Magic motor flies in
Movie car prop lent by Sir Peter Jackson
A classic car from a classic 1968 children’s movie, is the headline act at Wanaka’s Warbirds & Wheels this month.
Warbirds & Wheels general manager Naomi Lindsay is ‘‘beyond excited’’ that the flying car from her favourite children’s film arrived last Tuesday. The original and rare film prop, Gen 11, has been loaned to Wanaka by its owner, filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson, as a fundraiser for the Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Trust.
Sir Peter was not at last week’s exhibition opening. He is understood to be overseas.
Lindsay has scheduled a range of school holiday activities to coincide with Chitty’s month-long visit, including an artist in residence week with Queenstown artist Julian Ford, amovie night, a kids’ fun day and special movie showings.
‘‘This is huge. If you loved Chitty as a kid, you will get it,’’ she said.
Ever since the exhibition was announced in February, visitors had been keen to share their childhood memories of watching the film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s fairy-tale adventure story of a family escaping evil-doers in their independently-thinking car, she said.
‘‘It has a really special place in people’s hearts. To be able to watch the movie with the car right next to you, it is going to be so cool,’’ Lindsay said.
Warbirds & Wheels director Robert Duncan said it was ‘‘a dream come true’’ to have the car on display.
‘‘It’s incredibly generous of Sir Peter Jackson to loan Chitty to us and his love of this car is well documented.
Not only will people be able to see Chitty and read about this great car, it will enable us to raise funds for local charity Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Trust,’’ Duncan said.
Gen 11 is one of six props from the 1968 movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and was the only driveable version.
The vehicle was designed by Ken Adam and built by the Ford Racing Team. It is powered by a Ford three-litre, V6 engine and has a dashboard plate from a British World War I fighter plane.
The registration spells the Latin word ‘‘genii’’, meaning magical person or being.
Gen 11 was owned by Pierre Picton of the UK and bought by Sir Peter Jackson in 2011. It reportedly sold for $987,000. It is the first time the car has been seen on display for some time. But it has been seen publicly in New Zealand at air shows and on the streets of Wellington, with Sir Peter behind the wheel.
Naomi Lindsay is celebrating the arrival of the car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Photos: Marjorie Cook/Fairfax NZ
Vintage film prop and classic car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Gen 11, is in Wanaka for amonth.