Magic mo­tor flies in

Movie car prop lent by Sir Peter Jack­son

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

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.

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