The Lotus Esprit ‘Submarine’, best know from the James Bond 007 outing in the Spy Who Loved Me, is up for Auction at R.M. Auctions 2013 London sale.
James Bond and cars go together like bacon and eggs and, with the exception of the 007 Aston Martin DB5, the Lotus Esprit ‘Submarine’ car from the Spy Who Loved Me is probably the most iconic Bond car to have hit the big screen.
Piloted in the film by Roger Moore – with Mrs Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, at his side – the underwater version of the Esprit, one of six used in the film, was affectionately know to the crew as ‘Wet Nellie’ and actually piloted for the underwater scenes by former SEAL Don Griffin, who worked as a test pilot for the creators of the Esprit Submarine – Perry Oceanographic.
After filming ended it was sent of to a storage unit in Long Island, ten years rent was paid upfront but, when the 10 year rent period ended, no one stepped forward to claim the contents at they were sold off for a song to a local couple.
The Bond Esprit spent a bit of time – after it was authenticated as the real deal – in the Petersen Automotive Museum but most of the time it has been kept out of the public gaze – until now,.
Now the white Lotus Esprit is going under the hammer at R. M. Auctions London sale in September, without reserve, and is an opportunity for Bond loving buyers to snap up a bit of iconic memorabilia.
Max Girardo, RM’s European MD, said:
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.
If owning James Bond’s Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me floats your boat (is that a pun?) then grab an auction catalogue from RM and get to Battersea on 8/9 September.
How much is the Bond Esprit likely to cost? RM haven’t given an estimate, but it should be a chunk less than the £2.9 million the Bond DB5 went for.