A James Bond submarine car is probably the right gift for the man who has everything. RM Auctions, which previously sold the Aston Martin DB5 used by Sean Connery in 1964’s Goldfinger, has announced that they plan to auction the Lotus Esprit Series 1 Submarine Car in September.
The amphibious vehicle was able to transform itself from car to submarine for Roger Moore in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me.
RM sold the Aston Martin for £2.9 million in a 2010 London sale — very roughly $4.4 million.
They appear to feel confident that the James Bond submarine car will attract a healthy price, because they had not set a reserve price on the vehicle.
According to the auction house, the car was fully functional underwater and cost $100,000 to create in 1977 dollars. After the filming in the Bahamas was finished, the car was in storage for a decade in New York.
There’s a slippery part where the person who had the James Bond submarine car in storage failed to pay the lease, and someone else won the underwater Lotus Esprit in an auction. Apparently, the car has since been “shown occasionally…but mostly kept under wraps, until now.”
So what will the underwater car sell for? That’s a good question. It isn’t unusual for an auction house to mention the price range that they expect to reach for an item. But RM Auctions hasn’t made such a statement.
Yahoo! Movies guessed that the bidding might reach the seven figures, based on the high prices bid for less distinctive James Bond memorabilia. For instance, a Roger Moore Rolex Oyster watch worn in 1973’s Live and Let Die sold in 2011 for almost $232,000.
By the way, did you know that someone developed a real deal Lotus Esprit that drives underwater? Here is BBC footage from 2012 that shows a Lotus driving through the water like a submarine:
Just in case you’re planning to put in your bid for the one that Roger Moore used, there are many more pictures of the James Bond submarine car on the auction house site.