Florida Collector Buys “Chitty” Car For $500,000

I t flies. It floats. It rattles out an incredibly catchy tune and it brought a cool half-million dollars at auction recently.

autocar.jpg The red-and-yellow winged roadster that starred in the 1968 Disney movie classic “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” sold at auction last week for $505,000.

According to the Associated Press, collector Ralph Spencer of Jacksonville, Fla., bought the car during the recent Auburn Spring Motorfair at Kruse Auction Park. Spencer, who already owns a 1966 Batmobile, said he had been interested in purchasing the car for many years.

While the magical car seemed nearly indestructible during its cameo role in the movie starring Dick Van Dyke, its new owner admits that it will take a little elbow grease (and maybe a spoonful of sugar or two) to get the former movie prop up and flying again.

For the past several years, the car has been languishing in a Chicago-area restaurant formerly know as JR’s Retreat. However, even the magic that seems to pour out of the chrome-hooded jalopy wasn’t powerful enough to keep the restaurant from going bankrupt.

Based on the novel by Ian Flemming, who penned the book for his son Casper, it isn’t too surprising that the very same man who created James Bond and his futuristic fleet of cars, would also dream up the premise for his unforgettable flying car.

Despite what may appear to have been a rash of “high-flying” bidding between movie fans, auction company president Dean Kruse appraised the car in 1998 at nearly $1 million.

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