Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Unleaded Conversion
In early 1999 we were contacted by Mr Pierre Picton, who owns a very special car. During our initial phone conversation Pierre explained that his car carries the registration number GEN 11 and is registered with the DVLA as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She displays this name on her tax (exempt) disc, and is the car that did all the “normal” driving and close up scenes in the film. Pierre, who drove the car in the opening race scenes, and later acquired the car from director Chubby Broccoli, was looking for someone that would undertake an Unleaded Conversion and see it through to completion.
After a couple of visits to view the car we established exactly which cylinder head castings were to be sourced and a date in June was decided for the job to be done.
Although we don’t normally work on cars, in this instance we drove to Stratford On Avon and worked on Chitty in Pierre’s garage. Picton hospitality proved to be more than adequate and even through a barrage of Ham sandwiches, chocolate rolls and mugs of coffee the job was completed in little more than half a day.
After all the usual checks and double checks we did what every (old) child has dreamed about, and took her for a drive!
Back at our hotel that evening and chatting about the job, we were shown a newspaper cutting that read – “Pop Star Michael Jackson recently offered 10.9 Million Dollars for Pierre Picton’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Mr Picton said that Chitty was not for sale.”