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Fine faux fendered friend; Hubby creates Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car for film-mad wife to drive to Australia.

Byline: By Karen Bale

DEVOTED Nick Pointing went the extra mile for his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-fan wife-by building her a working version of the magical car.

Now the couple plan to take a break from their jobs to drive it 12,000 miles overland to Australia.

Marks & Spencer manager Nick, 41, spent four years and thousands of pounds recreating the car - complete with fold-out wings - for wife Carolyn.

It is based on the chassis of a 1973 Land Rover and has a top speed of 80mph.

He embarked on the project after buying police officer Carolyn, 42, a host of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang souvenirs.

He said: "Carolyn is a huge Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fan.

"I had already taken her to the London stage show, bought the DVD and a toy model, so in a way this was the logical next step.

"Early one Sunday morning as we sat up in bed discussing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I said, 'All right, I'll build you one then.'"

Nick had to teach himself the basics of welding as he made the car.

He added: "Chitty has been our main focus. Everything has revolved around it.

"I went to various firms for help but when they heard I wanted to build a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they looked at me as if I was a nuts, so I've done it all myself.

"I've spent most weekends working on the car from dawn to dusk - it's been a real labour of love."

No plans exist for the original car, which was built by Ford racing team.

Nick's only guide was a replica Corgi toy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and some stills from the children's film. He said: "It's a wonderful feeling to finally finish the project. The MoT was the final piece of the jigsaw."

Carolyn fell in love with the film after seeing it as a child when it came out in 1968.

Over the years, she has collected a huge array of memorabilia.

She has some of the original merchandise, including pop-up books, board games and models.

The mother-of-two explained: "I think it's just the fantasy of it all and I love the songs and dancing."

The couple, of Sandown, Isle of Wight, will raise money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Multiple Sclerosis Society and the World Wildlife Fund with their epic journey Down Under.

It will see them travelling through Europe, Asia and India to Brisbane, Australia, later this year. The drive is expected to take four months.

Nick added: "It's a pretty ambitious plan but I'm sure we can do it. I hope it will all stay together but I'll be taking a few tools and spares with me."

'I went to various firms for help but when they heard

I wanted to build a replica, they looked at me as if 1 was nuts'

CAPTION(S):

COP OF THE RANGE: Carolyn with her Corgi; DREAM ENGINE: Nick with the Land Rover; BUFF VERSION: Carolyn polishes the car; TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS: Half-way through the project and, right, the couple with the finished car PICTURES:CHRISBALCOMBE/SOLENT
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 5, 2007
Words:519
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