Count Zborowski with Chitty Bang Bang 1 at Brooklands.
Forget about Dick Van Dyke driving old bangers through the sky sitting next to the delectable Sally Ann Howes. That was in a film based on an Ian Fleming novel, and the book was based very loosely on the cars Polish American Count Louis Zborowski drove in the Twenties. They were the real Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs. Yes, plural, because there were four of the monsters, nearly five.
The huge great cars were all designed and built by engineer and Bentley Boy Captain Clive Gallop, and their driver, the eccentric but courageous Count Louis. He became wealthy beyond most people’s wildest dreams when his mother, American heiress Margaret Astor Carey, died in 1911. Like she left him £11 million, plus real estate— including seven acres of Manhattan and blocks on Fifth Avenue in New York. So you might say he could afford to go motor racing! And he was good at it. So good that many thought he would become one of the period’s crack drivers.
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