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
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
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)