Toowoomba dad who built Batmobile for son's formal will become the hero sick kids need right now

Craig Blackburn at Gold Coast Supanova on the weekend, where children's excitement to see the Batmobile inspired him to ...
Craig Blackburn at Gold Coast Supanova on the weekend, where children's excitement to see the Batmobile inspired him to use the iconic vehicle to brighten the lives of sick kids in the future. Photo: Supplied

A Toowoomba father and car enthusiast who built a Batmobile for his son's formal hopes to use the iconic vehicle to brighten the lives of sick children.

Craig Blackburn, 48, led the Superhero Parade at the Supanova pop culture festival at the Gold Coast on Sunday and said after seeing the children's reaction to the Batmobile, he hoped to use it for more than just his son's formal.

He estimates, based on the number of failures he had seen in car enthusiast groups and Batmobile appreciation forums, that only about one in 50 attempted constructions were actually finished and he realised what an incredible opportunity he had.

Cameron, Craig, Stuart and Shaun Blackburn on the day their hard work paid off - Shaun's formal.
Cameron, Craig, Stuart and Shaun Blackburn on the day their hard work paid off - Shaun's formal. Photo: Supplied

Mr Blackburn hopes to add a flamethrower onto the back of the vehicle and said he had thought about building the more recent Batman Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight films, but joked it would probably end his marriage.

Mr Blackburn started the project at the beginning of 2015 after hearing a friend in the US was doing the same.

It started with importing an outer shell from overseas, before picking the brain of a friend who had a background as a panel beater and spray painter to gain knowledge of how to build the car itself.

With the help of his three children - Stuart, 16, Shaun, 18, and Cameron, 21 - Mr Blackburn built the Batmobile in 18 months with the cost reaching six figures. 

However, working in IT at a university by day, Mr Blackburn said there were plenty of roadblocks to navigate around during the build.

"There were numerous times when thought it was too much. I don't think the word 'enjoy' was one that went through my mind much," he said.

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However, in September 2016 the car made its debut at the Carnival of Flowers in Toowoomba, before being used by Shaun for his formal in November and it most recently led the Superhero Parade on the Gold Coast.

"It (Supanova) was great. It was the first time I've been to it and it was so good to see the kids' and adults' excitement at seeing the Batmobile," Mr Blackburn said.

As a result, the car enthusiast hopes to get the car cleared to drive on the roads as soon as possible so he can visit sick children and take them for a spin.

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