The Things They Say

“Millionaire racing driver Count Luigi Zborowskie, from Melton Mowbray, helped to build the film car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” – from the Leicester Mercury of May 20, all the more amusing for coming under their heading ‘Fact’.

Their ‘facts’ could hardly be in more of a twist! Count Louis Zborowski lived at Bridge in Kent, and he died in 1924 after an accident in a works Mercedes at Monza during the Italian GP, whereas the fake Ford-engined ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, which was nothing like the real Chitty Bang Bang, was produced long after the war to coincide with the film based on Ian Fleming’s children’s books.

“From its inception in 1841 to his death in 1864, John Leech contributed hundreds of fine drawings which presented, in wonderful detail, every aspect of horse-transport and the horse-trade, and those who lived by and suffered under it. These were matters of great concern to the middle classes in the 19th century. Why had the modern Punch failed to produce the Leech of the motor-car?”

Paul Johnson, lamenting the expected demise of Punch in the pages of The Spectator.