• May 12, 2007
For many of us in our 30s, the white Lotus Esprit S1 driven by Roger Moore as James Bond in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me represents our first exposure to Lotus and the beginning of a long love affair with the British marque. After all, the Esprit was one of the most exotic and different-looking cars those young eyes had ever set on at the time ( and the S1still looks fantastic today). What made the Bond car special, however, was its incredibly cool alternate mode, which we were introduced to when Bond, being pursued by a helicopter, drives it off a pier into the water in a bid to escape (insert British-car electrical system joke here).

We know what happens, of course. The Lotus transforms into what is quite possibly the slickest make-believe submarine ever, dispatches the pursuing chopper with a missile from its vertical launch tubes (which happen to share the exact same real estate as the engine -- another Q Branch packaging miracle -- wink, wink), performs reconnaissance on the evil Stromberg's underwater hideout, and then, in a great scene, returns to the mainland via a crowded beachfront.

And now you can buy it. Next week at Coys Monaco auction, a completely refurbished "submarine mode" prop car from The Spy Who Loved Me will cross the block. During the filming, two complete cars and two bodyshells were used, and the car for sale was purchased as a shell in the Bahamas. Lotus confirmed its authenticity to the buyer, and then provided him with complete technical specifications so that it could be restored to full Bond-car glory. There's no running-gear in it at all (the sub-mode cars apparently didn't have any), and we think this would make one seriously impressive home decoration -- easily surpassing the Countach wall-hanging. If we had, you know, a 20,000 sq. ft. house and money to burn, we'd be there, paddle in hand. Alas, we'll make do with the Corgi Junior version we still possess today. Coys expects the sale to net somewhere between €30,000 - €40,000. And no, guys, Barbara Bach (a.k.a. Anya Amasova, a.k.a Agent XXX, a.k.a. Mrs. Ringo Starr) is not included.

[Source: Coys via Hemmings]

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Beside being extremely cool, this car has always had a place in my heart as I knew a kid whose Grandfather built the sub version. He had build photos in his room.

      I think that it put the idea in my head that there were people out the that made the things that amazed me at the movies and that they were way cooler than the actors and the characters they portrayed on the screen.
      • 7 Years Ago
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      ISN'T THAT ONE OF LUTZ'S DREAM CARS, AFTER ALL THE GM COMMITTEES AND ACCOUNTANTS HAVE MET ON WHETHER TO PRODUCE IT?

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      • 7 Years Ago
      I recall reading somewhere that in filming they had trouble because the car was designed to generate downforce, and in water it wanted to dive all by itself.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This would be cool to mount at the bottom of your swimming pool...