50 years since the flying car flew onto the big screen, Beaulieu is celebrating the legacy of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Beaulieu Motor Museum is celebrating 50 years since the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with an exhibition that opens on October 20. The exhibition is based around the story of the fictional car, as well as the machines and props used in the film.
The original screen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Humber 8hp driven by Truly Scrumptious in the much-loved musical film will be the highlights of the exhibition, and will be stored in Coggins' Garage, just as they were in the film. Joining them will be the Humbug Major Sweet Machine, Clockwork Lullabye, Little Dragon Carpet Sweeper and Hot Air Rocking Chair.
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Outside of the museum will be a screen-faithful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang reconstruction, which will be driven around the attraction with the intention of giving visitors free rides. Never -before exhibited original film concept art, storyboard watercolour artwork and technical drawings will be on display, along with the solid silver Chitty model bought for producer Cubby Broccoli by his wife Dana.
Next to the garage will be a full-size replica of Grandpa Potts’ hut, recreated using the original 50-year-old technical drawings from the archive of EON Productions. The actual Spy Phone prop used in the film will be on show too. Costumes seen in the film will include those of the terrifying Child Catcher and Sally Anne Howes’ life-size music box doll dress which she wore while dancing with showbiz legend Dick Van Dyke for Baron Bomburst’s birthday surprise.
A timeline wall will chart the Chitty story from its beginning as an Ian Fleming book about a magical flying car – who later became famous for creating James Bond – all the way to Cubby Broccoli and Roald Dahl’s musical film version.
Fleming's inspiration for the book came from a real car and driver, English count Louis Zborowski, who designed and built his own cars. He made four aero-engined racing cars in his career, and named them 'Chitty Bang Bang' because of the noise they made when stationary. An exhaust and leather bonnet strap from the count’s original Chitty Bang Bang will be on display as part of his legacy.
First edition copies of Fleming’s book, alongside producer Cubby Broccoli’s programme from the world premiere of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film in 1968, will also be displayed. Further memorabilia includes cast signatures, pedal and Corgi cars, comics, computer games, pop-up books and branded lunch boxes.
Entry to the exhibition is included in the general admission price to Beaulieu, which covers the museum, permanent Top Gear and film car exhibitions, and the ancestral Montagu family home of Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and its surrounding grounds and gardens. To find out more, visit Beaulieu's website.