London – 007’s submarine car, used by Roger Moore’s James Bond in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, has sold at auction for nearly a million dollars.
The Associated Press reports that the iconic Lotus Espirit sold at RM Auctions for 550,000 pounds, or $865,000, on Monday. In the film, Moore drove the car off a pier to escape a helicopter attack. It transformed into an aquatic vehicle in one of the most memorable scenes in the film.
“We have a great track record in selling incredible and iconic movie cars, and this particular Lotus is certainly up there amongst the most famous cars of all time,” RM Auctions Managing Director Max Girardo said.
Unfortunately, the selling price was actually well below the auction house’s initial estimates. RM had hoped that the 007 submarine car would sell for 950,000 pounds, but low-balled it at 650,000. The vehicle can’t be driven on the road, but it is actually a fully operational submarine.
According to Fox News, the Lotus Espirit submarine actually disappeared for many years. In 1989, it was found in a storage unit in Long Island, NY, that was sold in a blind auction. It’s owner at the time is unknown.
The vehicle has since been fully restored, and is the only functional sub car left of the six built for the film.
Despite being such a rare find, the selling price also came far lower that other more recognizable props from the Bond series. The Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in the film Goldfinger recently sold at auction for $4.1 million, for example.
Fun fact: The 007 submarine car was affectionately nicknamed “Wet Nellie” on the set.