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03
Jul
2013

James Bond's Lotus Submarine car to be auctioned

James Bond's Lotus Submarine car to be auctioned

The Lotus Esprit submarine car famously driven by Sir Roger Moore in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me has, for the first time ever, come up for sale. So if you've got some "loose" change read on!

 

Known on set as the “Wet Nellie”, the Lotus Esprit Series 1 will be auctioned in September this year. it's what is being described by the auction house in charge of the sale as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. With no reserve on the car, it is sure to attract a lot of attention, not least when you learn that the last Bond car to be sold, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, reached £2.9 million in 2010. Seriously?!

 

Although six Esprit bodyshells were used in filming, only one was converted to a fully operational submarine car. The work was carried out by Perry Oceanographic, a company based in Riviera Beach, Florida, and was reported to have cost more than $100,000 dollars (the equivalent of about $500,000 today). If you're the lucky bidder please make sure you test for any leaks :-)

 

In one of the most well-known scenes from the film, Bond drives the white Esprit off a jetty and underwater. Thanks to the work of Perry Oceanographic (or perhaps Q...), it could be operated using its motorised propellers and a lever steering system, with Don Griffin, a retired U.S. Navy Seal taking over from Moore for the filming.

 

Following filming, the Esprit was shipped from the Bahamas to Long Island, New York, where it was put into a storage container on a 10-year pre-paid rental. When the lease on the storage unit was up the contents were sold in a blind auction for what RM Auctions, which is handling the lastest sale, describes as a “modest” price. When the couple who won the bid discovered what they had bought, they had the Lotus positively authenticated. Although occasionally displayed, the car spent most of its time out of the public eye. How lucky are they going to be be when the hammer falls on auction day?

 

However, now the only fully functioning submarine car has resurfaced and is for sale, sure to tempt James Bond fans.

 

Max Girardo, managing director of RM Auctions Europe, says: “We have a great track record in selling incredible and iconic movie cars, and this particular Lotus is certainly up there amongst the most famous cars of all time. Over the years, millions of moviegoers have stared in awe as the Lotus transformed itself into a submarine, and now, perhaps one of them will have an opportunity to own it. Her Majesty’s Secret Service aside, it surely is the ultimate beach accessory!”

 

The Lotus Esprit submarine car features in RM Auctions London sale on 8-9 of September. For More information visit rmauctions.com.


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