Rural James Bond’ turns Land Rover into a ‘007 submarine’ and drives underwater
Nathan Gibbons has become the ‘rural James Bond’ over night, after completely transforming his 1987 Range Rover Classic into a 007 submarine that he drove completely submerged with water
A creative scrapman, who has been hailed the ‘rural James Bond’, has left car fans stunned after transforming his Range Rover Classic into a 007 submarine.
Nathan Gibbons enlisted the help of pals Andrew Tuff, 36, and Blake Capuano, 29, to convert the 1987 Range Rover Classic into an underwater vehicle, before holding his breath as he drove fully submerged in water.
Although work began back in April, the 34-year-old and his team got back together on July 18 to extend the exhaust with a 4ft drain pipe, allowing him to plunge the car underwater and drive it along the 8ft-deep pond bed.
Once the work was complete, Nathan put the submarine to the test, and drove into a pool of water in a field in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, with just the duct-taped engine ‘snorkel’ on show, while Blake captured the entire thing on film.
“It only took five minutes with a drain pipe and duct tape to extend the snorkel. It already had one on there but we wanted to make it taller so it could go right under,” Nathan, from Chesterfield, said.
“I wasn’t nervous at all – it didn’t really bother me. I just said, right I’m going. I held my breath, put my hand over my mouth and nose and I had my eyes shut.”
In the clip, the Range Rover can be seen emerging an entire 15 seconds later, with grinning Nathan sat calmly in the driving seat despite having to hold his breath while the water filled his car to the roof through its open windows.
“For that 15 seconds you feel like you’re in that James Bond car. It’s like a submarine, but because there’s holes in the bottom and the windows are open, the water comes in as quick as you’re driving. I did it loads of times. We were going to go deeper, but I’m glad I didn’t because I wouldn’t be able to hold my breath.”
Since pulling off the stunt, dad-of-three Nathan has told how he felt like a rural James Bond, driving Roger Moore’s Lotus Esprit S1 Wet Nellie underwater in The Spy Who Loved Me.
“I was pretty proud of it. It was just something we wanted to do as a few mates. I can’t believe how crazy it’s been on the internet. I’ve had friend requests from all around the world,” Nathan explained.
“The idea came after we were driving down the River Doe Lea in April and they’d dredged it out where they’d built a new bridge, so when it got to this deep part it went straight down and filled the engine with water. It took us two hours to get it out, so I thought ‘right, when the weather picks up the next plan is to go fully submerged’. It was nice at the weekend so we drove down.”
He added: “I’ve seen videos and every time they do it, they either break down or don’t go deep enough but I wanted to get it fully under.”
But, Nathan and the boys don’t plan to stop there. Next, they want to install pipes which would actually allow them to breath while under water so they can drive the vehicle the full length of the pond.
“We’ve got to repair the Range Rover first, but we’ve got a little Smart car and we’re on about making it do a jump in the water,” he added.