007's Lotus Esprit submarine car from the movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" went under the hammer Monday at RM Auctions in London. With RM's estimated value between $1 million and $1.5 million, the famous movie car fell just shy of expectations, selling for $967,000, including commissions. But for the couple selling the swimming car, that figure still makes for a profit that Goldfinger would envy.
After filming the movie, the vehicle did the obligatory rounds, where the cars are often as popular as the actors. Once its duties were complete, the vehicle was placed into a storage container in Holbrook, N.Y., with the rent paid in advance for ten years. Eventually, in 1989 after being "forgotten about," the rent delinquent unit was put up for blind public auction, where the winning bidders reportedly paid less than $100, simply hoping to find some tools. One can't imagine the couple's surprise when the container was opened to reveal one of the most iconic movie cars of all-time.
Other than some roof damage, the car was entirely intact. And while towing it home, the couple, who wouldn't disclose their names, recall how the CB radios were alight with truckers bragging about their sighting of James Bond's submarine, nicknamed by the movie's producers as "Wet Nellie."
While the $967,000 sale price stands as a huge chunk less than the $4.6 million fetched for Bond's 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in 2010, I doubt the sellers are too concerned. After all, it's not a bad return for their 100 bucks. This marks the conclusion of the couple's surprise ride as owners of 007's Lotus submarine.
Photo: RM Auctions