08
Sep
11

Il Tempo Gigante, The most famous Star car of all….. Norway!

Can you name them all?

After THE BIG BUS write up, it got me thinking about the more obscure star cars I have encountered in my searches over the last 30 years or so.   There are a few foreign films that featured custom cars with lots of gadgets.  There is one  Pugeot with wings that comes to mind, but that’s another blog!

This article is a long time in the making.  I first became aware of  Il Tempo Gigante when I saw photos of it in an old book on concept cars called “DREAM CARS” that was originally printed in France.

because it was printed in Europe, it included the most famous movie car of Norway!  As I had never seen the film, nor was I from Norway I sort of glossed over it as a rip off of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Decades later my starcar pals alerted me to a shirt design I would probably like that featured the outlines of most of the famous movie/tv and video game vehicles.

All my star car buddies snapped up a shirt or two, and we happily started pointing out all the movies attached to each vehicle.  Some where easy, others took a bit of thinking, but the Star Car Central members eventually identified all of them except one, and I decided it was the  Il Tempo Gigante.

I would say “I knew what it was from my old book, but it was in a box somewhere and I never got around to getting it out to find the name of the film or car to start my search.”   But I am finally tired of telling my pals “I know what it is, I have it in a book, but I just have to find it!” So here it is in all it’s glory.

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Now if you are from Norway, you may think “How can anyone in the world not know this car?”  But for the rest of the lovers of star cars that DON”T live in Norway or Russia or Japan allow me to introduce the star car I finally got around to blogging about!

Flåklypa Grand Prix (released as an English dubbed version under the title Pinchcliffe Grand Prix) is a Norwegian stop motion-animated feature film directed by Ivo Caprino. It was released in 1975 and is based on characters from a series of books by Norwegian cartoonist and author Kjell Aukrust. It is the most widely-seen Norwegian film of all time, having sold some 5.5 million tickets since its release to a population which currently numbers just 4.9 million!!!

Here is the car in action!

The family that made the hit movie also made a full size working version of the stop motion animated car, and it’s a hit where ever it goes!

As always, if you want to be an expert, go to Wikipedia for lots of info on the movie and its history. Or just go to the site of the creators of the movie, and the car and take a look around!

As for the full scale car they did an amazing job of making a fantastic looking and sounding star car!

Listen to this motor as it comes off a trailer!

It’s obvious it is a well loved star car in Norway if you watch the videos of the car driving around on youtube.  Hey, it’s an official Star Car when people take the time to crossgeek

it with other starcars, like James bond! Ian Fleming actually headed up a comando unit in Norway during WWII . He also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang all before this film came out, so Fleming’s influence can be seen as well in the Tempo Gigante.

On a side note on CrossGeeking (TM nate Truman 2003) it is rumored that Lucas used the race scene from this movie as a inspiration for the StarWars Pod race

in Episode one!  StarWars experts, what do you think? Arab backer, problems on the starting line, mid race repairs, dirty tricks, I can see why it came up!

May just be that Norway knows this movie so well, when they saw Star Wars, many fans saw the similarities?  We may never know! Star Wars fans have stated “The podrace sequence on Tatooine appears heavily influenced, if not lifted wholesale, from the chariot race in Ben-Hur. Other films likely to have influenced the pod race are Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause, which featured actor James Dean, a partial inspiration for Anakin Skywalker’s character, and John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix, which not only features the Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune but also features camerawork done by Lucas himself.”

The Arab backer seems familiar though…..

Anyway, that’s what I thought the car is, but now looking at it, it looks more like it’s got three wheels and it has paint brushes.   It’s also not included in the new version of the shirt, so anyone else have a guess?  It’s not the back of  Il Tempo Gigante! from The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, but it did make me finally write about it!

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