Hershey, PA (September 10, 2015). Is it a car, a plane or maybe a boat? One of the best loved cars of all time has to be the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The AACA Museum is excited to announce that the US National Broadway Touring Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Prop Car will be on display here at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum from November 21, 2015 – January 31, 2016.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is based upon a vintage racing car that was featured in many forms including the original novel by Ian Fleming, movie and stage productions. The inspiration for Chitty came from early racing cars and the sound that these cars made as they were started which sparked the idea for the name.
In July of 2014, Tony Garofalo of New York City became the owner of this prop car following the end of the US National Broadway Tour. This prop car was displayed and used in 500 live performances throughout the United States and Canada. A complete media display stand is included with facts and build specs explaining the car and its history, along with actual poster size build plans of the car and its hydraulic use design. Mr. Garofalo has been a life-long collector of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang memorabilia ever since he saw the movie at its premiere showing, Christmas 1968 at Radio City Music Hall. The film’s cast and the car were there too.
In addition to posters, photos, books and models, his collection includes two screen-worn costumes from the film, Gert Frobes’ (Baron Bomburst) hunting suit and Dick Van Dyke’s iconic ‘Doll on a Music Box’ clown costume. Earlier this year, Tony reunited Dick Van Dyke with this famous costume for the first time since 1968. Tony says, “Inside, I’m still the 4-year-old boy sitting in Radio City Music Hall with my mother and seeing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the very first time. It was a magical experience then and it still is.”
This prop car has many interesting details and functioning stage tricks. It has 15 separate circuits which control the car’s own theatrical lighting, both interior and exterior. The tires tilt 45 degrees and rotate and of course she has her wings! There will be sessions planned where guests will be able to see the operation of some of these tricks during the time the car is on display. Details will be available on the Museum’s website at www.AACAMuseum.org. Along with this prop car there will be additional memorabilia items on display including several Chitty collectible models along with photos of Chitty’s owner,Tony Garofalo, with Dick Van Dyke and the famous movie Clown Costume.
The AACA Museum has a tradition of providing interesting vehicles of all types for the enjoyment of our visitors. The holiday season is a time when the exhibits are traditionally geared more toward families who are visiting during their holiday vacation and this is the perfect fit. Another featured exhibit will include It’s a Small World: Micro & Mini Cars, because we all know that the best gifts can come in the smallest packages. A life-sized drivable pedal car will also be new for 2015. Traditional favorites include several model train displays, dozens of decorated themed Christmas trees, Sammy the 29ft. snow plow and the annual Grinch & Max Scavenger Hunt to name a few.
The fun continues into January! On January 17th, enjoy the movie – a classic released in 1968 “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” Movie will be shown here on a big screen right inside the AACA Museum where you’ll be surrounded by lots of vintage cars as your imagination takes flight. Guests can arrive by 5:00 with the movie beginning @ 6:00 PM (run time 144 minutes). Pajamas, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals are encouraged. Admission to this event includes exploring the Museum, some kid friendly foods (i.e. hot dogs, popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate, pizza) and the movie. Advance tickets required. Regular Admission $18, Children 4-12 Years – $15, Children 3 & Under are FREE. This will be one of your last chances to see the National Touring Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car live here at the AACA Museum before she flies home.
About Tony Garofalo:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s owner, Tony Garofalo, is not only one of the world’s foremost authorities on both the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car and the film, he is also a retired Detective Sergeant from the New York City Police Department and a 9/11 first responder. In addition, Tony is a lifelong professional musician. He was cast as John Lennon in the touring company of Beatlemania and continues to perform the role with his Beatles tribute band, Strawberry Fields. Strawberry Fields have toured throughout the world and played major venues such as Shea Stadium (on the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ performance there), Fenway Park, CitiField and Yankee Stadium. Strawberry Fields can be seen in their weekly residency at BB King’s Blues Club in Times Square, New York City where they have been entertaining Beatle fans of all ages for the past 16 years. For more information on Tony, Chitty and Strawberry Fields please visit www.StrawberryFieldsTheTribute.com
About the AACA Museum:
The AACA Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. This Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is known to be one of the largest automotive museums. Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles. The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $12, seniors age 61 and older $11, juniors age 4-12 $9, children age 3 and under and AACA Members are FREE. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. New for 2015, the AACA Museum will be open from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM on the first Thursday of each month from February – November. For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.