By William Stolerman
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the iconic car from the 1968 hit film, is heading to the auction block in Los Angeles.
The car starred alongside Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Benny Hill in the classic movie, and since then has competed in charity races around the United Kingdom.
Michael Jackson once tried to buy it for his Neverland Ranch but owner Pierre Picton refused, saying he wanted to keep it in Britain. His stance has now changed.
Picton, a retired actor, said: “Chitty's been fantastic for more than 50 years but it's time for the motor to set off on its travels again. I'm 76-years-old and it's time to move on. There is a huge fan base for the film in America and they have shown a big interest in buying Chitty.”
“It's a shame Chitty won't stay in Britain but we're certain the car will sell for a substantial sum; a lot of money to keep me in my old age.”
Expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds when it's sold this spring, its registration number is GEN11.