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A scrap man has been dubbed the "rural James Bond" after his creative thinking gave him the idea to transform his Range Rover Classic into a 007 submarine, leaving car fans amazed.
Nathan Gibbons, 34, from Chesterfield, along with his friends Andrew Tuff, 36, and Blake Capuano, 29, worked together on the unique project which saw them converting the 1987 Range Rover Classic into a vehicle built to sustain underwater conditions.
They began the work in April but reunited on 18 July to extend the exhaust with a 4ft drain pipe to act as a long snorkel, which allowed him to drive the car along the 8ft-deep pond bed, reports The Mirror.
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Dad-of-three Nathan then put his makeshift submarine to the test, driving into a pool of water in a field in Mansfield while Blake filmed the whole thing.
"It only took five minutes with a drainpipe 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 said.
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"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.
"It didn't really feel like the car was moving. I could just feel the rumbling that it was still running. 15 seconds feels like a long time when you're underwater," he continued.
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"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."
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"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."
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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."
Since pulling off the challenge, Nathan said he's 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," he said.
The success of the project has encouraged Nathan and his friends to install pipes that would allow them to take it even further and breathe underwater, driving the car the full length of the pond.
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- James Bond
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