007 submarine car sold for £550,000
A wealthy buyer with a view for a kill has nabbed a James Bond submarine car featured in The Spy Who Loved Me for £550,000.
The Lotus Esprit was sold at RM Auctions in Battersea, south London, after a fierce price war between a female buyer and a telephone bidder who took the prized collector's piece.
The distinctive-looking vehicle was designed for an underwater scene in the 1977 film starring Roger Moore as 007.
In the film, 007 and Bond girl Anya Amasova, played by Barbara Bach, escape a helicopter attack by driving the Esprit off a pier into the sea
Also known as the Wet Nellie, it is a fully operational submarine but cannot be driven on the road.
Those in the auction room clapped as bids went up to £550,000, which after charges left the buyer £616,000 out of pocket.
Peter Haynes, from RM Auctions, said the auctioneer was pleased with the price despite it coming in at under estimated prices of between £650,000 and £950,000.
"We are very happy with that price, it is very strong money for what is an important piece of movie memorabilia," Mr Haynes said.
"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."