Have you seen the Island’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka truck?
A COWES businessman has restored an old Bedford van to replicate its original design shown in a Warner Bros blockbuster. The truck owner, Lee Hawkes, has overseen its restoration to portray its design in director Tim Burton’s 2005 adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, featuring Johnny Depp. The van was a movie star, and now it has been returned to its former glory.
See our gallery of photos above Lee rescued the vehicle from a field near Gatwick seven years ago, purchasing the truck from its previous owner who worked on film sets. The van was initially blue when Lee bought it, as it had not long featured in the 2015 Tom Hardy flick, Legend.
Lee used the truck, in its blue colour, to haul beds around the Island for a few years as part of his business Beds ‘r’ Us, in Cowes. The van later went into storage with Lee aiming to restore the van to its former glory as a Wonka truck, and when he received confirmation that the vehicle starred in the film, the three-year restoration began. The restoration was handled by TW Body Repairs in Rookley.
There were only ever five Wonka trucks in existence, but sadly there are now only two – the one owned by Lee and the other features in The Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. The Wonka truck visited Cowes Primary School yesterday morning (Thursday), where it saw lots of smiling faces. The truck will leave the Island next Friday and soon after will be delivered to Herefordshire, where it will be stored and later put on the global market and auctioned around Christmastime.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the Wonka Truck, it was be stationed outside Baked by Jen on Cross Street, Cowes, today and tomorrow, where the bakery will be running Wonka themed bakes.
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