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Original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Warbirds & Wheels Wanaka

February 3 2015

Original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car on display at Warbirds & Wheels Wanaka this Easter

Warbirds & Wheels attraction at Wanaka Airport is flying high today (February 3 2015) with the exciting news it will have the original car from the 1968 movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang exclusively on loan from owner Sir Peter Jackson.

The fantastic flying and driving machine will only be on display at Warbirds & Wheels from 1-30 April 2015 and coincides with Easter school holidays, offering affordable fun for all the family during the break.

During the month Warbirds & Wheels will raise funds for local charity the Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Trust, a worthwhile local charity that assists ill children and their families.

This will be the first time the car has been on display for such a period of time, having only been seen in public a couple of times at key air shows and the streets of Wellington with Sir Peter behind the wheel.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Chitty here with us for the month. The movie and car are a fond childhood memory for many of us and to have her on display in the attraction is a dream come true,” said Warbirds & Wheels director Robert Duncan.

“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 which is a cause very close to our hearts.”

“There were several Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cars made for the film, but only one that actually worked. This is that car –known as GEN11.”

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a musical movie legend and for over 50 years has been played in homes around the world as new generations are exposed to the fairy tale delights of the movie’s story line and of course infamous flying car.

“We only have Chitty for one month so we encourage people to make the most of this great opportunity to get up close with her,” added Mr Duncan.

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.

Chitty was completed in 1967 and registered with the number plate GEN 11, given to her by Ian Fleming, who wrote the novel the film was based on. 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 and shipped to New Zealand.

There will be lots of exciting and interactive ways for locals and visitors to get up close with Chitty during the month including an artist in residence week, movie showings, dress-up ‘cars over coffee’ day, and kids colouring competition, as well as movie memorabilia for sale, diner specials and much more.

“Warbirds & Wheels will be THE place to visit during these Easter school holidays and we anticipate visitors from all over the South Island if not further afield will flock to see Chitty. It really is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mr Duncan.

“Not only can visitors see our already impressive collection of over 30 classic cars, Warbirds, Sir Tim Wallis story, RealArt Roadshow and Wearable arts room, they also get to see one of the movie world’s best known cars.”

Event listing info:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you
Warbirds & Wheels attraction and diner
11 Lloyd Dunn Avenue, Wanaka Airport
1-30th April
Open 7 days a week 9am-5pm
Adults $20
Children under 18 $5
Children under 5 free (must be accompanied by an adult)
Family Pass $45 (2 adults and up to 4 children of the same family)

About Warbirds & Wheels
Warbirds & Wheels opened in 2011 and is the passion of three local Wanaka businessmen who launched the museum at Wanaka Airport after the NZ Fighter Pilots Museum closed down.

Housing a collection of Warbird planes, historical exhibits and over 30 perfectly-restored classic cars, the attraction also highlights the New Zealand Fighter Ace exhibit which recognises those who lost their lives in both World Wars.

A highlight of the car collection is the 1934 Duesenberg Model J car previously owned by Hollywood actress Carol Lombard, who was married to Clark Gable, as well as the best restored collection of Packards in the country.

It hosts banquet dinners and cocktail events for up to 500 people surrounded by the beauty and unparalleled history of these lovingly-restored classic cars. The education and conference room is home to the Wanaka Wearable Arts collection which is updated every year.

The American 1950s retro themed diner offers great coffee, full cafe menu, and fresh bakery food prepared daily, including the famous Warbirds pies. With seating for 60, the venue can also be used for private parties and celebrations, including sit down and cocktail style.

The art room houses the Real Art Roadshow’s ‘Silver Collection’ of original New Zealand artworks and Grahame Sydney collection, offering people the chance to view local art up close.

The brainchild of Fiona Campbell, recently honoured as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to art philanthropy, the room is available for private hire. Dine amid stunning artworks and enjoy your next event

The story of local aviation legend Sir Tim Wallis, which celebrates the ongoing achievements of this local aviation legend, is also a draw card highlighting his exceptional life in pioneering the deer industry in New Zealand.

Warbirds and Wheels is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm (café from 8.30am)

The movie plot line:
The 1968 movie was based around crackpot inventor Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke) who buys a dilapidated car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and drives to the seashore with his two children Jeremy (Adrian Hall), Jennifer [Jemima] (Heather Ripley)--and Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), the beautiful daughter of Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson Justice).

On the beach, Potts tells a pirate story, weaving into it a tugboat that appears on the horizon. It is not a tugboat, he says, but the yacht of evil Baron Bomburst (Gerte Frobe), who has come to steal the car. Mistaking the children's eccentric Grandpa (Lionel Jeffries) for Potts, the Baron kidnaps him.

Potts, Truly and the children give chase in the amazing car, which turns out to be a plane and a hydrofoil as well. When they arrive in Vulgaria they learn that The Baroness (Anna Quayle) hates children and has ordered them all killed. The village Toymaker (Benny Hill) hides Jeremy and Jennifer [Jemima] but the evil Child Catcher (Robert Helpmann) captures the children and their car, hauling them off to the castle. Potts and Truly smuggle themselves in to the castle as life-size puppets and with the fugitive village children, launch a surprise attack. Jeremy, Jennifer [Jemima] and Grandpa are freed, and the car is recovered and the Baroness is foiled.

It has, of course, been one of Potts' daydreaming tales for the children. When it is over, he and Truly realise that they are in love and decided to marry. Not as scatterbrained as he seems, Potts tells the children it is fine to have dreams, adding, "Just because you dream something up doesn't mean it'll come true." With that, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang slowly rises into the sky and they fly off over the hills and out of the movie.


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