Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Impossible Cars

There's nothing quite like a car that's been tricked out to do things for which it was never designed.  Most of them have more dials and gadgets than the space shuttle and paint jobs with flames or funky metallic finishes.  They speed by in a blur on the highway or sit at stoplights, engines growling, just waiting for the light to change so they can leave you in a cloud of dust.  Sometimes, though, you get to see a car that's tricked out to do something that is completely impossible.  It does the kinds of things no one but a mad scientist or the British Secret Service could imagine.  Remember the DeLorean?  It was quite an exclusive and expensive car during it's day but all it took was the addition of a Flux Capacitor in the movie Back to the Future to make it an icon.  Fans even wait in line for a chance to sit inside and have their picture taken at conventions. Now that is a cool car.  But is it the coolest impossible car?

Take the much loved Aston Martin, a beautiful line of cars that, unlike the DeLorean, is still in production.  If you have a giant pile of cash in your pocket then you can own one, just like James Bond. The minute he got behind the wheel of a DB5 in Goldfinger, Astons became the official car of all spies everywher.  His had been custom fitted with all sorts of useful gadgets including a bullet proof shield and water cannons.  I'm pretty sure those are neither standard nor optional at your local dealer no matter how much money you throw in their direction.  Regardless, every time I see one I expect it to be followed by evil villains firing guns out of the windows of their inferior sedans.  And I am going to guess that more than a few people behind the wheel of an Aston have thought "Bond. James, Bond" as they sped down the highway in an imaginary chase.  But is this the coolest impossible car?

No, the coolest impossible car, the one every kid would want and every adult would love to take for a Sunday drive is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the Disney movie starring Dick Van Dyke.  This film came out in the 60's but was set way back in 1910.  How cool is this impossible car?  If you happen to get stuck on a beach at high tide it automatically deploys flotation devices.  In the event you accidentally drive off a cliff, no worries, it will sprout wings and a propeller and fly you to safety.  You don't even have to tell it what to do because this car thinks.  And there's no denying the incredible appeal of Chitty's style. The actual car used in the film is made from brass bits of Edwardian era cars and pieces of a World War I British fighter plane.  The best part?  This beautiful bit of steampunky automotive impossibility can be yours for an estimated $1-$2 million in an upcoming auction.  While I search the couch cushions for loose change, tell me which impossible car you'd like to see in your garage.

6 comments:

  1. After Chitty (still my fav too), I had 5 impossible cars I wanted as a kid. The Batmobile (1960's style), The Landmaster from DAMNATION ALLEY (terrible film, great "car"), The Munster Koach and Grandpa's Dragula from "The Munsters", and The Devil Car from the movie, THE CAR.

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  2. The Bloodhound SSC as it could be the first car to go over 1000mph. If you want you can go and help clear the track in South Africa.

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  3. @Rorschach
    I was thinking of the Batmobile, but stayed away from the completely made-up superhero car. Otherwise, the Batmobile would have been on my list, and it would absolutely be the 1960's version.

    @Bryan
    Fast cars...that's a whole different story. I have been pining away for a Bugatti Veyron, but the Bloodhound SSC would do nicely.

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  4. Thinking about it the 1960's Batmobile wins,, as long as all the bits worked.
    Could always dress my son up as Robin, you could fit a child seat in there I'm sure.

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  5. The G-6155 Interceptor. Otherwise known as the car from Spy Hunter. Machine guns, oil slicks, and the ability to morph into a boat as needed. Plus the Peter Gun theme in all its digitized glory.

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  6. Ooo..I almost forgot an utterly important car - Speed Racer's Mach 5 !!!

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