James Bond's submarine Lotus sports car for sale
The Esprit from 'The Spy Who Loved Me' heads to auction after years hidden away in a Long Island storage unit.
Roger Moore's Lotus Esprit submarine car from the 1977 James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" occupies one of the lower tiers of that on-screen auto hierarchy, but it's no less cool when parked in an owner's garage.
As Bond cars go, it's no Aston Martin DB5, but it's still one of the most easily recognizable from the Bond franchise. Seven different cars were used to make the Lotus look like it was transforming into a sub, though only one was a fully mobile sub designed by Perry Submarines.
RM Auctions is putting that particular Esprit Series 1 on the block in London on Sept. 8 and 9. The Lotus was doomed to the purgatory of a Long Island, N.Y., storage unit for much of its life. In 1989, a couple who bought the unit sight unseen unearthed the vehicle and have held on to it since. The car cost $100,000 when it was originally built, which comes out to $500,000 in 2013 dollars.
In the context of "The Spy Who Loved Me," the submarine car was perhaps one of the least memorable elements of the film. The movie is considered perhaps the best of the Roger Moore era and featured Barbara Bach as KGB agent Triple X, future staple Bond villain Jaws and the Carly Simon song "Nobody Does It Better."
At auction, however, the submersible Lotus may finally get its starring role. The last Bond car the auction house sold, the DB5 driven by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball," went for for $4.4 million in 2010.
"one of the least memorable elements"
Really? It's about the only thing I remember about the film.
That and Richard Kiel's grillwork.
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