(Wired.com) ~ The unique vehicle that was featured in the 1968 movie ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ is going on the auction block.
It won’t actually float on water or fly if driven off a cliff, but this is the genuine article used during filming. After the movie was released, it was sold to stunt driver Pierre Picton; stunt doubles and other promotional copies exist, but they were all copied in some form from the GEN 11 vehicle. That name was derived form the license plate it carried in both the film and the novel by Ian Fleming. Picton had the car registered in the United Kingdom, with the same license plate, and gave it loving care.
“The car comes with the original title dated 1967 with the owner as United Artists Corporation/Warfield Productions, Ltd., with ownership transferring to Pierre in early 1973,” said Brian Chanes of Profiles in History, the Hollywood memorabilia auction house that’s selling the car. “In addition, there is a letter dated March 3, 1972, on United Artists Corporation, Ltd., letterhead addressed to Pierre Picton discussing his acceptance of the price asked for the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ car” he added.
GEN 11 was designed by Ford’s racing team the resemble a pre-war vehicle, but it was no mock-up. It remained on land throughout filming of the movie, but moved under its own power whenever necessary and has been driven regularly ever since. The car was built on a ladder-type frame with a boat deck crafted from red and white cedar, a long, polished aluminum hood, a dashboard from a British World War I fighter plane and actual exterior pieces from various 1930’s vehicles.
For a short time, United Artists’ successor MGM flew the car to Hollywood in 2003 for the release of a special-edition DVD of the film, which also featured a virtual tour of the vehicle. If you plan on bidding, be forewarned this handcrafted piece of movie memorabilia won’t go for cheap. The auction house has offered a pre-sale estimate of between $1 and $2 million.
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