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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Chitty film car fetches $505,000
Scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The film starred Dick Van Dyke as inventor Caractacus Potts
One of the "flying" red and yellow cars from children's film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has sold for $505,000 (255,000) at auction in Indiana, in the US.

It was bought by Florida resident Ralph Spencer, who already owns a Batmobile.

"I've always liked this car," he said after making his purchase. "I was a fan of the movie."

The 1968 film, which starred Dick Van Dyke, was based on a book by James Bond author Ian Fleming and featured a script by children's writer Roald Dahl.

The model auctioned at the weekend had been displayed in a Chicago restaurant known as JR's Retreat.

'Car in storage'

It was being sold to help pay off a bankruptcy debt, according to the auction listings .

"The car was in storage for so long, it needed a little work," said Dean Kruse, president of Kruse Auction Park.

Fleming wrote the novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, in 1961 while recovering from a heart attack.

It was originally envisaged as three separate stories but was published as one in 1964.

As well as the film, the story has been turned into a successful stage musical.

Several vehicles were built for the film, two of which can be found at the Cars of the Stars motor museum in Keswick, UK.

The auction attracted several fans of the film - including David Stefanchick, 48, who brought his family from Cincinnati to see it.

"I'm thinking about building a replica," he told the Reuters news agency.

"Just think about the reaction of the kids in the neighbourhood if they saw this thing rolling down the street. The ice cream truck wouldn't stand a chance."

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