On this day in auto history - December 17th

Thu 17th Dec 2020

It was on this day in 1968 that the musical film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - which focused on the adventures of a magical car - was first released at cinemas across the UK.

Loosely based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, the film starred Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes whilst the musical numbers were written by the Sherman brothers who had enjoyed widespread acclaim for their contributions to the smash-hit Mary Poppins film four years previously.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang divided the opinion of critics and was only a mild success at the Box Office but has enjoyed an enduring appeal, helped by its release on to home video a decade later.

In 2011, the original “hero” car - described as fully functional and road-going - was purchased at a California auction by famed Lord of The Rings director Sir Peter Jackson for $805,000.