1972 "Red tyres"
The distinguishing features of this version include a filled-in nostrils on the bat nose, taillights that are also completely filled in, whizzwheels (8 spokes & balde tyres) and a non-moving exhaust flame, the tail fin tips were shorter than on earlier versions.
In about 1972, for reasons which I don't understand (but I've heard it was a production mistake Corgi liked and decided to keep for a while), Corgi produced a Batmobile with red hard plastic tyres. These were actually whizzwheels on a thin, flexible axle so the car would roll very freely. Unfortunately, this meant the pulsating exhaust flame was eliminated. Also, the spacing of the axle posts was closer together to accommodate the thinner axle and the molding for the plastic seats and suspension changed to account for the thinner axles (first picture) and non-pulsating exhaust flame (but these latter two changes are not visible from an external perspective).
1972 ONLY - Corgi Batmobile - red tyres, whizzwheels version with 8 spoke hubs, fixed flame, Batman and Robin (Batman now blue though, Robin slightly smaller) instructions envelope containing all the same apart from they were now red instructions. Beacon cage was gold on every model from now except one... Only available with aqua glass. Batmobile in capitals on the bottom of the car.
On the second picture, see broken front suspensions.
Batman seems to have been typically light blue but I've seen some grey Batmen in this version as well. This version has the reputation of being the most scarce. I'm not sure that's true because some of the other variants are pretty hard to find. But (even though I don't like the red tyres) this version is a must have for your "complete" collection.
1970 window box. See description above. The red tyre Batmobile definitely came in the 1970 style box. The instruction sheet for this car was printed with red and black and did not show a pulsating exhaust flame (because the exhaust did not pulsate any more). The separate feature leaflet was eliminated but its text was printed on the instruction sheet.
On the box for the red tyres, Corgi removed "For spare tyres ask for no 1456" straight away as there was no way to change the tyres and the implications of this were if someone did buy a red tyred and it had "For spare tyres ask for no 1456" on the flap, then since there was no way to change the tyres Corgi would be obligated to change the car instead, which would have been very very expensive.
As the box was available for 2 years with a red hub in WITH "For spare tyres ask for no 1456", and available for 6 months only with the red tyred WITHOUT "For spare tyres ask for no 1456".
Sellers have invented this crossover (red tyred in a box WITH "For spare tyres ask for no 1456") as there are considerable fewer in existence with the red tyred.
Since the GENUINE box is harder to find, a lot of sellers just say yes it crossed over. NO CHANCE!!!!
A genuine red tyred box under any circumstances had "For spare tyres ask for no 1456" on the flap.
1973 window box (possibly - I'm not sure). I've seen some red tyre Batmobiles auctioned off on eBay in the 1973 box, but I don't know if the red tyre car was ever originally sold in this box or not. The car and box both date from about 1973, so it could be OK.
The bat-emblems on the side of a red tyred Batmobile were noticeably thinner on the sides. If you own a red tyred that has the same emblems as any previous Batmobile or any that followed then its not genuine.
See below red tyre bat-emblems, it's a genuine :
It also occurs to me now that the 73-76 Batmobile with the deep dish wheels and 8 spokes is becoming very rare. I very rarely see these Batmobiles for sale (in fact i see more red tyred versions than this). Since their similarity to the red tyred, you can guess why i'm saying this. All you'd have to do with this version (with aqua glass though) is buy a red tyred thats battered, and change the wheels. The cars themselves are exactly the same, so look for an axle thats protuding out of one of the wheels and damage around the inside of the wheels. Its a sure sign thats its been tampered with.
An easy 3 ways to spot if the wheels have been changed.
1 : the bat-emblems on the side of a red tyred Batmobile were noticeably thinner on the sides. If you own a red tyred that has the same emblems as any previous Batmobile or any that followed then its not genuine.
2 : look for glue residue on the inside of the wheels, right near the hole where the axle goes through. Its not supposed to have it at all!!!
3 : Check for wear on the red tyres and chrome on the hubs. If there is any and its on a mint body then you own a Batmobile that has had the wheels changed!!! If there was damage to the wheels, then there would be to the car!! There was NO WAY for the wheels to get damaged in the assembly process, so don't believe it when a seller tells you this!!! This is just an excuse to get you to BUY the car.
See below red tyre bat-emblems and used tyres on a mint body, it's a fake.
1973 Gift Set 3
The Car, Boat and Trailer
Apparently, in 1973, Corgi sold both the "Red tyre" whizzwheel Batmobile and the standard 1973 black whizzwheel Batmobile. With both of these cars, the Batboat was still the first version or "tin fin" version and the trailer was the same as before. See Batboat and trailer description above.
The 1973 red tyre Batmobile and tin fin Batboat were sold as a set in the 1970 style GS 3 box. The red tyre car and tin fin boat MAY also have been sold in the newer 1973 dark blue and yellow GS 3 box. However, the 1973 black whizzwheel Batmobile and tin fin boat were only sold as a set in the 1973 style box. The 1973 style GS 3 box featured a couple of James Bond vehicles on the reverse side. Inside, the box had a white styrofoam insert.
Photograph ©Eric Matheson