Classic Cars

007 Lotus Esprit Submarine Car Up for Auction

Sale of James Bond’s iconic Lotus Esprit submarine car represents once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of most famous film cars of all time.

Think of an iconic Bond car and the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball is the first to spring to mind. But a close second is the white Lotus Esprit Series I ‘Submarine’ car that Roger Moore used to awesome effect in The Spy Who Loved Me, which is soon to be crossing the auction block. At RM Auctions London sale in September, the one and only fully-functional car developed from one of six Esprit body shells used in the 1977 film and created especially for the famous underwater sequence will be up for sale.

Known as ‘Wet Nellie’ on set, the Lotus was transformed into a fully operational self-propelled submersible by Florida-based Perry Oceanographic at a cost of over $100k (equivalent to five times that today).

After shooting the underwater scenes in the Bahamas, the submarine car was kept in a storage unit for over a decade before the rent delinquent unit in Long Island went up for public auction ‘blind.’ The iconic 007 car was duly discovered to the delight of its owners who paid a modest some for the storage facility. It has since been kept in good nick with occasional showings including time at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

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