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The race car that inspired Ian Fleming

The creator of James Bond relied on a racing car he saw in his childhood to write a children's book.

The English Writer Ian Fleming achieved worldwide fame for being the creator of James Bond, the British Secret Intelligence Service spy with a license to kill who starred in a series of novels published between 1952 and 1964. Such was the success of the adventures of the 007 agent that they quickly reached the big screen with different actors in the main role, such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan y Daniel Craig.

But this was not Fleming's only success. At the beginning of 1964, while he was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack and despite the refusal of the doctors, he wrote "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the magic car". The book, dedicated to his son Caspar, tells the story of the inventor Caractacus potts and his flying car. As with the Bond behind, this novel for children also made its way to the cinema in 1968 with Dick van dyke as the protagonist. Unfortunately, Fleming never enjoyed the success of this work as he passed away on August 12, 1964 shortly before it was released in a three-volume format.

Something that perhaps few know is that the writer was inspired by a real race car Used in the 1920s and seen in action as a child. The machine, christened Chitty bang bang, was created by the British Louis Vorow Zborowski, a young millionaire whose father died during a climbing race in Nice (France) in 1903.

Louis, a great lover of speed despite the tragedy that mourned his family, went further and cHe re-engineered his own vehicles, equipping them with aircraft engines to have the highest possible power. The Chitty Bang Bang series consisted of three copies. The first used a 23.093 cm3 Maybach six-cylinder engine, the second was powered by an 18.882 cm3 Benz and the third, based on a Mercedes 28/95, was equipped with a 14.778 cm3 six-cylinder also of the German brand.

The race car that inspired Ian Fleming
Louis Vorow Zborowski on one of his creations.

With these cars Zborowski achieved several events in the brooklands english oval, the first circuit designed to compete. “That car was the main source of inspiration for creating a children's book. That car had been made with airplane engines after the First World War and that is why Chitty is a car that flies ”, explained Kate grimond, Ian Fleming's niece, on the 50th anniversary of the first edition of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

As with several motorsport pioneers, Louis Zborowski met his death racing. It was in 1924, at age 20, while he was playing the Italian Grand Prix in Monza when he hit a tree. However, his ingenuity was immortalized through a children's book written by one of the most famous authors in the world and who kept the spirit of his creation faithful, that car that with an airplane engine flew on the runways.


Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, y and on the radios Rock pop y He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog:

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