James Bond’s Lotus Esprit Submarine up for Auction

James Bond Lotus Espirit Submarine

It’s not often we get to see genuinely iconic cars go up for sale, especially one driven by James Bond himself. But that’s exactly what’s about to happen.

In early September, what may be considered one of the most iconic film cars of all time is lining up for the auction block – the Lotus Esprit Series 1 Submarine Car.

Built for the 1977 classic The Spy Who Loved Me, “Wet Nellie” is a fully-functioning submarine car, cost upwards of $100,000 to make (around $500,000 in 1977 money,) and was driven in the movie by an ex Navy SEAL and test pilot.

Some Interesting History

James Bond Lotus Esprit

After The Spy Who Loved Me was shot, the car was put into a storage unit in Long Island, NY for ten years, all paid in advance. They must have forgotten about it, because after those ten years, the rent went delinquent, and as you know from Storage Wars

And this auction wasn't exactly publicized. Nobody had any idea that this was the sub car James Bond drove in the 007 film ten years prior. Even the buyers...

Until, after paying relatively nothing for the car, they actually got in and looked at it.

The car's been shown on occasion here and there, but mostly kept under tight security, I'd imagine, waiting for the day to bring the owners enough dough for about five generations to retire comfortably.

The car will be sold at auction in London by RM Auctions, the same folks that managed to sell what is without question the most popular car in the world - the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger and Thunderball and winner of our Most Iconic Bond Cars of all Time – for a cool £2.9 million (about $4.4 million right now.)

Chris Burdick

Chris Burdick

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I founded Automoblog.net in May of 2006. I'm an avid sports car and supercar enthusiast. My favorite cars include the Audi R8, Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, and Koenigsegg CCX. I think the Ferrari 360 Spider is still one of the most beautiful cars in existence. For “normal” cars, I tend to lean towards imports - Nissan, Audi, and of course the Italians. I'm in love with my Pearl Yellow (don't judge) 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and plan to get around 550 HP to the rear wheels one day. I'm also a world traveler and have been backpacking Europe since March 2012, writing about cars along the way
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