Nosy Neighbor: What’s the Story with the Batmobile?

overkill limo grille“Anyone know the back story of the Batmobile that’s often parked on Franklin?” —Randy

In December, I posted a photo of the limo, because it was no longer rusty; that’s when Randy asked whether anyone knew the back story. Another reader, noting that the limo said “Overkill” on the side, suggested that the car was used to promote the metal band Overkill. (“I wish it was,” said the band’s rep.)

Then reader Walt asked Shannon Shiang if she knew anything about it (ccing me), and she replied, “Yes, of course. That is the Overkill Limo. Yarrow Mazzetti is the head of it and lives the floor right above Peter Ruprecht and me. He makes all the amazing art cars [at the parties] that we throw around the city, sometimes parked outside of Atrium or Tutu Tuesdays!” And she kindly put me in touch with him.

Mazzetti started making art cars five years ago, originally for Burning Man; Overkill is his company. Here’s the description of Overkill from its website: “Overkill is based out of New York City, with an office in Tribeca, and a 4,000 sq. ft. shop in Brooklyn. From their Brooklyn shop, Overkill builds several Art Cars a year as well as many, custom art pieces for hospitalities in and around New York City. At the moment Overkill is focused on producing large scale, 3Dimensional, mobile art for public spaces and events.” One current project, for Finale club on Bowery, is a platform that rises and spins, with a removable stripper pole. You may also have seen one of Overkill’s “Ladybugs,” golf carts with fiberglass shells and LED lights that show up at festivals and events.

What we call the Batmobile is his second limo. “I had one in Nevada,” he says. “That’s when I learned how cool it is to have a limo. It’s kind of like a work truck—I can haul one ton of steel on the roof, and the long pieces don’t require flags.” The limo is Mazzetti’s primary vehicle. “I always say, ‘It’s just my grocery getter.'”

The design was inspired by Oakley sunglasses—”the way that stylized sunglasses fit over someone’s face.” The metalwork just kind of grew over the sides, and only after the exoskeleton had rusted did he get around to finishing the car, galvanizing it and adding the hidden lights. (“They really bring the limo to life,” he says. “It’s sick lit up.” He sent in the photo below.) The inside, however, isn’t particularly customized. “It’s just black leather,” he says.

Mazzetti has only been pulled over once: He was carrying a lot of wood on the roof rack, and the cop, who had been hit by a piece of wood as a kid, insisted he do more to safeguard it. That the police ignore the limo is even more remarkable because at night it has blinking blue lights. “I guess it’s just outlandish enough to be OK,” he says. And he has no trouble parking it.

As anyone who has ever walked by the limo knows, it’s an attention magnet. “Driving it is an opportunity to watch people get excited,” says Mazzetti. “I imagine it’s like being a celebrity. It’s fun to have work truck like that.” Sometimes he takes friends out in it: “Just driving around is the highlight of the night.”

Overkill limo at night by Yarrow Mazzetti

overkill limo side viewoverkill limo windowoverkill limo front left wheeloverkill limo rear windowoverkill limo detail of paintoverkill limo roof2overkill limo taillightoverkill limo rearGot a question? Email it to

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  1. Finally the mystery solved. Thank you Erik.

  2. That thing is hideous. Art?

  3. I liked it better when it was rusty.

  4. Ugly… That thing is awesome! Way to go Yarrow. For those of you who don’t have anything nice to say go suck on rocks :)