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Lotus Esprit submarine car sells for disappointing total at auction

09-Sep-2013 • Collecting

One of the original Lotus Esprit submarine cars created for the 1977 James Bond adventure "The Spy Who Loved Me" sold at auction today, but did not reach the hammer price expected.

The vehicle was offered for sale for the first time today by RM Auctions in London and is the one and only fully functioning car especially designed and built for the famous underwater sequence seen on screen in the 1977 film. Abundantly authenticated, and known as ‘Wet Nellie’ on the set, it was developed from one of six Esprit body shells used in the making of the film. As the only car to be built into a fully operational, self-propelled ‘submarine’, by Perry Oceanographic, based in Riviera Beach, Florida, it is the vehicle which claimed the most screen time in the film.

Bidding kicked off at £100,000 with increments of £50,000 until the bids stalled at £450,000. After squeaking out another couple of bids, and trying to coax potential buyers with a smaller increment of £25,000, the hammer came down at a slightly disappointing £550,000. The auctioneers had expected it to fetch between £650,000 - £950,000.

Thanks to @007dossier for the alert.

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