Entertainment & Arts

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car up for auction

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Media captionWatch: Peter Bowes test drives Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one of the most loved cars in the world, is going up for auction in Los Angeles.

The star of the 1968 family movie was shipped to California from England to go under the hammer on Sunday.

The unique vehicle, which is still in working order, is expected to fetch up to $2m (£1.2m).

For the past four decades it has been kept in Stratford-upon-Avon by owner Pierre Picton, the man who looked after it on set.

It has appeared at hundreds of shows and charity road races, but has never been auctioned until now.

Magical being

There were several Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cars made for the film, but this was the only one that actually worked.

It was driven in the movie by Dick Van Dyke, who played the eccentric inventor who takes his children on the adventure of a lifetime.

The vehicle was designed by Ken Adam and built by the Ford Racing Team.

Its bonnet is crafted of polished aluminium; the boat deck is hand-crafted of red and white cedar, and the brass fittings taken from Edwardian cars.

The car is powered by a Ford three-litre V6 engine and has a dashboard plate from a British World War I fighter plane.

Chitty was completed in 1967 and registered with the number plate GEN 11, given to her by Ian Fleming, who wrote the novel the film was based on. The registration spells the Latin word "genii", meaning magical person or being.

It is being sold by a Hollywood memorabilia company Profiles in History, which says the vehicle is attracting interest from around the world.

"I think it's the most recognisable car in the world," said Joe Maddalena, the company's owner.

"This car is the best of the best. It takes your breath away. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a car collector or museum."

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