(CBS) — He did something most of us could never even dream of doing: He built a car, but not just any car.
CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says Mat Klemp is someone you should know.
It’s a car that no one else can own, and it’s so rare people have to ask what it is, unless you are a movie buff.
It’s a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the vehicle featured in the 1968 movie of the same name starring Dick Van Dyke.
Klemp, a LaGrange resident, built it all from scratch.
“I saw the movie when I was a little boy, and saw Dick Van Dyke build a car. I thought I could do that same thing,” he says. “Then finally one Christmas I got a model of the car. That inspired me to actually dig in and actually do the work.”
Klemp is a mechanical engineer, so building a car like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang came naturally to him. It took four years to build.
The original car was made for the movie. There’s no such thing, and it was never produced.
Klemp’s version has a license and can be legally driven in Illinois.
“It goes about 50 miles an hour,” he says.
The movie version of the vehicle had wings; Klemp is working on that for his version.
But will it actually fly, like the car in the movie?
“Once,” Klemp says, “and I don’t want to be around for the landing.”