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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Bond buggy under hammer
Sean Connery as Bond escaped in the moon buggy
Sean Connery as Bond escaped in the moon buggy
James Bond's famous moon buggy from the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever is to be sold at auction.

The vehicle, remembered by 007 fans for transporting Bond actor Sean Connery, is expected to fetch more than 150,000 at the sale on 31 July at London's Planet Hollywood restaurant.

It is being sold by owner Graham Rye, the creative director of the James Bond 007 International Fan Club and Archive.

For the past eight years, Rye has lent out the buggy to theme restaurant Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, where it has been centrepiece of the movie props display.

Diamonds Are Forever poster
In the film, the buggy helped Bond escape across the desert

Speaking about the importance of the buggy, Rye said: "The moon buggy has a unique place, not only in the James Bond film series but in movie history.

"Unlike other vehicles driven by James Bond, the moon buggy is a true one-off. There was only one ever built."

Rye, who owns one of the largest collections of James Bond memorabilia, will include a collection of original James Bond posters in the sale.

But it is the moon buggy, based on a drawing by Oscar-winning production designer Ken Adam, which is expected to be the most sought after item of the sale.

Popular

Smart, often outlandish, forms of transport have always been one the hallmarks of the 19 James Bond movies.

Diamonds Are Forever was the seventh in the series and therefore the inventiveness of the moon buggy made a big impact on audiences.

Ursula Andress'  bikini from Dr No
Ursula Andress' bikini from Dr No

It was chosen to feature in a worldwide poster campaign for movie, even if its appearance on screen was brief.

In the film, Bond is sent to investigate the existence of a worldwide diamond smuggling operation.

He comes up against the evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld who, masquerading as a casino owner, is behind the jewel scam.

The moon buggy comes into play when it is used by Bond to escape across the Nevada Desert, pursued by Blofeld's henchmen.

Previous Bond memorabilia sales have proved highly popular, with fans flocking to snap up a piece of their secret agent hero.

In February, for example, the bikini worn by Ursula Andress in the first Bond movie Dr No was sold for 35,000 at Christie's auctioneers in London.

In 1998, the steel-rimmed bowler hat used to deadly effect by Bond villain Oddjob in 1964's Goldfinger sold for more than 62,000 at auction, also at Christie's in London.

See also:

14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Bond at a premium
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Bond bikini sells for 35,000
27 Dec 99 | UK
Bond lovers mourn Q
19 Nov 99 | Shaken Not Stirred
Four decades of Bondage
17 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Oddjob's hat bowls them over
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