back to article James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine car sells for £550,000

The James Bond submarine car used in The Spy Who Loved Me has sold at auction in Blighty for £550,000. James Bond submarine Lotus Esprit car Despite the over half-million price tag for the Lotus Esprit – which isn't road-worthy – it failed to reach the guide price expected by RM Auctions of between £650,000 and £950,000, the …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    This prop used to live ...

    ... a couple doors off the North East corner of Charleston & El Camino in Palo Alto. Fun to look at, but bloody useless.

    One wonders at the mentality of the idiot purchasing the toy for that kind of green.

    1. Evil Auditor

      Re: This prop used to live ...

      jake, neither would I have paid that much or in fact any money for this vehicle. Then again, I guess over the years you have invested quite a bit of dosh in cars. So did I, because I like driving, racing them. Other people pay millions of quid for a rotting shark just because it was conceived by a certain Damien H.

      People value all kinds of different things; things that may appear utter useless to everybody else. No reason to become snotty because of that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a rotting shark ... conceived by a certain Damien

        Crikey, maybe David Attenborough is looking in the wrong direction and humanity is actually working on something radical to prepare for the rise in sea levels. I wonder what the omens are for the success of this

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: This prop used to live ...

      "One wonders at the mentality of the idiot purchasing the toy for that kind of green."

      If I had that kind of money I wouldn't stop at the car, i would want a copy of Stromberg's Lair in The Spy Who Loved Me..

      These are cult symbols, they belonged to every young boys dream, James Bond was a "National Hero", he exemplified a world of fantasy, of the superich, he glorified the Spy world and even the bad guys, he was a ladies man. He was/is a living myth.. Why would we not want to be part of that..

      Lighten up Jake, you are allowed to have some fun too.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: This prop used to live ...

        "Why would we not want to be part of that.."

        Because I live in the real world. I have plenty of fun. Learn to live.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: This prop used to live ...

          So you never read a novel, watch a film, play a computer game? Yet you do spend time posting on internet forums, you sad little troll.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This prop used to live ...

          Another moronic post from Jake.

          Some people have lots of money - more than they know what to do with. Those are the sort of people who buy things like this. For fun. Not your sort of fun, their sort of fun. The sort of fun that doesn't involve get plastered and barfing up every Saturday night. There are many many example of people buying things like this, and I can pretty much guarantee than almost NONE of them are idiots, otherwise they wouldn't be able to afford the things in the first place. For example, Chris Evans owns a number of very expensive cars (that make this look cheap). He is a rich man, off his own back, and certainly not an idiot. And he has had the amount of fun that would take your fun, beat it up, piss on it, then throw it in the corner.

          The only idiot here is you, Jake. Fun is in the eye of the beholder.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This prop used to live ...

          Fuck off jake. Everyone else here is bored of your self-obsessed, fictitious drivel. Go and get a life; as you keep advising everyone else to do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This prop used to live ...

            Another piece of quality trolling from Jake the basement dweller, all it needed was a reference to how your old Nokia still got a signal when you took the sub on a test run

            Say Hi to your mom for me, I’m sure she still has fond memories (as long as she’s stayed off the drugs)

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              @ ACs bitching

              Hey, l don't like jake's posts, but I don't tick the "post anonymously" box to hide behind when making my snarky comments. Man up and get a login or think of something positive to say. Or fuck off....

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ ACs bitching

                Jake hates AC posts, he’ll whine about them in one topic and then state in another that they don’t affect him (like he will in here very soon)

                TBH though, much like the down votes he treasures the AC attention which his legal guardians never gave him

                1. sabroni Silver badge

                  Re: @ ACs bitching

                  Really? And how do I know you're not jake posting anonymously? You seem to know what he's going to do next....

                  Like I said, get a login or think of something constructive to say. Or fuck off.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @ ACs bitching

                    I don't want a login! People could engage in a conversation with me and I'd have to have some consistency in what I say. Random anonymous bullshit is so much better! Especially random anonymous bullying bullshit....

                    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                      Re: @ ACs bitching

                      The ACs here are getting to be thoroughly tedious. Can't Vulture Central implement a karma-style system so we can choose to leave their mindless drivel out of the messages ?

                      1. system11

                        Re: @ ACs bitching

                        Agreed - they used to mostly be reserved for when someone had something relevant to say, which they didn't want to be tied to their name (and therefore employer).

                  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Fun to look at, but bloody useless.

      Not like the submarine car that you built yourself out of discarded crisp packets and chewing gum, eh jake? But yeah, if you can't understand the purchase then that guy MUST be an idiot.

    4. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Who is/was worse?

      Jake or Eadon?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To some..

    £550,000 for an iconic movie prop (no pun intended) is like me buying a $15 CD of iconic music. Only difference is, my CD was mass produced.

  3. Ralph B


    What a load of impractical, unroadworthy, fibreglass rubbish.

    This film prop based on the Lotus Esprit is not much better either.

    1. Evil Auditor

      Re: Rubbish

      Owning the Esprit's technical predecessor I can all but agree. Wouldn't give it away for any money in the world though ;-)

      1. Eponymous Cowherd
        Thumb Up

        Re: Rubbish

        Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious.

