Aston Martin may get most of the credit for supplying 007 with his cars, but Lotus had its time under the sun as Bond’s transportation provider as well.
Under the sea, actually.
The Lotus Esprit S1 is the infamous ‘submarine car’ from 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, the same vehicle Roger Moore and Barbara Bach (Anya Amasova aka Agent XXX) used to escape the metal-mouthed Jaws in Sardinia.
Built by Perry Oceanopgraphic in 1976, the ‘wet sub’ is a wedge-shaped gadget on wheels, with equipment like a sea-to-air missile, cement sprayer, mine hatch, black dye squirter, and front-mounted torpedo launcher on board. Of course, the Lotus can also drive underwater.
One of the three remaining prop cars from the film has just been put on eBay for the price $1 million. Although the car has no powertrain, it’s been recently restored by Rick Dale of American Restoration and features retractable wheels. Weapons not included.
Another of the three endangered Esprits is currently in the hands of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Don’t worry, we’re pretty sure he’s one of the good guys.
The Lotus was found holed up in a storage crate in 1989, and after it was purchased by a New York couple, the car eventually made its way to London’s RM Auctions. In September 2013, the Tesla CEO picked it up for £650,000 ($872,365 back then).
Musk has stated he plans to install an electric powertrain on the S1 and use it as a road-going car. Given Musk’s talents as an inventor, though, there’s a good chance the Esprit will have a few superspy tricks up its sleeve too.
(Photos via eBay auction)