Sgt. Tony Garofalo built the functional, full-size vehicle from the body of a 1914 Overland car with a 1928 Model A engine – the same engine used to make the motor sounds in the movie.
Garofalo also plays John Lennon in the Beatles tribute band Strawberry Fields. Hence his nickname: Sgt. Pepper.
The New York Times has more.
Mr. Garofalo said he had been a fan of both the film and the car since he was 4, when he and his mother, Anna, attended the movie’s premiere at Radio City Music Hall.
“The cast was there and the car was parked out front,” said Mr. Garofalo, who was dumbstruck by the car and promised his mother that he would one day make his own version.
To copy the car exactly, he said, he watched the movie some 200 times on DVD, pausing constantly to scrutinize the vehicle from different angles. He also went to look at two of the several models used in the movie, which are privately owned.
“It was seeing the real Chitty that helped me make mine exactly like the movie car,” Mr. Garofalo said recently at his home in Ridge, N.Y., before driving his creation out of the garage.
It had a wooden passenger compartment and wings, and he thought it might even float, just like in the movie.
With a flick of a button on his key chain, the car’s red and yellow wings extend from under the running boards, “for when people ask if it flies,” Mr. Garofalo said.
Read the whole thing – delightful story:
Also: Watch Dick Van Dyke sing the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” theme on Conan O’Brien in December. Love this.