NEW VIDEO: LISTEN TO IT START UP AND DRIVE AWAY!
This car has lived many lives and attracts attention everywhere it goes.
Bill Swanson wanted the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang after reading the book by Ian Fleming. Unfortunately, it was not for sale. So, Mr. Swanson was determined to build his own. This car started it's life in Los Angeles and sold at the dealership of Ralph Hamlin. The car, a Roadster, was driven to Santa Barbara and was quite the attraction.
When Locomobile closed its doors in 1929, the owner the of '26 Locomobile decided he would donate it to the Santa Barbara Junior High since he could no longer gets parts!
The school shop removed the body and placed the chassis in the auto shop. There it was used to display mechanical functions and teach students clutch and gear shifting, the driveshaft was disconnected. After 1949, the engine was disassembled by students to teach various components.
In 1952, the car was acquired by Robert Dowdin in exchange for several modern engines. Mr. Dowdin stored the car outside the shop unprotected until purchased by Bill Swanson in 1974 for $150.00. The current owner, Dana Newquist, has a record of every part purchased for this car from 1974 to 2003. The car was finally finished with the body of a 1906 Locomobile and registered May 5, 1993.