The iconic car which starred in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and became a symbol of British eccentricity is being sold – in AMERICA.
The car was recognised around the world after it starred in the 1968 hit film alongside Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Benny Hill.
The much-loved motor – with the registration number GEN11 – has been seen by thousands of fans and spent more than 30 years competing in charity races around the country.
Late pop star Michael Jackson once tried to buy it for his Neverland Ranch but owner Pierre Picton refused saying he wanted to keep it in Britain.
But Pierre, 76, who has kept the car – nicknamed ‘Chitty’ – at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks., for the last 42 years, has finally decided to sell it.
It will be auctioned in Los Angeles next spring and is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Retired actor Pierre 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 that the car will sell for a substantial sum, a lot of money to keep me in my old age.
”It’s breaking my heart to see Chitty go but the time’s right. It’s time to set Chitty free to fly on to pastures new.”
Pierre doubled for Dick Van Dyke for the driving scenes in the film and bought the car when he was hired to do promotional work for the movie afterwards.
In the film, the classic motor was bought by ‘Caractacus Potts’ and used with his children to defeat the evil ‘Baron Bomburst’.
The motor has since appeared at hundreds of shows where fans have flocked to have their pictures taken alongside it.
But the car’s last public appearance will be in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday before it is flown to America.
Pierre added: ”Chitty has been a great friend to me over the years. I hope that the car will continue to bring great enjoyment for generations to come.”