The auction world has been hit with a wave of Olympic memorabilia since the Games this summer, but perhaps none so memorable as the speedboat which David Beckham piloted during the opening ceremony.
Bonhams has announced that it will offer the speedboat at its December 3 auction at the Brooklands race track in Surrey, UK. The memorable machine is expected to sell for £250,000 ($402,591).
It is estimated that 900m viewers from across the world watched as the football star completed the last leg of the Olympic torch relay in the 2008 Bladerunner BR RIB 35 on July 27. The high-speed journey down London's River Thames was matched with impressive pyrotechnic displays, including a "curtain of fire" from Tower Bridge, making it one of the highlights of the ceremony.
The "heavily-customised" boat was fitted with four dummy rockets with smoke canisters, a high pressure water jet bar and dozens of LED lights, and still retains these features for the sale. It will undoubtedly attract global attention, with much of the world still buzzing from the success of the Games.
Tim Schofield, from Bonhams' motor car department, commented: “After a fantastic summer of British sporting success, Bonhams is proud to offer for sale the ultimate souvenir from the Olympic opening ceremony – what has been dubbed ‘the greatest show on earth."
On November 6, bidders will have the chance to purchase the throne that gold medal-winning cyclist Bradley Wiggins sat on when celebrating his time trial victory at this year's Games. It will sell with a £15,000 ($24,000) high estimate. A torch autographed by Wiggins sold for £13,000 ($21,000) in August.