The Bond 1977 Lotus Submarine Found in a Storage Unit, Now for Sale

By

4th Jul, 2013

Like most Bond girls, once 007 had his way with her, this 1977 Lotus Esprit ‘submarine’ was cast aside, while James took his pick from an endless line up of other purring beauties. After filming in the Bahamas for her starring role in The Spy Who Loved Me, the submergible sports car was shipped to Long Island, holed away in a storage unit with a few years of pre-paid rent, and eventually forgotten.  A decade later in 1989, rent was overdue and the storage unit was put up for “blind” public auction. A local couple bought the mystery unit without knowing its contents for a modest winning bid. When they opened it up and removed the blankets, there she was, the most outrageous car in Bond  history. The couple showed the iconic 007 car briefly at an automotive museum before it went off the radar again– until now.

The Lotus submarine, nicknamed by the Bond film crew as “Wet Nellie” is fully functional underwater and is the actual car seen cruising underwater in the film, complete with folding wheels, fins and periscope. It was built for over $100,000 at the time from the shell of a standard Lotus Esprit. London-based RM auctions (in association with Sotheby’s) will be handling the sale in September of this year, the same auction house that sold Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball, for £2.9 million in 2010.

Above, Roger Moore and his Spy Who Loved Me co-star Barbara Bach, pose with a Lotus Esprit in the garden of Pinewood Studios, but it’s unlikely Moore ever did any underwater driving himself. The stunt driver of the Lotus submarine was actually a retired US Navy seal, Don Griffin who operated the submergible with its motorised propellers and levered steering mechanisms.

When the car dives into the water from the pier in the movie, it is the actual Lotus, manned with stunt dummies, accelerated with compressed-air rockets.  While most of the movement of the Lotus underwater was filmed with the real car, a 1:4 scale model was also used for certain shots. At around the 1 minute 17 sec mark of this movie clip, I’m guessing it’s the smaller replica.

YouTube Preview Image

The crew tried several tactics to ensure their recordings did not show the escaping air bubbles from the car, but failed. Griffin wore normal diving equipment and air bubbles are clearly visible escaping from the Lotus in the film.

 

*P.S. Torpedoes and Bong girl not included.

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

 

 

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Internet Scrapbook

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

delaney

The Miniature Library of Forgotten Curiosities

If you can't have your own velvet-curtained library complete with dusty volumes, mysterious documents and antique treasures, how about a miniature one? On my internet travels today, I stumbled upo...

Trending 2,686
catacombs25

Penetrating the Paris Catacombs: Level One

We were told to dress in inconspicuous clothing, wear sturdy boots and gloves, bring food supplies, an ID in case of arrest and a rosary in case of the unimaginable. We met our host to the underworl...

Trending 8,503
dopples

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol.XCVII)

1. A Biblical Theme Park in Florida Photographer Daniel Cronin to the ancient and sacred land of Orlando, Florida to visit The Holy Land Experience, a Biblical theme park owned and operated by the...

Trending 20,812
connecticut

For Sale! The Ghost Town that Nobody Wanted

Johnsonville, Connecticut may be completely void of (human) inhabitants at present and characterised by those particular houses where one might occasionally see the faint shadows of children in ni...

Trending 158,398