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Classic Cars

RM Auctioning the Submersible Lotus Esprit from 'The Spy Who Loved Me'

The only car built for underwater scenes

 
 
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RM Auctioning the Submersible Lotus Esprit from 'The Spy Who Loved Me'

RM Auctions is selling the only LotusLotusLotusUnited Kingdom, 1952 > present68 models
954 photos
7 videos
EspritAlpine GT Gen.1Renault Alpine GT Gen.1France, 1985 > 19914 versions
6 photos
prepared by the makers of the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" that could actually function underwater. The car will be for auction at its September 8-9 sale in London. 

The car was built for the underwater scenes in the 1977 Bond film and was one of six Esprits used in the film. It still works as a fully functional, self-propelled submarine and was built by Perry Oceanographic in Florida. In the scenes in the film, it was driven by a test pilot from Perry who was a retired U.S Navy SEAL. The propellers operate using throttles and maneuvering is done with levers. When it was made in 1977, the car cost $100,000 to build or $384,398 in today's money.

The car's story after the film is nearly as interesting as being the star of a Bond film. After filming, it was shipped to a New York warehouse where it sat until 1989, but the warehouse's owner stopped paying the rent. The contents of the warehouse were sold blind to the highest bidder, and a married couple in the area bought the contents and found the Lotus inside. They had the car authenticated and displayed it at a few car museums. 

"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," said Max Girardo, RM Auctions Managing Director.

It is being auctioned at no reserve, so the highest bidder is sure to get the car.

Encyclopedia
LotusLotus
EspritEsprit
EspritEsprit
Engine
Straight 4
Displacement
120 cu in
Top Speed
137 mph
Transmission
5, Manual
Maximum power
162 hp @ 6200 rpm
Type
Fixed-head coupé
Fuel
Petrol
Fuel consumption (combined)
--
price
--
annual ownership cost
--

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