Speedboat driven by David Beckham in Olympic Opening Ceremony to be auctioned

David Beckham drives 'Max Power' down the River Thames Photo: Action Images

The speedboat that carried David Beckham and the Olympic Flame down the River Thames on the final leg of its journey to the stadium is to be auctioned on Monday.

An estimated 900 million people watched as the boat sped down the river synchronised to a massive pyrotechnic display that included a curtain of fire descending from Tower Bridge.

Torchbearer Jade Bailey carried the Torch right up to the shores of the Olympic Park where it was handed to five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and jogged into the stadium.

The boat is expected to raise around a quarter of a million pounds when it is auctioned at Bonhams on Monday.

A curtain of fire descends from Tower Bridge during the Olympic Opening Ceremony Credit: REUTERS/Paul Hanna

The speedboat - a Bladerunner BR RIB 35 - is called 'Max Power' and is fitted with two Mercury Verado V6 engines providing a maximum speed of 65 knots (75mph).

It was pimped out for the occasion with four fake rockets containing smoke canisters, as well as a high-pressure waterjet bar and dozens of lights.

Most of the bells and whistles have been stripped away ahead of the sale, although the rockets and torchbearer's seat have been retained.

'Max Power' has a top speed of 75mph Credit: Courtesy of Bonhams

Exactly how the Olympic Flame would complete its 8,000 mile journey to the stadium was a closely-guarded secret.

In order to keep it so, tests of the speedboat were conducted at a nature reserve on the River Hamble estuary.

While Beckham was happy to take the wheel, a more experienced pilot took over for the final approach to the Olympic Park, which involved navigating a network of canals.

The pilot had just 40 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 30 knots before slowing for a controlled docking.

Beckham's chance to drive the boat came on the Monday before the ceremony and he was such a natural at it that director Stephen Daldry cancelled a second rehearsal.

David Beckham passes under Tower Bridge driving a speedboat named 'Max Power' Credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Tim Schofield, the director of Bonhams UK Motor Car department said:

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'.

The speedboat comes with a genuine Olympic Torch from the official supplier.