If you grew up in the 1960s (or are just a fan of old-school kids’ movies), you probably remember the wacky Hollywood adventure flick known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Starring Dick Van Dyke, written by Roald Dahl, directed by Ken Hughes, and based on the novel by Ian Fleming, you might say that the film was made by a dream team of creatives at the tops of their fields.
Of course, the film also had one other major powerhouse: the flying car. Today, the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of the most iconic vehicles ever filmed. But, whatever happened to the magical car? Let’s take a look!
The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car
Although in the movie the vehicle was crafted by the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, the real-life designs were by Ken Adam. The movie car, first thought into being by James Bond writer Ian Fleming, was actually several cars by the time filming wrapped up. The model used in filming had six iterations, but only one was a running motor vehicle. The rest were props shot in stationary positions.
This piece of memorabilia was powered by a 3-liter Ford V6 engine. The dashboard plate was crafted from a World War I British fighter plane, and the vehicle’s boat deck was made of red and white cedar. The car was legally registered under the iconic Gen 11 plates, making it fully street legal — a truly Scrumptious detail, if you ask us.
Where Is the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car Now?
From 1970 to 2011, the original car was owned by a man named Pierre Picton, who toured in the car, taking it to various auto shows around the UK. In 2011, the car was auctioned for $805,000.
Who purchased the classic car? None other than the acclaimed Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Jackson has since used the vehicle to raise money for charities in various capacities. The car is kept in New Zealand where it is registered as GEN 1I, because the original Gen 11 Plate was already taken.
This post was originally published on December 2, 2019.