and a teenager jumps out to take a picture and almost caused a wreck,” Lane retorts.
Lane doesn't use the Batmobile as his daily of transportation but if he goes on a quick errand, like to get an ice cream, he says he enjoys taking it out for a joy ride.
It took seven years of hard work to finish the Batmobile. When it was finished Lane took on a new project, building another famous car. He built a “Back to the Future,” DeLorean. He says even though the DeLorean doesn't actually take him back in time to 1956, it still turns heads.
Wait, there's more. Lane is now building a second Batmobile, this one from the 1989 Batman movie. He is doing it differently than the first Batmobile by changing up some of the frame-work and adding different gadgets.
Lane says his family has supported him through the entire process and he hopes to do more with his cars someday.
“I've already donated a resume so to speak of these cars to the make a wish foundation,” he says. “I'd love to have some kid that wanted to have a batman event for his life and I'd love to show up with that car and make his day.”
Lane says he's spent more than $100,000 on his first two cars and no word yet on how much the third one is going to cost.