For those younger than 40, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a British musical film based on the only children's book written by Ian Fleming (also for those younger than 40, he was the creator of James Bond). In the movie the main character, played by Dick van Dyke (of Mary Poppins fame. *sigh* OK, for those younger than…), builds a car that can drive, float and fly.
There were six Chitty versions made for the film. As well as a fully functional road-going car, the five prop cars featured a smaller on-road version (which only appeared in 12sec. of the movie), a transforming car, a hover-car, a flying car, and an engineless version for trailer work.
The Hobbit King has secured the 'real deal', all 2 tons and 17 feet! No detail was spared in its creation. Many traditional forms of car-building were re-employed, and modern technology stepped in to create a car that was both accurate enough to fool vehicle experts and tough enough to withstand everything from driving in sand and on cobbled streets to down stair-cases. Moulded-alloy wheels replicated the timber wheels which would have been true to the period of the film (1910s). A boat deck of red and white cedar was made by traditional boat-builders, and the array of brass fittings were obtained from Edwardian wrecks. The alloy dashboard plate was from a British WWI fighter. What couldn't be obtained was faithfully and accurately re-created....all built around a modern Ford 3000 V6 engine with automatic transmission. Wacko Jacko once tried to buy it for his Neverland Ranch but the owner wanted it to remain in the UK.
Expected to fetch up to US$2m / £1.25m at auction, Sir Pete scored it for the bargain price of just US$805K / £505K. Incidentally the version built for the 2002 stage show is listed in Guinness World Records as the most expensive stage prop ever at US$1.2m / £750K!
Sir Pete plans to take his Chitty to air shows, where kids can ride in it in return for a donation to charity. The car has competed in UK charity races for more than 30 years and has been seen by thousands of fans (the majority of whom are probably over 40)...