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Bond's submarine car for sale

2013-07-25 12:35

SUMBARINE RESURFACES: The submersible Lotus used in the James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, will go on auction in September. Image: Newspress

LONDON, England - A white Lotus Esprit car driven underwater in the James Bond film 'The Spy Who Loved Me' is to go under the hammer at Battersea, London in September.

The 1977 car was one of six built to be a fully functional submarine for scenes in the film and experts expect it to attract bids equivalent to several million rands.

"WET NELLIE"

The car, known on the set as 'Wet Nellie', was driven in the underwater sequences by a retired US Navy Seal, Don Griffin, who had to wear goggles and carry oxygen, since the cabin was not pressurised. At the time, the car was said to have cost over $100 000 to create (equivalent to nearly a R1-million today).

According to RM Auctions, the Lotus was kept in lock-up storage in New York for years until a couple bought the property in a so-called "blind auction" with no knowledge of the contents of a container kept at the building.

An Aston DB5 sports car used in the movies 'Goldfinger' and 'Thunderball' was sold in 2010 for the equivalent of R28.3m at the current exchange rate, making it one of the world's most expensive pieces of automotive film memorabilia. In 2010 it had a value of R32.2m when it was sold.
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