Synopsis: An ancient derelict racing car is discovered by
Jeremy and Jemima who persuade their father, Caractacus Potts,
to buy and restore her. After the car's restoration they take
her on a picnic to the seaside joined by Truly Scrumptious,
daughter of Lord Scrumptious, the owner of a local sweet
factory. While Potts tells a story about Pirates a nearby
tugboat becomes the yacht of the evil Baron Bomburst of Vulgaria
who has come to steal 'Chitty'. The magical car takes them on an
amazing adventure and transforms itself into a hovercraft and
About the Movie
written by Ian Fleming (author of the James Bond books) &
illustrated by John Burningham
was originally published in
England in hardback in 3 parts
1, Jonathan Cape, London, 1964
2, Jonathan Cape, London, 1964
3, Jonathan Cape, London, 1965
The title became " Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - The Magical
Car" when the US edition was published as a single book by
Random House, New York
The stories were affectionately dedicated to the memory of
the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, built in 1920 by Count
Zborowski on his estate near Canterbury.
She had a pre-1914 war, chain drive, 75 horsepower Mercedes
chassis in which was installed a six-cylinder Mayback aero
engine--the military type used by the Germans in their
Four vertical overhead valves per cylinder were operated by
exposed push rods and rockers from a camshaft on each side
of the crankcase, and two Zenith carburetors were attached,
one at each end of a long induction pipe.
She had a grey steel body with an immense polished hood
eight feet in length, and weighed over five tons.
In 1921, she won the Hundred M.P.H. Short Handicap at
Brooklands at 101 miles per hour, and, in 1922, again at
Brooklands, the Lightning Short Handicap. But in that year
she was involved in an accident and the Count never raced
Released-December 18, 1968
Filmed in England
Caractacus Potts-Dick Van Dyke
Truly Scrumptious-Sally Ann Howes
opened in London at the London Palladium April 2002
The final product weighed approximately 2 tons, was 17 feet
long, and built on a custom made ladder frame chassis.
The wheels were molded in alloy to replicate the timber
wheels which would have been true to the period. The boat
deck was of red and white cedar and built by boat-builders
in Windsor, and the array of brass fittings were obtained
from Edwardian wrecks. What couldn't be obtained was
faithfully and accurately re-created. The alloy dashboard
plate was from a British World War I fighter plane
All of this was built around a modern Ford V6 engine with
Chitty rolled out of the workshop in June 1967 and was
registered with the number plate GEN 11 given to her by Ian
Fleming in his novel. (In the novel, the number plate GEN11
had significance in that if you read the number ones as
"i's", it spelled out the Latin word "genii" meaning magical
person or being.)
it has wings, which were added for promotional purposes in 1968.
urrently owned by Pierre Picton and is available for rent.
was the 'trailer' car and the 'in-studio' floating and
flying car in the movie.
When filming the driving sequences close ups are impossible
with two moving vehicles. For this reason, Chitty 2 sat on a
trailer attached to the back of another vehicle on which the
cameras were mounted. This was only used for the extreme
close-ups when you see the windscreen and surrounds.
this car is a little smaller and the steering wheel sits
was owned by Pierre Picton, who fitted an engine into it,
until the late 1970's. The panels on the bonnet (hood)
aren't hinged, they are painted and the bonnets lifts off in
one unit. He adapted the car for uses in a clown and ice
currently owned by Anthony Banford (of JCB auto fame) and on
short-term loan to Beaullieau Motor Museum for a special
an 'all aluminum' model never floated. This was used
primarily for scenes when the car is trapped in the tide.
The aluminum features were to keep costs down and avoid the
tarnishing of the brass by sea-water.
It appears on scene for less than 30 seconds.
Because it looked so different, they didn't use the
transition scenes using the car. Instead, they re-shot the
scenes using Chitty 2 in a pool in Pinewood Studios.
is currently in storage at Pinewood Studios, UK
Chitty 4 was built wrong and therefore rarely used. The car
is narrower, the steering wheel sits higher, and the
supporting bars behind the car's radiator grill run
vertically (from top to bottom) in contrast to the
horizontal supports on the other 3 cars.
was only used in 2 scenes - where Lord Scrumptious is
driving behind Chitty tooting the horn, right before being
captured by spies and where Chitty descends the red
staircase before leaving Vulgaria.
is on display a the Cars of the Stars Museum in UK
was a model with no chassis, mounted permanently on a
flotilla which was seaworthy. A driver sat below the bonnet
(hood) and steered the craft.