In 1967, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli assembled a stellar cast and crew to film Ian Fleming's children's story "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in a grand musical version that would rival any film Walt Disney Studios could make. The book was originally a three-volume series written by Fleming in 1964 for his son Caspar and told the story of an eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts, who rebuilds an old racing car for his children. As the family drives the car around town they begin to find that it is a magical car, capable of flying and floating.
Roald Dahl was hired by Broccoli to write the screenplay to the film and he weaved elements of Fleming's book into a marvelous fantasy story centering around Potts, the motor-car, and Baron Bomburst, a mad German who wants to steal the car for his own collection.
|Count Zborowski's Chitty 1 in 1921|
In the film, Jeremy and Jemima discover that their favorite "playcar" at Mr. Coggin's junk yard is going to be sent to the fiery furnace as scrap metal, and so they rush home to plead with their father to purchase the car instead. Mr. Potts is a poor inventor, but after Lord Scrumptious buys his invention of whistling treats for dogs, he gleefully returns home with Chitty in tow. And then for two days he hides himself in the garage rebuilding the motor car using scrap material found around the house. What results is a magnificent testament to what an eccentric inventor can create with a little bit of ingenuity and a heap of skill.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's production designer Ken Adams ( Goldfinger, Dr. Strangelove ) worked with British cartoonist Frederick Rowland Emmett to create a new look for Chitty, a marvelous design that combined elements of a ship with a flying machine.
Seven different Chittys were built for the film including one fully functional road-going model with UK registration GEN 11. Alan Mann Racing in Hertfordshire built this car and fitted it with a Ford 3000 V6 engine. Dick Van Dyke claimed that the motor car "was a little difficult to maneuver, with the turning radius of a battleship". Nevertheless it turned hundreds of heads in whichever village it traveled through.
|Pierre Picton with his GEN 11|
The remaining Chittys were constructed as props for the various scenes requiring transformations. One Chitty was built with wings, another with the hovercraft attachment; there is a smaller road-going version and an engine-less model for trailer use, as well as the "junk" model which the children initially discovered.
Most of these were later equipped with engines and used to promote the film worldwide. Two of these Chittys are in Florida today. One resides at the Denzer Car Museum in North Miami, another is owned by a private collector. The National Motor Museum in Beauleiu, UK also houses one of these models.
In addition, many fans of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang built their own versions of the beloved motor car, many of them being exact replicas. So there are plenty of Chittys across the world!
Length : 17' 7"
Height : 6' 3"
Width : 5' 9"
Maximum Speed : 100 mph
- Ejector seat with parachute
- Built-in Chittyfied GPS
- Hovercraft capabilities
- Flies for hours without supervision