Need a submarine car? 007's watertight Lotus up for sale

Jul 3, 2013

Car Roger Moore drove underwater in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' goes under hammer

FOR years, the submarine car that Roger Moore drove into the ocean in The Spy Who Loved Me was thought to be lost. Now it has, er, resurfaced and is up for sale.

The heavily-modified Lotus Esprit, known on the 1977 filmset as Wet Nellie, is a dream purchase for any James Bond fan. Although six Esprit body shells were used during filming, Wet Nellie was the only one converted into a fully-operational submarine car.

However, the car may prove unattainable for most: the last Bond car to go under the hammer, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, went for £2.9 million in 2010.

In one of The Spy Who Loved Me's most celebrated scenes, Bond ends a high-speed chase by driving the white Esprit off a jetty and into the water (/see video below/). After converting into a sub, the car launches a missile at a helicopter circling above the waves.

According to the Daily Telegraph, after filming wrapped, the car was put in a storage unit in Long Island, New York. It remained there for more than ten years, presumed lost, until the pre-paid rent ran out and the unit's contents were offered for sale in a 'blind auction’.

The American couple who bought the car in 1989 with a "modest" bid were astonished to discover a piece of cinematic history among their purchases.

Max Girardo, managing director of the auction house selling the car in London in September, said he was pleased to give film fans the opportunity to own "the ultimate beach accessory".

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