The movie may have been before your time -- way before your time -- but chances are pretty good that you can hum a few bars from the theme song of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The popular 1968 musical featured Dick Van Dyke, Benny Hill, and an Edwardian-styled car that also served as a boat and an airplane. Now, after 43 years, Chitty is rolling out of storage and onto the auction block.
Since Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was the star of the show, MGM had a number of models built for the film. The one that's schedule for sale on May 15, 2011 was designed by Ken Adam and constructed by the Ford Racing Team. It's different from some of the others used in the movie -- notably the ones that flew and floated -- because this one is fully functional and road-worthy. Many of its parts were custom-made from vintage metals (like a World War I fighter plane) or scavenged from early 20th-century roadsters.
And here's a fun fact: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was based on a novel by none other than Ian Fleming -- the man behind many of the best James Bond stories. The guy clearly spent a lot of time thinking about cars.
Sadly for collectors, however, Chitty won't be quite as affordable as some of the James Bond rides. Pre-sale estimates ring in well above the $1,000,000 mark. Guess we'll have to settle for owning the DVD.
For more info, check the press release below.
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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to be Sold at Auction
THE MOST FAMOUS CAR IN THE WORLD WILL BE SOLD BY PROFILES IN HISTORY MAY 15, 2011
Los Angeles, CA- Date, 2011 - The original hero fully functional and road going Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car from the film of the same name will be up for auction by Los Angeles-based auction house Profiles in History. With the pre-sale estimate of $1,000,000.00 to $2,000,000.00 dollars, this is the car, nay, character, that has sparked the imaginations of countless children from the 1968 classic film based on James Bond author Ian Fleming’s novel. It was built by the Ford Racing Team and designed by Ken Adam to be as real and accurate as any other car out there. No detail was spared in her creation. Built on a custom ladder frame chassis, many old world forms of car building were employed, and modern technology stepped in to created a vehicle which was both accurate enough to fool veteran and classic car experts, when held under the scrutiny of 70mm cinema cameras, and durable enough to withstand everything from driving in sand, cobbled streets and down staircases. The bonnet is crafted of polished aluminum; the boat deck is hand-crafted of red and white cedar built by boat builders in Buckinghamshire, and the array of brass fittings were obtained from Edwardian cars. Even the alloy dashboard plate is from a British World War I fighter plane! While not one of the mock-ups that seemed to fly or boat across the sea, this is the genuine fully-functional road car purpose built for principal shooting and is officially registered with the “GEN 11” plates as seen in the film.
Chitty remains, to this day, in excellent operational condition.