'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Car Undersells at Auction
The car goes for less than its $1 million estimate at the event, which also featured a jacket worn by James Dean, the crystal ball from "The Wizard of Oz" and an "Empire Strikes Back" crawl.
Several important pieces of Hollywood memorabilia sold at an auction in Beverly Hills by auction house Profiles in History over the weekend.
A number of pieces went for more than their initial estimates, but the auction's signature item -- the only working Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car -- failed to meet its presale low estimate of $1 million.
-- The crystal ball the Wicked Witch uses to observe Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz sold for $126,500, more than double the presale estimate of $40,000-60,000.
-- The original acetate crawl from beginning of The Empire Strikes Back ("It is a dark time for the Rebellion ...") fetched $46,000.
-- The letter from Walt Disney to famed animator UB Iwerks discussing the plans to start Disney Studios and Iwerks' imminent move to California sold for the $241,500. The presale estimate was $60,000-$80,000.
-- The tweed jacket James Dean wore in the opening scenes of Rebel Without a Cause sold for $63,500.
-- John Lennon's original handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" went for $230,000.
-- The working Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, which was the most-talked-about item in the auction, fetched only $805,000. The initial presale estimate suggested a $1-2 million sale price.
Profiles in History does not release the names of buyers.