She's a very special car!
You can't sell our lovely car to that nasty man!
I'm sorry, children, but I'm afraid I already have....
-Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang - the film
I've just read that Gen 11, the custom-built Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, is to be sold at auction.
Sacre blue! I don't think it's an accident that the film opens with the fate of poor Chitty up in the air, as she's about to be sold to an unfeeling trader who's going to melt her down for scrap!
Apparently, the original auto has been in the loving care of Pierre Picton, one of the film's stunt drivers, ever since filming. Picton bought her in 1973 or so (there's a really nice documentary short about the car with license plate Gen 11 included with the gold edition of the film).
Now, I'm not an auto fan (Martin is, and I can't wait to tell him about this), but I love Chtty Chitty Bang Bang. The cast has a lot to do with that, of course: I love Sally Ann Howes's lilting contralto voice and the hijinks of Benny Hill; I'm a fan of Lionel Jeffries and a dozen more fabulous British character actors who appear in the movie, and I've been a Dick Van Dyke fan for yonks. The movie also boasts Sherman & Sherman's best score, and I regret that I was born too late to have seen Robert Helpmann dance on stage. Sigh. But I digress.
Pre-sale estimates are for between 1 and 2 million. If you've got that much hanging about, this may just be 'toot sweet' an opportunity to miss. She'd better go to a loving fan, that's all's I can say:
If you put her in the fiery furnace, you'll be guilty of murder!