Captain Nemo

Captain Nemo, Indian Prince…and Automotive Enthusiast? For the 2003 film adaptation of the Alan Moore comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, art director Carol Spier modified the chassis of a Land Rover Fire Tender with an elaborate fiberglass body to represent the car of Captain Nemo, iconoclastic submarine skipper from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Verne originally conceived Nemo to be a Polish exile, but later in the novel The Mysterious Island, described him to be an Indian prince with a grudge against the British Empire. In a nod to Nemo’s Indian heritage, the nearly 23-foot-long six-wheeled convertible featured in the film—named Nautilus, like Nemo’s submarine—sports elaborate sculptures of the Hindu elephant deity Ganesha for headlight fixtures.  

Other features included oversized wheels, artificially aged gold scrollwork and hydraulic lifts. While one vehicle was used solely to feature its faux-leather-upholstered interior, the other had a V8 engine allowing it to roll at up to 80 miles per hour—though not on public roads! That car was auctioned at Coy’s Blenheim Palace auction in July 2015 for the equivalent of $45,000. 

The following year North Carolina car builder Ken Freeman built a gorgeous replica of the car named Spirit of Nemo, this time assembled from two Cadillac limousines. That rose to nearly four times the price of the original movie prop in an eBay auction.

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