James Bond's Lotus Esprit Submarine Car To Cross Auction Block | Edmunds.com
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James Bond's Lotus Esprit Submarine Car To Cross Auction Block


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Just the Facts:
  • James Bond's Lotus Esprit Series 1 submarine car is set to cross the auction block in September.
  • The car was the centerpiece of a memorable chase scene in The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • No pre-auction estimate was announced.

LONDON — James Bond's memorable submarine car — a modified Lotus Esprit Series 1 — is set to cross the auction block here in September.

The car was the centerpiece of a memorable chase scene in The Spy Who Loved Me. After being chased by a motorcycle, a car and a helicopter, actor Roger Moore as 007 pilots the Lotus off a dock and into the water.

The driver of the car for the stunt, however, was not Roger Moore but Don Griffin, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL. As seen in the film, the Esprit submarine car features four propellers and a periscope, along with various gadgets and weaponry.

No pre-auction estimate was announced.

The auction house says the white Lotus is a fully functioning submarine car that was designed and fitted to propel itself underwater. "Known as 'Wet Nellie' on the set, it was developed from one of six Esprit body shells used in the making of the film," said RM Auctions in a statement on Friday. "As the only car to be built into a fully operational, self-propelled 'submarine,' by Perry Oceanographic, based in Riviera Beach, Florida, it is the vehicle which claimed the most screen time in the film."

The auction house said the car was said to have cost over $100,000 in 1977, or the equivalent of nearly $500,000 today.

The car will be part of RM Auctions' September 8-9 sale.

RM Auctions sold the Aston Martin DB5 used by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball for the U.S. equivalent of $4.4 million during its 2010 London sale.

Edmunds says: In something of an understatement, RM Auctions is calling this iconic Bond car the "ultimate beach accessory."

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