A guest post from one of our Road & Track project archivists, Beaudry Allen:
There is always something unexpected to find when processing a collection. You do not have to be a car aficionado or even know the first thing about cars to at least have a slight remembrance of the car in film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. While the memories evoked by the car may be its ability to fly or float in water, the car was based on the legendary Brooklands cars of Count Louis Vorow Zborowski. Zborowski was a famous 1920s English racing driver and automobile engineer known for building his own race cars, some of which were called “Chitty Bang Bang.” Ian Fleming was influenced by Zborowski’s engineered car and its eccentricities when he wrote the famed children’s story of the same name. When the 1968 film adaptation started, mock-ups were built in the Edwardian-style. They actually worked, but apparently in the style of the day the cars only had brakes on the rear wheels, which meant that there were no brakes if you went in reverse. So the car may not be safe for the road today - but certainly one for memory lane.
The Road & Track collection is currently being processed, but a portion of the archive is available. A preliminary guide is available here: