Northern Ireland news

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car goes under the hammer

There were reportedly six different versions made of the `phantasmagorical machine'

A TRIP in one of cinema's most iconic cars, the vehicle from Hollywood classic `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' is set to go under the hammer later this month as part of a charity auction in aid of a Northern Ireland charity.

There were reportedly six different versions made of the `phantasmagorical machine', famously with the ability to fly and to swim, for the Dick Van Dyke smash hit movie.

Among the famous owners are `Lord of the Rings' director Peter Jackson and radio presenter Chris Evans, who used his - the only one which actually drives - to chauffeur fans to their wedding ceremony.

Co Down man Andrew Bailey bought that one from the breakfast DJ Evans and is offering a trip in the magical car as an auction prize for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Love Letters Ball.

The charity is celebrating its 55th anniversary at Titanic Belfast on Friday September 27.

The successful bidder will spend a morning or afternoon being chauffeur driven - although not flying this time - along the Ards Peninsula.

`Truly scrumptious' food will be part of the package at Cafolla's Premier Café, as is a photoshoot at Mountstewart National Trust stately home, a tour of the home and gardens and afternoon tea.

Mr Bailey and his wife Philippa are friends of Michael Cafolla, owner of Cafolla's Premier Café, whose son Thomas is currently recovering from a stem cell transplant to treat his lymphoma.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to climb aboard one of Hollywood's most famous cars and for a spectacular journey along our scenic coastline," Mr Cafolla said.

"We're very grateful to Andrew Bailey for donating his prized car for a day to help us raise money to support local research right here in Belfast."

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