YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- The Walden School at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES had a special vehicle pull up to its front door last week, and it made quite an impression.
It looked like a Batmobile but "Holy Hoodwink" ... it was a Polaris Slingshot autocycle. The three-wheeled autocycle angled around the circular driveway at the PNWBOCES campus, to the absolute delight of students and staff.
Within seconds students began peppering the vehicle's owner, Chris Antelo, with questions and pleas to sit behind the wheel.
"Can I drive it?" shouted out Ryan Bynes, 6. "I really want to drive the car."
He did get to sit in the driver's seat, as did nearly 30 other Walden students, and dream of what it might be like to drive a car that brings to mind Batman's main transportation.
"All little boys -- oh. and some girls, too -- love cars," said teacher Linda Batto. "And this one is quite special."
Student Chris Colmey, 18, was thrilled to take his place behind the wheel.
"I like the seat and every part of the car," he announced. "It looks the real, actual Batmobile."
Antelo is a 2003 graduate from Somers High School, and he received training in auto mechanics from BOCES during high school, so bringing his beloved new toy to BOCES is like coming home.
He has been into motorcycles, quads and dirt bikes for years, and he's currently helping his 18-year-old brother build his own car. But auto mechanics is his hobby, and not his vocation. He works for Home & Hearth in Cortlandt, and he has passed the corrections officer exam and hopes to begin training shortly.
Antelo purchased the vehicle two and a half months ago, and he's has already put 1,000 miles on it.
"Everywhere I go, people ask me about it. It is a lot of fun, especially when the people are driving much more expensive cars," he said.
The car cost $24,500 and fills up with 9.6 gallons of premium gasoline. It does lack a roof, but it has plenty of charm.
Teacher Thomas Oakes Jr. said he expects this will inspire some students to do some research on cars, motorcycles, movies and superheroes -- and generate some interesting classroom discussions.
"It is unique and it gets you thinking, wondering," he said.