More About “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.”
SIR,—May I be allowed to add a little first hand knowledge to the correspondence regarding “Whistling Rufus” and the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs.”
The former I have never seen but the latter, or rather one of them, it has always been my desire to possess. Unfortunately my finances seem to wax and wane in sympathy with those of the lucky owners of these cars. I had always thought that there were only two genuine Chittys. My first view of one was in. 1930 when Chitty IL came into the hands of a dealer friend in London. It was sold to an enthusiast in Dover who had it completely overhauled and repainted. The R.A.C. rating is 72 h.p. This is unmistakeably Chitty II. as it has a four-seater touring body. There is a photograph of this car in “Wheels Take Wings” as raced at Brooklands. The present owner has consistently refused to sell at the brief periods when I have been in a position to buy. This car starts at once on the handle using the half compression. I Chitty I. was found near Canterbury, I believe, by two well known Mercedes enthusiasts and put in trim again. I examined this car carefully last year. It has a two-seater racing body and is sans wings, windscreen or silencer. In fact definitely a Brookla.nds car for there IS little doubt that it is genuinely” Chitty I.” The owner greatly prizes this car (which as you noted is now stored in
London). The engine is slightly larger than that in Chitty II.
There is a third car which I do not think was ever a Chitty though similar in all respects. I saw this at a coachbuilders in London. about the end of 1930—unfortunately one of my low-water periods. I was told that it had been left there by a customer unable to pay for the body which had been built. This was a twoseater with single dickey in the tail. There were a four piece V screen, chain guards, leather covered steering wheel rim, starter, motor and wings. The front wings ran up in a straight line from beside the cockpit and ended in sharp forward points. The aluminium bonnet was polished, and the body finished in yellow with black wings. This car started after a little trouble, a crowbar was used. It was sold soon afterwards but I saw it once at a filling station on the Great West Road last winter. It had been repainted then.
From an advertisement some months ago I was able to recognise this car as one offered for sale in Lancashire. I have not heard of it since.
These three cars were built up from prewar 90 Mercedes chassis fitted with airship Maybach motors. I have two 90’s myself and have compared chassis details. There is a Maybach motor of the type used in the Science Museum.
The third car had been stored. for several years when first I saw it and may have been made for a friend of Count Zborowski.
I am, yours, etc. B. BLYTHE. 25, Collingham Place,
Earl’s Court, S.W.5.