Movie car replica draws a crowd

Movie car replica draws a crowd

A few hundred people, some admittedly hoping Dick Van Dyke might make an unexpected appearance, stood in line in downtown Danville Friday morning to get their picture taken with the custom-built replica of the car from the 1968 movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

For a donation to Van Dyke's foundation, people could pose next to the car, brought here by owner and New Yorker Tony Garofalo,  who hung around to answer questions and sign autographs himself.

Diane Lazell of Danville stood in line for about 20 minutes along with her son's fiance, Jenna Creed, and Creed's two-year-old niece, Aubree, to get their pictures taken with the car from the 1968 movie.

Cheryl Vergin also headed downtown Friday — not only to see the car, but also to give a $500 donation to Van Dyke's foundation.

Her daughter, Kayla Dillman, was in the Danville High production of "Bye Bye Birdie" in 2004, the last time Van Dyke returned to Danville, where he briefly sang and danced on stage with kids.

Van Dyke was a great inspiration to Dillman, who pursued a performing arts career for a decade in New York and California before returning to the Midwest, her mother said.

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