When you tour a car museum and the first thing you see is the Batmobile, you know it's going to be a good day.
The 1971 Gotham Roadster, made famous by the campy Batman television series starring Adam West, comes complete with a flashing red light (not to mention a "turbine" and two drag chutes on the back) and is one of many sporty rides you find inside the Route 66 Car Museum.
Located on College Avenue in Springfield, the museum features a collection of sports and classic autos, along with some true rarities, such as a 1907 REO Model G and a 1936 Cord. Founded by Guy Mace, a longtime Springfield businessman and automobile enthusiast, the museum currently features about 70 vehicles from Mace's personal collection.
As you make your way through the museum, try not to fall in love with the beautiful black 1957 Chevrolet Corvette and the stunning red 1956 Ford Thunderbird that's sitting beside it.
Look at, but don't touch, the sleek 1957 Jaguar XK 140 and the 1908 Maxwell Model LC.
Check out what's under the hood on the 1948 Packard Super 8 and 2005 Morgan Aero8.
Mace says the Aero8 is the fastest car in the collection and its blue-on-blue color makes it among the most eye-catching, too.
"But whatever you do, don't call it cute," Mace jokes.
While the Aero8 is the fastest car in the collection, Mace's favorite is a golden-beige 1967 Austin-Healey. Mace said he's been a fan of the Austin-Healey brand for decades, although he admitted his first car was a Datsun - only because the Austin-Healey was then out of his price range.
Now, he owns a Batmobile.
If that's not cool enough for you, keep looking. Along with the Gotham Roadster, the Route 66 Car Museum has a few more autos fans of pop culture might recognize. There's a 1983 DeLorean made famous by the film Back to the Future, a Cadillac that's been retro-fitted to meet the standards of the Ghostbusters, and a truck that appeared in the Henry Fonda film The Grapes of Wrath.
It's fitting that Mace's museum sits along an original portion of Route 66 in Springfield, where the famous highway's name was officially designated and where the spirit of "The Mother Road" is alive and well.
The Route 66 Car Museum is located at 1634 W. College in Springfield. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and veterans, and $5 for children younger than age 10.