The submarine Lotus Esprit in a scene from the James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me. Credit:YouTube
Remember James Bond's submarine car, a Lotus Esprit used in the film "The Spy Who Loved Me"? This classic car that might be considered by a lot of people as one of the coolest movie cars in history is now heading to the auction block.
The aquatic white Lotus Esprit Series 1 was driven by Roger Moore in the James Bond offering in 1977 will be consigned by RM Auctions as bidders head to Battersea Park in London in September.
According to a press statement of RM Auction, the Lotus submarine car cost the James Bond production about $100,000 or about $500K in today's money. The car known as the "Wet Nellie" is one of the six submarine car shells built for the movie. However, the Series 1 Lotus Esprit up for grabs is the only fully functional submarine vehicle today and the most famous of the vehicles used during the filming.
The car submarine was built by Florida-based company Perry Oceanographic. The Lotus had the most minutes on screen among the vehicles used for the James Bond flick.
The auction house did not disclose any official pre-auction estimates but an insider revealed to BBC that the Lotus Esprit 1 can fetch as much as $760,000.
"Subsequent to filming the underwater scenes in the Bahamas, the vehicle was shipped to Long Island, NY, where it was kept in an unassuming storage unit on a ten year rental, paid in advance. Fate later intervened when, in 1989, the then rent delinquent unit was put up 'blind' for public auction. A modest winning bid from an area couple brought surprise and wonder when the blankets were removed to reveal the iconic 007 'Submarine' Car," RM Auctions shared some history of the James Bond submarine Lotus.
The vehicle went through a series of authentication. It was displayed occasionally but most of the time kept under the covers.
The James Bond Lotus Esprit submarine car has not been offered for sale before.
RM Auctions was also the one who sold the Aston Martin DB5 used by Sean Connery for the "Gold Finger." The Aston was sold in London for about $4.4 million in 2010.