In the maze of hills overlooking Los Angeles’ favorite hiking trails dwells the real-life version of Gotham City’s famous bat-loving vigilante. By day she’s Debbie Foreman, but every time someone needs something to smile about, “Batventador” and her trusty Lamborghini Aventador SV will be there to save the day.
Inspired by her love of the iconic DC Comics character and movies like “The Dark Knight,” Foreman took advantage of the striking resemblance Lamborghinis have to Batman’s vehicle of choice. The car is finished entirely in matte black, sporting black-on-gold bat logos on its hood, a crystal-covered license plate and signature scissor doors.
“I got this car because it looks like the Batman car and I love Batman cars, and who doesn’t love Batman?” she explained.
Instead of fighting crime however, Foreman uses her powers to raise awareness for childhood cancer. While she’s a car lover at heart, most of the events Batventador attends are to benefit childhood cancer research, as only 4 percent of government funding is dedicated to finding a cure.
Foreman was inspired to combine her love for cars and caped crusaders after seeing firsthand how much of a remedy her supercar was to kids fighting the disease. While she was in Austin, Texas for a car event, Foreman decided impulsively to visit the local children’s hospital to show the patients her car. She doesn't know where the Batgirl costume idea came from, but says it felt right to buy the costume before her visit.
“The kids came out, and the amazing look and smiles these kids [got] when they were going through hell...When you meet kids with cancer, it changes your life forever,” she said.
During her visit, Foreman met a tall, Lamborghini-loving patient who ran outside in excitement clutching his IV bag and couldn’t help but smile when he sat in her car. The supercar owner learned that this child had refused to get out of bed or talk to staff since he arrived three months earlier, so long that the hospital had never learned his actual height. He only perked up when he got to witness one of his dream cars in person.
“From then on, I knew this is what I’m supposed to do,” Foreman said. “People have no idea that something so small can impact someone’s life so big.”
Batventador also takes inspiration from the late Lenny B. Robinson, known as the Baltimore Batman because he would dress up as Batman and visit children’s hospitals in Maryland in his convertible Lamborghini. Robinson was killed in a car accident in 2015, so Batventador has become his spiritual successor, Lambo and all.
A large chunk of her vehicular exploits are for charity, but Foreman’s free time is still filled to the brim with cars. She developed her passion at a young age after attending car shows with her father. Her first car was a Datsun 280Z sports car, and she dreams of one day owning a Lamborghini Veneno hypercar.
Foreman also enjoys a life full of track days and car shows in her Lamborghini. She frequently attends stylish supercar road trips like the Gold Rush Rally and Monterey Rally.
As a female gearhead, Foreman also wants to break the stereotype that cars are a man’s hobby. While cars are a gender-neutral hobby and there’s nothing in motorsports that gives men any advantage over women, Batventador still endures endless criticism online for being a female in the industry.
“It’s so hard for a woman to get into the car world, and when you’re in it, it’s tough. You still don’t get the respect,” she said. “I appreciate and support any women that want to get into anything with cars, even building [and] working on cars.”
When she isn’t at a car-related event, Batventador prowls the streets of Los Angeles, looking for someone’s day to brighten. She’s quite aware that her car generates smiles and excitement like few other vehicles on the road.
“I always joke that there’s two people on a date and they’ve got nothing to say to each other, and it’s going horrible, it’s going down the hill, and the minute I drive by, the whole conversation starts and maybe now they’re talking and interacting,” Foreman said.
Like the Dark Knight she imitates, Batventador is the hero that children fighting cancer deserve. You can watch Debbie Foreman and her trusty sidekick battle a modded Mazda RX-2, Datsun 1200, and Dodge Ram 3500 on Episode 7 of Netflix's new show, Fastest Car, which drops on April 6.