007’s Lotus Esprit submarine car headlines second day at RM Auction’s annual London sale
The term ‘barn find’ is an often used phrase in the motoring world. In the case of a Lotus Esprit submarine car used in The Spy Who Loved Me, it’s more a case of something akin to the American reality show Auction Hunters as the vehicle was bought at a blind auction last after its then owner defaulted on the rent of “an unassuming storage unit in Holbrook, New York”.
The Lotus, kitted out with all the gadgets James Bond naturally required, has an estimate of £650,000 to £950,000 and might well make the perfect addition to the collection of any Bond lover. Alternatively, we could easily see it sitting in a restaurant or museum but what we most certainly can confirm is that it wouldn’t even make it across the Thames this miserable afternoon.
In past years, star lots at Battersea have numbered such things as a Lancia Astura Lungo owned by Bernie Ecclestone that had been a gift from Mussolini to Hitler in 1938. This year, cars with such provenance – apart from Lord Laidlaw’s collection of racing cars – are thinner on the ground but we at The Steeple Times will be particularly keen to see what a 1929 Bentley 4½ litre open tourer by Vanden Plas (estimate £525,000 to £600,000) and a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K cabriolet (estimate £1,500,000 to £2,000,000) sell for.
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Photo credits: ©2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions