The oldest generation of Bond fans will tell you that the Aston Martin DB5 is the definitive Bond car, but those a little younger will probably remember the Lotus Esprit as Bond’s best car, if only because the one 007 used in The Spy Who Loved Me turned into a submarine. The iconic Giugiaro wedge-shape designed Series 1 Lotus Esprit is a classic that you might not want to own unless your pockets are deep and your patients is long, but the one that James Bond drove into the water after one of the movie franchise’s best chase sequences might be a different story.
This one of a kind Lotus is being auctioned by RM Auctions in London during September 2013. The production company responsible for the 1977 movie had two working Esprits at hand for the chase sequences and six body shells, one of which was converted into the submarine. This piece of movie memorabilia was built by Perry Oceanographic in Florida and was taken underwater by ex-Navy SEAL Don Griffin during filming.
Rumours suggest that it cost £60,000 to develop and that it’s been in storage for the best part of 30 years in New York. This upcoming auction is the first time it’s been available to Bond fans. No one’s willing to guess how much this one off will fetch at auction, but it should be worth considerably more than any existing examples of the 1,000 Series 1 Lotus Esprits, which were built during a 23 month production run in the mid-1970s.
If you like your Bond cars but you’re not interested in the Lotus others that have been offered at auction include the Aston Martin DBS V12 that featured in the opening scenes of Quantum of Solace and an original Aston Martin DB5 seen in Goldfinger.