A Long Island man was pleasantly surprised when he bought a storage locker in a blind auction in 1989. Among the junk was an old Lotus Espirit car that appeared to be in rough shape – at first unrecognized by the man. While pulling it home behind his truck, other drivers on the road informed him of the importance of the car. Only after renting and watching the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me did he realize the importance of the vehicle that was now in his possession, known as “Wet Nellie,” – the submarine car driven by Bond in the film.
It is believed that the Lotus was left in storage by the production company, which paid for the container for 10 years until the money ran out. When no one came to claim it, the storage container was put up for sale. The lucky buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, is now putting the famous car up for auction in London, where it is expected to be sold at a price reaching $1 million.
The car was originally built by a former NAVY SEAL at a cost of $100,000 – the equivalent of $500,000 today. There were several different Lotus Espirits used in filming, but the car up for sale is the only that worked as a self-propelled submarine.
The authenticity of the car was verified by James Bond expert Doug Redenius, and will be placed on auction at RM Auctions September 9. Back in 2010, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball was sold at the same auction for $4.4 million.
Courtesy of The Daily Mail