  4. Velv

    Not enough info

    "which isn't road-worthy"

    The BBC article referenced states "it is not a car that can be driven on the road"

    Does that mean it's incapable of being driven on wheels, or just that it doesn't meet the MOT criteria. We really need to know these things, they're important!

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Not enough info

      I believe its doesn't actually have wheel attached to an engine - it was built as a submarine that looked like a car, not a car that could work as a submarine.

      1. IglooDude

        Re: Not enough info

        So more correctly, "which isn't currently road-worthy" (until it gets retrofitted with Back-To-The-Future style hoverboard technology)...

  5. darklord

    wasnt this at beaulieu

    im sure this was on display at beulieu some time ago. i am not so sure there was only one made i vaguely remember reading somewhere three used for filming. could be wrong.

    550k for a functioning submarine doesnt sound to bad, but 550k for a non functioning esprit nah to much.but some one will like it for what it is I would like to think its reached its maximum price now though.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: wasnt this at beaulieu

      Collectible objects don't really have an ultimate maximum value. Some will go in and out of fashion, and their prices will reflect those fluctuations, and there's generally a period of time when the object(s) and the mystique surrounding them will be forgotten or lost, but sooner or later they are resurrected and have a higher value due to scarcity.

      Unique items are weird anyway. There's little financial opportunity in buying most unique things (art being an exception) it's all about emotion. The buyer of this thing decided it was worth what he paid because he liked it. Most things that are truly unique are often "priceless" by virtue of the fact there's nothing to compare it to for valuation. It's worth what someone will pay for it and not a penny more. Scarce objects create their own micro-markets and the accompanying market competition drives the prices up for all of them far, far beyond what one could expect to get for a unique item. They're far easier to sell as well so there's a liquidity component to consider as well.

  6. Don Jefe

    Auction Catalogs

    Higher end auction catalogs are notoriously liberal in their estimates. It is good for the auction house that way as their fees are calcuated as a percentage of the sale price. They attempt to run up the final price by marketing it as worth more than it should be and trying to generate interest in those looking for a deal or investment (even wealthy people look at price tags).

    That's why you often hear news report that "Item (x) sells for far more than estimate", it generally doesn't work that way and when it does it's a big deal.

  7. Eponymous Cowherd

    Not just a static prop

    It is a real submersible that looks like a Lotus Esprit and can actually be driven underwater (as intimated in the article when it referred to it being driven by Don Griffin).

    IIRC the film used 3 different versions of the Esprit, real Esprits, a static prop for the wheel folding scene, and this submersible.

    I think the car used for the beach scene was a real, stripped down (no engine, etc) Esprit that was pulled up the beach by a cable.

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: Not just a static prop

      ISTR something similar for other vehicles in one of those "behind the scenes" things. The producers said there was no way to get all the toys into one system, so they'd have one model with rocket launchers, another with extra propulsion/jets so it could fly/glide, another with a smoke dispenser etc and swap them for scenes.

    2. MacGyver

      Re: Not just a static prop (yeah, it's an animated prop)

      I can "drive" a bicycle under water with scuba gear too, that doesn't make it a submarine. Now if you could sit in it without the need to breath canned air, then yes, it would be a submarine and maybe even worth the money. I'm guessing at most this is a neutrally buoyant mockup made from a hacked up Lotus. It's real purpose is to show it to your "friends" and say "I own the 007 submarine, see." If they think that it's worth all that money, then so be it. Must be nice to have that much disposable income.

  8. i like crisps

    No Austerity For Some People

    That is all...

  9. TWB

    I'd love to own it

    I loved that film as a lad. Loved the way the Esprit changed into submarine and still think they are great looking if slightly dated. I have never owed or driven a Lotus and no longer drive like the World's road are my racetrack, but once upon a time, a mid engined, high power to weight ratio car like that was my dream. I'm now boring and prefer a practical estate-sofa which gets me there in comfort.

  10. OzBob

    Can you imagine

    the episode of "Storage Wars" this would have made?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only £550,000?

    A 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible was sold at a Dallas auction Tuesday for $3.4 million, the highest price ever paid for a Corvette at auction.

    I would have guessed a car in the UK with waterproof electrics would have fetched a price more in line with a leaky old Corvette. Heh.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: only £550,000?

      People who enjoy underpowered two-seater 3,500 pound plastic turtles with no trunk (boot, to you brits) are completely illogical. Bless 'em.

      On the other had ... A UK car with decent electrics from that era? Don't get me wrong, I love mine ... But JEEBUS they are a pain in the ass occasionally!

      Beer, because when discussing (NOT DRIVING!) cars, you've gotta have one :-)

    2. SonofRojBlake

      Re: only £550,000?

      "I would have guessed a car in the UK with waterproof electrics"

      Except... this isn't a car. It's a submarine. It looks a bit like a car, granted - but it's not.

  12. HippyFreetard

    I had the toy...

    It had a little button and the "wings" popped out :)

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