New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

James Bond’s Lotus submarine car fetches £550,000

One of the most famous film cars ever, the Lotus Esprit submarine car from “The Spy Who Loved Me”, sold at auction for £550,000.

James Bond’s Lotus submarine car for sale
The James Bond Lotus Esprit will be auctioned in September
3:19PM BST 10 Sep 2013
The Lotus Esprit submarine car famously driven by Sir Roger Moore in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me sold for £550,000 at an auction in London yesterday - £400,000 less than expected.
A telephone bidder fended off a female Bond fan bifdding in person at the RM Auctions sale in Battersea Park foe the white Lotus, which isn't capable of being driven.
Known on set as “Wet Nellie”, the Lotus Esprit Series 1 was described by the auction house as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. The price had been expected to creep towards £1 million, not least because the last Bond car to be sold, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, reached £2.9 million in 2010.
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).
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.
Source: The Telegraph, UK.

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