James Bond Lotus Esprit Submarine Car Headed for RM Auctions

Chances are, if you were asked to name your favourite James Bond, Roger Moore would be extremely high up on your list. We remember him for many movies such as Live and Let Die, The Man with a Golden Gun, the famous Moonraker and the one in topic today – the Spy who Loved Me. This was the movie where Lotus stole the limelight properly with the Lotus Esprit.

The Lotus Esprit Series 1 in the movie was a “Submarine Car” and was known as “Wet Nellie”. No explanation need as even the younger generation has watched the car thanks to YouTube. RM Auctions has secured one of the 6 Wet Nellies used in the film for their upcoming auctions from September 8-9.

This one is said to have appeared in the movie longer than the rest of the cars. The history of the car goes that it was built by Perry Oceanographic, based in Riviera Beach, Florida. In the movie, it was driven by Don Griffin, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and test pilot for Perry. Back then the car cost $100,000 to build, equivalent to $500,000 in today’s money!

After being used for filming under water in the Bahamas, the car was shipped to Long Island, NY on a 10 year rental space paid in advance. In 1989 it was a put under a ‘blind’ auction and has then been shown in various events including at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Auctions, Europe, says:

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!

Published: June 28, 2013 11:59 pm

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