Artist in residence at Warbirds & Wheels as part of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Warbirds & Wheels will run an artist in residence event as part of the up-coming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang exhibit, raising funds for charity

Queenstown-based Julian Ford has been chosen for the artist in residence stint which will be held 9am-5pm daily at Warbirds & Wheels from 13-19 April 2015 (breaks permitting).

During the week, Mr Ford will be inside the attraction to draw and paint an exclusive one-off painting of the car GEN11 –better known as the car from the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie.

Once completed, the rare piece will then be signed by Sir Peter Jackson himself and auctioned online via TradeMe in May, with all proceeds going to the Upper Clutha Medical Trust.

The aptly-named Ford is well-known for his paintings of cars, bikes and all things motorized and formerly worked as an engineer for the famous New Zealand rally car driver; the late Possum Bourne.

Swapping his spanners for paint brushes, Mr Ford took up painting just two years ago and has
kindly donated his time for the cause.

He will be in residence everyday for the week to not only paint Chitty but also offer insight and advice to budding artists and speak with the general public about his work.

People are encouraged to come and visit Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in all her glory and get up-close and personal with Julian for this one-off event.

Warbirds & Wheels general manager Naomi Lindsay said the artist in residence was aimed at appealing to a different market.

“Warbirds & Wheels is well-known for our classic cars and Warbirds, however we also have an art string to our bow. As well as the RealArt Roadshow in-house and Wanaka Wearable Arts exhibit, we currently have the largest collection of Grahame Sydney artwork.”

“Having Julian as artist in residence for the week is a great opportunity for us to marry our love of cars with art and we’re confident it will appeal to locals and visitors alike. We’re also working with local schools and art groups on ways to expand the reach of the week even further,” said Ms Lindsay.

Mr Ford said the chance to be involved with Chitty was a “huge honour”.

“I was very lucky to be one of a great team that worked for the late Kiwi rally driver Possum Bourne. It was a dream to get that job. Sadly it all came to a tragic end after Possum passed away,” said Mr Ford.

“After Possum's accident I started drawing again. I always wanted to get to the stage of painting as it had always been a passion of mine, but I didn’t have the time or inspiration.”

“Now I am painting and loving it. I get great pleasure in seeing a painting come to reality. The opportunity to sit in residence at Warbirds & Wheels for one whole week and focus on nothing but art is another dream come true,” Mr Ford said.

“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a favourite movie of mine as a kid and the chance to be able to draw a one-off painting of her is just a huge privilege.

“The fact I am able to give back and help raise funds for a local charity is just an added bonus,” said Mr Ford.

More events to celebrate the arrival of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit for details.

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