Remember Captain Nemo’s six-wheeler?

23 June, 2015

Even the presence of Sean Connery couldn’t lift the 2003 flick The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen out of the doldrums. Critically pasted at the time — it scored a woeful 17 per cent on international movie site, Rotten Tomatoes — most critics feeling that the film’s creators had strayed too far from the source material: Alan Moore’s series of graphic novels. However, one of the movie’s saving graces was Captain Nemo’s amazing six-wheeler car.

Deigned by production designer and art director Carol Spier, Nemo’s steampunk-inspired car actually started life as a humdrum Land Rover fire tender. The Landie’s chassis was then draped with a fibreglass body embellished with antique gold-looking decorations that took their design cues from the Hindu god Ganesha.  The car’s wheels each measure 72cm and, hidden within the arches, are hydraulics enabling the car’s ride height to be adjusted.

Powered by a Rover V8, Nemo’s car was a totally functional bit of movie kit — and featured a fully trimmed interior complete with a complete set of Land Rover gauges. After several years in storage, the car is now showing some signs of wear as well as evidence of running repairs undertaken during filming.

However, Captain Nemo’s Nautilus car remains in full running condition and will go under the hammer at Coys Blenheim Palace auction on July 11. The car’s sale price is estimated to be in the range of £18,000–25,000 (NZ$41,500–57,600).

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.