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Saturday, 30 November, 2002, 14:14 GMT
Rare Chitty papers go under hammer
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The stage show has been a huge success
Rare original manuscripts from the novel which spawned the hit film and West End musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are to go under the hammer at Sotheby's next month.

The book, also called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was written by James Bond author Ian Fleming in 1961, while he was recovering from a heart attack.

Originally written as three stories but published in 1964 under the name of Ian Lancaster as one, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was an instant success.

The manuscripts - and sketches of the flying car - are expected to sell for at least 12,000.

It was made into a classic children's film in 1968 with Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes in the leading roles, and 34 years later has had a new lease of life as a hugely popular London stage musical.

Fleming manuscripts are extremely rare.

The major Fleming collection held by the Lilly Library at Indiana University does not even include an autographed manuscript or typescript of Chitty, auction house Sotheby's said.

The collection will be auctioned on 12 December.

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