Chitty Hire was founded in 2016 by Rob Alderton. Up until then Rob’s whole life had been spent in music and musical theatre, including playing keyboards for Les Misérables in London’s West End, many UK musical tours (Joseph, Avenue Q, etc.) as part of the band Sailor, and piano for stars such as Sir Cliff Richard.
With a lifelong love of the movie, the Sherman brother’s music and of course, the iconic car, in 2004 he contacted Pierre Picton (the then owner of the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, GEN 11) and secured this as his wedding car. In talking to Pierre, Rob learned that GEN 11 would soon be auctioned and likely go abroad (She was bought by the film director, Sir Peter Jackson, and is now in New Zealand) Pierre allowed Rob to take detailed pictures and measurements of Chitty. After this Rob started to collect various items of automobilia until enough was assembled to build his own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 2015 Rob met a gifted engineer, Phil D’Archambaud, who specialises in vintage fabrication and whose instinctive understanding of the geometry and workings of a motor car meant Rob had found the right man to partner with to complete the journey.
When the rights were released for amateur / regional theatre groups in 2018, many groups immediately contacted Chitty Hire to see if the car could be used in theatrical productions. Alas it couldn’t, as it was built as a replica road car (although ours is electric). Besides she didn’t fly. But with a lifetime in theatre and an encyclopaedic knowledge of Chitty, Rob thought ‘So let’s build one that does!’ So, our stage car was born, and she’s been delighting audiences ever since.
In a natural progression, and in answer to requests to supply more fun and authentic props, Chitty Hire has an ever-growing inventory of Chitty Props – From the music box to the haircutting machine, or Baron Bomburst’s car to Truly’s Scrumptious’s motorcycle – Chitty Hire is the Number One place to come.