I have touched upon this car and the rest of Bond’s garage before. This Lotus Esprit needs no introduction as it’s one of the most famous movie cars of all time. I had the toy version and can remember firing the little red plastic missiles from its rear screen panel – I lost all of them pretty quickly. Even by today’s standards, the white submarine sports car looks as sleek as a shark – it looks like it was originally built to cut through water, not air.
To make this movie prop work, it cost £65,000, which in today’s money would buy you a £330,000 hypercar. Bond’s Lotus is coming up for sale at RM Auctions Europe. MD of the auction house, Max Girardo, said: “This particular Lotus is certainly up there amongst the most famous cars of all time.
“Over the years, millions of movie-goers 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.
“Her Majesty’s Secret Service aside, it surely is the ultimate beach accessory.”
The Lotus lay undiscovered in a Long Island, New York, storage facility for a decade until a lucky local couple won it in a blind auction in 1989.
It was originally built by Perry Oceanographic in Florida and was piloted by a retired US Navy Seal.
Raymond Benson, author of seven “official” posthumous Bond books, said: “I never used an underwater car in any of my Bond novels, but the Lotus in the film is one of my favourite vehicles in the 007 universe!”
I’m not sure how much people are prepared to pay for it, but an Aston Martin DB5 used in Goldfinger sold for a record-breaking £2.9 million in 2010.