” Whistling Rufus.”
SIR.,—With reference to Mr. W. P. Wood’s letter concerning ” Whistling Rufus.” I am afraid this letter contains one or two inaccuracies. The car in our possession is not” Whistling Rufus” but “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (I) and belonged to Count Zborowski not Count De Boski of whom I have never heard. It will be remembered that this racing driver was killed in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
Secondly we did not buy it from Nottingham but quite locally and again it has covered many hundreds of miles under its own power whilst it has been in our possession. It has been driven through London and all over the Yorkshire Moors including Whitby and Scarborough and can be started a great deal more easily than many modern cars, as it is fitted with an impulse starter. In fact we can always start it up for demonstration purposes within five minutes.
What I think Mr. Wood has got hold of is the fact that recently ” Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was down at our Leicester branch, whither she had gone under her own power, and on returning sheered a coupling at Newark on Trent. No fire extinguishers are necessary if the car is properly started being simply a question of allowing the engine to warm up slowly. If the engine is violently accelerated when cool a spit-back is caused through the carburetter which ignites the petrol round the float chamber where it had been flooded.
The dickey seat referred to is simply part of the tail which was then the idea of stream-lining. Although the car has never actually been timed or has a speedometer fitted we are of the opinion she would now approach something near the hundred mark.
Strangely enough we are also in possession of the 30/98 Vauxhall which used to belong to Mr. Thwaites, a picture of which appears on the same page as Mr. Wood’s letter. We are, yours etc., p.p. EFFICIENCY GARAGE CO., LTD. Billingham-on-Tees,
Co. Durham. R. F. CHRISTIAN, Manager. [Our correspondent is in error in stating that Count Zborowski was killed in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang II.” The Count met his death while driving a Mercedes at Monza. Incidentally we think that the car in our correspondent’s possession must be either Chitty II or Chitty III, for to the best of our knowledge Chitty I is in London.—ED.)
Miniatures News, December 1979
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