Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Design of a Movie Legend

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posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 12:26 AM
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Along with the Batmobile and Professor Fate's Hannibal 8, one of the most incredible movie automobiles — vehicles designed and constructed ONLY for film appearances — certainly must be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (a fictional creation of Ian Fleming, same guy who invented 007 James Bond).

Fleming always had a thing for existing cars with extraordinary built-in gadgets, as is apparent in every James Bond movie.

But, make no mistake, CCBB was not an existing automobile converted for its movie role. That's a common misconception, due in large part to the first 5 minutes of the movie itself, which depicts CCBB as an early British racing automobile. But, no, the car never existed in any incarnation prior to this film. The fantasmagorical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was built from scratch to appear in this movie, and it was built by the Ford Motor Company.

Fact is, there were SIX versions of CCBB designed and constructed for use in the film: There was the straight 12-cylinder chain-drive racer (which was a functioning automobile); There was the non-functioning fire-damaged version of the racer; There was the beautifully reborn CCBB (a real, functioning manual transmission roadster); There was an identical CCBB with an automatic transmission (for actual on-the-road shots); There was a static full-sized "gadget" model with those distinctive red-and-yellow wings and cable-driven propellers; and there was an extraordinary full-sized hollow model that was fitted over a speedboat for the marine chase scene.



CCBB was an entirely original automobile, and still one of the most admired and sought-after of all movie cars. The various versions of CCBB go for between a half-million and a million dollars, and replicas have sold for nearly a quarter million.

The curious license plate "GEN 11" is an Ian Fleming invention, also, and is intended to suggest the word "genii" (or "genie"), a magical entity from Arabic lore.

Something that's always puzzled me about CCBB, however, were the two badges that appear on the car's radiator...



I assume that these are Grand Prix Racing Medals (c.1907-1909), but I've never been able to verify that. Any ideas?



edit on 27-1-2012 by ZeskoWhirligan because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by ZeskoWhirligan
 


Them medals rock the foundations of society...woops i let it slip.



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 12:48 AM
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The badge showing "AA" is the Automobile Association of England. It's an old style badge:
You can pick them up on EBay, a bit of a collectors item...



Their website is here - It's a vehicle breadown service.

The AA

No idea about the other one though.



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by ZeskoWhirligan
Something that's always puzzled me about CCBB, however, were the two badges that appear on the car's radiator...

I assume that these are Grand Prix Racing Medals (c.1907-1909), but I've never been able to verify that. Any ideas?



The second one, with the AA.... is "Automobile Association".

Like this one here...
arteauto
and
antiques.com


Edit - found the other one.
It is a "Royal Automobile Club" badge.
as discussed here...
forum
edit on 27-1-2012 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by GeordieLegend
The badge showing "AA" is the Automobile Association of England. It's an old style badge:
You can pick them up on EBay, a bit of a collectors item...


LOL! You know, the first thing I thought was Automotive Association, but it never occurred to me that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would require roadside assistance, being a magical automobile.

The other badge depicts an imperial crown above a spoked wheel above a set of wings — Some sort of British Racing Association badge, I would imagine.



edit on 27-1-2012 by ZeskoWhirligan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by ZeskoWhirligan

Originally posted by GeordieLegend
The badge showing "AA" is the Automobile Association of England. It's an old style badge:
You can pick them up on EBay, a bit of a collectors item...


LOL! You know, the first thing I thought was Automotive Association, but it never occurred to me that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would require roadside assistance, being a magical automobile.

The other badge depicts an imperial crown above a spoked wheel above a set of wings — Royal something or other, I would imagine.


Living in England, you still see a few of them around on older cars - collectors / classic vehicles... I think my Grandad's car used to have one...

Now you're lucky to get a window sticker...



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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I have always been fond of the music box sequence. The timing and such is perfect. Does Dick van Dyke actually get out of the box in the pose shown - which seems to defy gravity - or is there some sort of trick photography?

Yes, it definitely is an Ian Fleming book -- and for panache Gert Frobe, from "Goldfinger", and Anne Quayle, from the MGM "Casino Royale" (the one with David Niven and Woody Allan), and Benny Hill (who later denied he was in the movie).



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 01:14 AM
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The film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, incidentally, was produced by Albert R. Broccoli, the same fellow who produced all the James Bond movies (right up to the present, I believe). I assume that Broccoli (or the Broccoli family) owns the film rights to all Ian Fleming books.



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by Shoonra
I have always been fond of the music box sequence. The timing and such is perfect. Does Dick van Dyke actually get out of the box in the pose shown - which seems to defy gravity - or is there some sort of trick photography?


Dick Van Dyke was supported by very thin wires and a tall armature that is out-of-frame. The wires permitted him to perform several gravity-defying maneuvers in that amazing music box scene.





edit on 27-1-2012 by ZeskoWhirligan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 05:57 AM
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Wow, that brought back some memories ...



or if a fail,

www.youtube.com...

Just a nice, good old fashioned movie. Dick Van Dyke has to be one of the all time good guys.

S&F



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 06:58 AM
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The Child Catcher, possibly one of the scariest bad guys in a kids film. Scarred the life out of me.




posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
The Child Catcher, possibly one of the scariest bad guys in a kids film. Scarred the life out of me.


Strangely enough, the Child Catcher was ADDED by screenwriter Roald Dahl to heighten the fear factor of the movie. Ian Fleming's book never mentioned a Child Catcher; and, frankly, I think the character was too sinister for the story. Australian actor Robert Helpmann is probably best remembered as the Child Catcher; he was an accomplished and knighted performer on stage and screen for decades before and after CCBB.




posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by ZeskoWhirligan
LOL! You know, the first thing I thought was Automotive Association, but it never occurred to me that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would require roadside assistance, being a magical automobile.



Must be for punctures.
Note that this car carries a spare tyre. If Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was magical all over, then a spare would never be needed. But one is carried, so therefore the magicallness doesnt include tyres.





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