After spending years in storage and out of the public eye, the Lotus Esprit car-cum-submarine used in the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me will be up for auction in London this September.
The fully submersible car, created for the Roger Moore flick, was built with motorized propellers and a levered steering mechanism to perform scenes underwater. It cost $100,000 to make (around $400,000 today), but when filming wrapped, the car was left in a storage container until 1989. Left forgotten, the contents of the container were auctioned off, sight unseen, to a local couple and has remained with the private owners, out of public attention since.
RM Auctions, who is hosting the sale, previously auctioned off another Bond car, an Aston Martin DB5 seen in Thunderball and Goldfinger for $4.4 million. Max Girardo, RM’s managing director in Europe commented:
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!