007 James Bond Lotus Esprit 'Submarine Car' goes on sale

One of the original 'gadget cars' belonging to 007 is heading to auction

007 might be the main character but it was his submersible Lotus Esprit 1 Series which stole the limelight in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me

The Lotus Esprit Series 1 'Submarine Car' used in the James Bond 007 film The Spy Who Loved Me is to be put up for auction for the first time since it was discovered in a storage container in 1989.

Custom built for the film, the Esprit Series 1 was adapted into the 'Submarine Car' by Perry Oceanographic and was rumoured to cost around $100,000 at the time, or nearly $500,000 in today's money.

The car was driven by retired U.S. Navy SEAL and test pilot for Perry Oceanographic, Don Griffin and was featured in the iconic underwater chase scene where Bond is chased by henchman.

After filming the car was put in storage in New York with the rent paid in advance. When the rent expired in 1989 the storage unit was put up for blind auction which subsequently resulted in a couple from the local area getting a fairly considerable shock when they won the bid.

The car has been authenticated as was well known as 'Wet Nellie' on set. The Esprit is arguably one of the more extreme Bond car creations comparing even with Bond's 'invisible' Aston Martin Vanquish, although we try not to remind ourselves.

RM Auctions, who will be selling the underwater sports car recently sold the classic Aston Martin DB5 which appeared in Goldfinger and Thunderball for a cool £2.9m.