Original James Bond 'submarine car' is up for sale
Ask anyone to name the most recognisable Bond car and, if they haven't already blurted out "Aston Martin DB5", will likely mention the white Lotus Esprit Series 1 that appears The Spy Who Loved Me.
The Lotus may not have boasted the same kind of quintessential British charm as the Aston but its trump card was that it dramatically transformed into a submarine, as well as packing enough firepower to have the RAF blushing.
The vehicle to be offered by RM Auctions at its forthcoming London sale, 8-9 September, in Battersea Park, is the one and only fully functioning car especially designed and built for the famous underwater sequence seen on screen in the 1977 film.
As the only car to be built into a fully operational, self-propelled 'submarine', by Perry Oceanographic, based in Riviera Beach, Florida, it is the vehicle that claimed the most screen time in the film.
Following its role, the Lotus was shipped to Long Island, New York where it was stored until the lease ran out. The contents of the storage container were sold in a 'blind auction' to a couple who, upon authenticating the car, realised they had stumbled on a veritable gold mine. Since then, it has largely remained out of the public eye.
RM Auctions sold "the most famous car in the world", the Aston Martin DB5 used by Sean Connery in the enormously popular Goldfinger and Thunderball movies, for an incredible £2.9 million during its 2010 London sale.
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."