The fully-operational James Bond car Lotus Esprit has sold for £550,000 ($865,000) through RM Auctions in the UK. The final price tag is less than the bidding guide had set it, which was between £650,000 and £950,000.
The car was used in the underwater scene of the 1977 Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, with Roger Moore. It toured several different car shows worldwide until the late 1980s before finally being stored in New York.
Many different 007 cars have auctioned for large sums of money in the past, such as the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, which sold for £2.9 million.
There were, in fact, six different models of the Lotus Esprit used in filming. Just one was made fully operational, making it an enticing bid for any serious Bond collector with the bank account to back it up.
“Over the years, millions of moviegoers have stared in awe as the Lotus transformed itself into a submarine,” said Max Girardo, managing director of RM Auctions Europe. “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.”
Peter Haynes, also of RM Auctions, added, “Bearing in mind it is not a car that can be driven on the road, the price just goes to prove the draw that all Bond-related memorabilia has.”
See the Lotus Esprit in action: