The original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the car with the big red wheels, the long silver nose and shinny front bumper that was used in the beloved film is buried in the lawn behind Dumbo the Elephant’s Tent in the Magic Kingdom. Philip first heard about this little known fact while on vacation with his young family at Disney World. He and his wife Eileen had saved for two years for this trip. They had done without for so long that Philip grew deaf to the pleasures of sharing an occasional lunch with colleagues at the local TGI Friday. But, when he watched the faces of his two children fill with wonder he knew the sacrifice was worth it. And while this might seem trite to you, my hardened and sophisticated Readers, Philip was overcome. He well remembered the tingly feeling in the bottom of his feet standing where his two pumpkins now stood, gob-smacked by all the beauty and sheer magic that surrounded them.
That the final resting place for the car that he had spent his life dreaming about was below ground, hidden from fans and future fans was a wrong that Philip knew was within his power to address. He was now a man with a mission. And so he started a petition to get the Disney folks to dig up the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, shine it up just as Caractus Potts had done and let it be magnificent. He dreamt about it at night. He pictured the Gen 11 plates slowly rising upwards, the dirt spilling from the front doors and the “boot” as they called it in England. He imagined Ian Fleming’s spirit hovering above the raucous horn, pleased that his greatest creation, this car, not James Bond, was being honored. At first Philip’s petition gained traction. He was even featured on the local news at the end of the broadcast, in the comedic eccentric slot. And while the Disney organization hasn’t responded to the petition as of yet, Philip’s commitment is undiminished. He’s in it for the long haul.