Dick Van Dyke and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car Unite for Danville Homecoming
20/06/16 09:00 Filed in: PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Dick Van Dyke and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car Unite for Danville Homecoming.
On June 24th, 2016, Dick Van Dyke will visit his hometown of Danville, Illinois and he will do it in great style. Befitting the occasion, he will be spirited around town in that most fantasmagorical of machines, Tony Garofalo's handcrafted Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.
“I can’t think of a more perfect way to enhance Mr. Van Dyke’s homecoming than to have his partner, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, along for the ride,” stated Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer.
Chitty will be available for public viewing on Friday, June 24, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Danville Public Library, 319 N. Vermilion Street in Danville, IL; as well as from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Danville High School, 202 E. Fairchild Street, prior to the Welcome Home Concert in honor of Mr. Dick Van Dyke. For a minimum donation of $5, persons will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the famous Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. All proceeds benefit the Dick Van Dyke Foundation.
This will be the first time that Tony's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car will be shown to the public outside of New York – and only her third public viewing overall. The people of Danville will see the spectacular detail and meticulous craftsmanship that went into building the car, from the exquisite contours of the wooden boat-like passenger compartment, to the gleaming vintage brass adornments and the red and yellow retractable side wings.
Ever since Tony completed the beautiful car in June 2015, he and his Chitty have been making quite a splash all over New York, from a feature in the venerable NY Times to radio and TV appearances, to being named one of the hidden treasures of the 2016 New York International Auto Show by Motor Trend magazine.
“To be given the privilege of driving Mr. Van Dyke in my Chitty car is a dream come true,” Tony says. “I saw the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at its 1968 premiere at Radio City Music Hall when I was four years old. Mr. Van Dyke and the car were both there and I told my mother that one day I was going to build that car!”
Unfortunately Tony's mother passed away suddenly in 2005 and didn't get to see that dream fulfilled. After his retirement as a 20 year veteran of the New York City Police Department, Tony began to make his early childhood promise a reality. Building the car from scratch took five years and $100,000 but Tony feels that it was worth every minute and every penny, especially now.
“Dick Van Dyke is a national treasure and it is an honor for me to support him and the Dick Van Dyke Foundation by bringing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Danville, Illinois where the magic truly began,” Tony says. “It's all about making people smile.”
Tony has amassed an impressive Chitty memorabilia collection, including Dick Van Dyke’s famous “Doll on a Music Box” costume. Tony’s uncle rescued the costume and kept it in pristine condition. After his uncle passed, the costume came to Tony. Just last year, Tony reunited the complete costume with Mr. Van Dyke. After much deliberation, Tony is finally parting with his prized costume. It will be sold by the world’s largest Hollywood memorabilia auction house, Profiles in History, on June 29th, 30th, and July 1st, 2016, item #1168. Should the costume sell at the auction, Tony will donate a portion of the proceeds directly to the Dick Van Dyke Foundation. “It’s one small way to thank Mr. Van Dyke for bringing joy to millions of people,” says Tony. Information regarding the auction can be found at www.profilesinhistory.com or by calling (310) 859-7701.
For further information about Tony Garofalo and his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car, please go to www.nyChitty.com or www.twitter.com/nyChittyCar. Contact: 424-229-1302, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.twitter.com/nyChittyCar. For additional information and/or media requests regarding the events surrounding Mr. Dick Van Dyke’s “Homecoming”, including the press conference, please contact Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer at (217) 431-2400.
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