James Bond has had a lot of famous cars. My personal favorite will always be the white Lotus Esprit used in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The car meets an explosive end during an early scene in one of my favorite Bond movies, “For Your Eyes Only.” At that point it is replaced with a red Lotus, but there was something about the look of the white one that I loved. And that was before it turned into a submarine. On September 8th the submarine version of the Lotus will be auctioned off by RM Auctions.
The Lotus submarine is expected to go for close to a million dollars. While it wasn’t the only car used in the underwater shots it was the most important one. When Bond drives his car under water the Lotus’ wheels retracted (that was one car) and then fins extended out of the wheel wells (that was another car). The car up for auction is the third underwater car, the one that actually drove. The Lotus sub didn’t actually keep water out, so the person really driving it during the filming had to wear full scuba gear. It also doesn’t convert. Despite its looks it’s strictly an underwater vehicle.
The craziest thing about the story is the owner of the car bought it in a storage locker auction way back in 1989. He paid 100 dollars for it.