Ian Fleming and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: the history

01 October 2014

By Pan Macmillan

Ian Fleming is best known for creating the very, very famous spy James Bond, secret agent 007. He wrote fourteen books about James Bond with the well-known titles such as Casino Royale, From Russia with Love, Dr. No and Goldfinger.

Ian Fleming had a passion for cars, and in the James Bond books he wrote wonderful descriptions of cars such as a Bentley Continental and an Aston Martin. When he was still a boy at school he had been to visit a house in Kent where there was a very fast and very noisy racing car. It belonged to an eccentric racing driver called Count Louis Zborowski. The car was known as Chitty Bang Bang.

 It must have created a deep impression on the young Ian Fleming because when, forty years later, he decided that he would write a story for his small son Caspar about a car that could fly, he described a magnificent green car with 'rows and rows of gleaming knobs on the dashboard', 'a cream-coloured collapsible roof' and huge exhaust pipes of 'glistening silver'. He named it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Ian Fleming was born in 1908 and died in 1964. He wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car in 1962. It was published as three books in 1964. Sadly Ian Fleming never saw the finished books as he died of a heart attack a couple of months before publication.

The film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, made in 1968, was based on Ian Fleming's book. Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay and brought new elements – the Child Catcher for instance – to the story.

FIND OUT MORE AT ianfleming.com

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