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Author Topic: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.  (Read 14488 times)

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Offline CAT

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2016, 19:33:10 »
I quite agree regards the condition of the building, though in defence of Kings School they are the most present owners and with such a prominent location they would have to get it right as well as jump through heritage legislation hoops before you can sweep the floor.

The building appears to have had a very chequered history, being the possible site of a medieval hospital, a natural spring fed baths, a dairy and a coach builders (Bligh's) before its more recent use as a shop and picture framers. All of these uses appear to have added to the structure (and taken bits away) to make a real mixture.

I'm interested in the bath house that is recorded as standing to the rear of the plot and formed part of the original Dolphin pub that, when first built, is reputed to have stood above the bath building. The present pub is an early twentieth-century rebuild of an earlier victorian pub,  which also stood on the street frontage and replaced the first recorded Dolphin over the baths.

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2016, 13:58:32 »

Glad to hear that CAT. 

As King School own the property you would have thought with all their money they would have let it get into the current mess.

Canterbury should be making the most of the Chitty connection.  A blue plaque on a derelict building doesn't say much for the city.

JW

Offline CAT

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 19:19:42 »
Sad to say that the building in St Radigund's Street, Canterbury has not got any better, with the rain pouring in through its roof and walls. However, plans are afoot, though the rear of the property is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and, as already said, the building at the street frontage is listed.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2016, 00:10:56 »
I have found out that there were two racing cars carrying the name 'Chitty, Bang, Bang'. However just to confuse the issue the first one was rebuilt into a Mk2 version, this is where the legend of three comes from. That was the first with the Maybach Zepplin engine. The second car was built after the first was sold to Parry Thomas, this one had the Maybach engine from the start. The 'Chitty' noise came from the valve gear not being enclosed by a rocker box. Before anyone gets excited over that it was quite common for early big (18+ Liters) engines. Another point is that these engines would struggle to reach 2,500 rpm. These were big slow but very powerful, torque(y) machines. Another minor point is that the Count would have driven these cars on the roads. Yes he would have taken a full-blown racing car through the streets of Canterbury and all over Europe when he was racing.... Does not even want to be thought about these days. Imagine Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button driving one of their cars to the Grands Prix......

S4.
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Offline grandarog

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 19:20:58 »
Apparently there are around 6 or 7 replica Chitty C B B's about around the world. This link shows Chris Evans with his:-

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/4501563/Chris-Evans-drives-home-from-work-in-the-Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang-car.html

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 20:59:25 »
I understand that the engines were ex Imperial German Navy Zepplin propulsion units. Think on that; petrol engines and hydrogen gas................. S4.
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Offline Ex-Chalky

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 16:42:59 »
According to that mighty tome of academic excellence known as Wiki.....

"It is now part of the private collection of Bob Bahre at his home in Paris Hill, Maine (the former mansion of Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln's first Vice-President)."

Take a look at:

http://www.norwaylake.com/classic_cars___bob_bahre_col.htm

Scroll down a bit and you'll see a picture of the car.


And for an under-the-bonnet look at the mighty 18.8 litre noise generator:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjkboston/235161140/in/set-72157594270537692

...and yes, when you look at this one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjkboston/247055662/in/set-72157594270537692

...you are looking at a starting handle.   Anyone want to volunteer to try to turn the thing over by hand?


Apparently it was a 230 bhp engine, almost equal to two 1.8 litre Citroen Xsara Picasso engines!

In the interests of preserving the environment no trees were harmed in the transmission of this mess

Offline keniff

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 16:14:03 »
Afraid I don't know but I bet someone on here does !!
Black Beauty - There's a dark horse

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2011, 16:00:21 »
The Reg is FN which I believe was a Canterbury area reg.  (My first motorbike was SFN)

I see the Mk2 Chitty above was restored in Deal.  Is it still around?

Offline keniff

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2011, 15:14:08 »
Here is MkII (Copyrights apply)


Black Beauty - There's a dark horse

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 10:39:01 »
I understand that the name of the cars came from when the engine was started; when being turned over the valve gear made the 'chitty' noise and because of the lack of any form of recognised exhaust you can guess the rest........... I must say sorry as I always thought that the cars were completely built at Higham Court. I had not thought of the coach work being built elsewhere. From what I understood the Count built three racing cars but only two had the name. Is not 'Babs' the sole survivor, and the first of the name? I do mean the car that killed Parry Thomas on Pendine Sands, then buried on the spot and finally recovered in the early 1970s. Regards, S4.
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Offline LenP

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2011, 22:16:03 »


Ah yes, the erroneous blue plaque...

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the popular 1968 film (based on an Ian Fleming novel) and the name of the car in the film. Count Louis Zborowski's cars were nicknamed Chitty Bang Bang, only one 'Chitty', see? An important distinction!

As I understood it, only one of the real Chittys was built here, and according to Wikipedia, it was the coachwork that was carried out on Chitty 2. It wasn't constructed here, more like finished off.

Anyway, here it is in about 1978.



And here is the interior.



What you can't see in this interior shot is how the floor level slopes downwards towards the back of the building. This is due to it being built on the line of the city wall and the former moat. The glassed shopfront part (in the exterior shot) is on the site of a former bastion. Owned by the Council until about 2005 when it was sold to King's School, the building was occupied by Hawkswells between 1978 and about 1999. It then became a wholesale warehouse for a couple of years before lying empty until purchased by the school. The street front is class 2 listed and there is a wall fragment from the 12th century, St. Radigund's baths, extant at the back of the building which can be seen from the garden of the Dolphin, the pub next door (built in the 1930's). It was freezing in the winter, boiling in the summer and had the unusual feature of interior drains which flooded on more than one occasion. And a very leaky roof until me and my colleague fixed it. It also features, in a round about kind of way, in Mr. Nice by Howard Marks.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2011, 09:25:49 »
Many years ago I worked in Canterbury as a Gents hairdresser. One of my clients was born at Higham House as his father was Zborowski's Chief Mechanic. He would tell of the huge Maybach Zepplin Engines being run in over a 48 hour period, below the living quarters in the stable block. He told me that the cars were built on site at the house. He was one of those 'lucky' people. He was young but had been given a good grounding in mechanics by his Father and the Count took him as well as the other fitters to Monza. He was supposed to be in the car with the Count when the car went over the banking. My friend had been struck down with a Gippy Belly the night before. Neither the Count nor the fitter came back from that crash. S4.
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Offline JohnWalker

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Workshop where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was created.
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2011, 00:10:33 »
I understand an old workshop in St Radigunds, Canterbury was where Count Louis Zborowski built two Chitty Chittys around 1921.The building was used recently by Hawkswell Picture Framers but appears derelict now.

Does anyone have more in depth info on this..?

 

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