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It can’t really fly, or float, but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the vehicular star of the 1968 film of the same name, will be crossing the block at a Hollywood memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills May 14-15, and if you buy it you can drive it home.
The car, one of six props built for the production of the film, is the only one that was designed to be fully-operational and street legal – at least in Great Britain where it has spent nearly four decades under the ownership of collector Pierre Picton and is registered under the same GEN II license plate number that it wears on screen.
Powered by a Ford V6 engine and constructed by one of the automaker’s factory racing teams, the car was designed by production designer Ken Adam, who rose to fame as the man behind the sets of the early James Bond films. That connection to 007 runs deep as the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is based on a book written by Ian Fleming, who also created the super spy.
The company holding the auction, Profiles in History, estimates that the car will fetch between one and two million dollars. That appraisal could turn out to be conservative as one of the non-functioning cars from the film was sold for over half a million dollars in 2007. Even Bond’s own 1964 Aston Martin from the movie Goldfinger managed to fetch $4.5 million at auction in 2010.
For those looking for something slightly more affordable, a go-cart driven by Robin in the Batman TV series and feature film will also be available at the auction, along with a large number of non-automotive items that includes the armor worn by Richard Burton in “Cleopatra.”