James Bond 007 Bell Model Helicopter Sold for £25,300 in Automobilia Sale

UK-US Bidding Tussle

27/09/2021     General News

A model of a Bell 47G Helicopter used in the filming of the James Bond classic ‘You Only Live Twice’ is for sale with H&H Classics in a timed auction that ended on Sunday September  26th. estimated to sell for an estimate of £18,000 to £22,000 was knocked down for £25,300. There were some 304 lots of  highly collectable automobilia in the sale.

James Bond 007 Bell Helicopter

The buyer is a London based collector and the underbidder was from California the USA. There was very keen bidding throughout the sale. 

Adam Sykes, Head of Automobilia at H&H Classics says: “This was a very important piece of British Film history so we were not surprised by the level of interest from around the world.”

He added: “This is a unique opportunity to purchase an important piece of James Bond Memorabilia with impeccable provenance, coinciding perfectly with the release of the eagerly-awaited 'No Time to Die' film.”

Over 95% of the lots on offer changed hands for in excess of £70,000 - A staggering 1,185 absentee bids were received.

The model helicopter is believed to be the last remaining, 007 Bell 47G Helicopter props out of four originals created and used in the movie. This model is significantly larger and more impressive than the only other example publicly sold. It measures a whopping 9 feet in length, dwarfing the other example sold at just 6 and a half feet in length. Julien’s Auctions, USA sold a smaller example (rumoured to have been for static promotional use only with zero screen time) for $23,040.00 in May 2014). 

These four scaled-down helicopters were used in perhaps the most iconic of all James Bond action sequences where Sean Connery can be seen flying his Ken Wallis-built Auto Gyro (affectionately known as 'Little Nellie') through the mountains, closely pursued by four enemy Bell 47G helicopters in black. 


James Bond 007 Bell Helicopter sold H&H Classics

Whilst this sequence was supposed to be taking place over Mount Fuji, the actual footage was captured in Spain and the UK's Pinewood studios. The main helicopter flight was filmed above the village of Ebino, where aerial photographer Johnny Jordan famously lost a leg when the blades of another helicopter struck him whilst passing too close. Filming was cancelled and later completed in the skies above Torremolinos, Spain.

The helicopter measures over 9 feet in length, 4 feet in height and was built for Pinewood Studios by an old friend of the seller that has sadly now passed away - Dave Niemen; he built many planes and other aircraft for TV and cinema many years ago. The helicopter was recovered after supposedly being shot down during filming and supporting documentation on file explains the 'recovery mission'.

The helicopter does not fly, but could be made to. The models were 'flown' using gantry cranes and arm extensions during filming - everything was mechanical during this period, so there was plenty of smoke and mirrors involved in this process.

The model is offered with a comprehensive selection of paperwork and meticulous research from the vendor.