For fans of "The Spy Who Loved Me," you are likely very familiar with the Lotus Esprit turned submarine — yes the irony of a Lotus model being underwater is hilarious — in the old James Bond flick. Well, like most other movie cars, that one recently crossed the auction block, and the news just come out that the buyer who paid the £616,000 ($996,560) just so happened to be Tesla ’s Elon Musk.
That’s big news in itself, but what’s more important are Elon’s plans with this submersible sports car . He plans to bring the car back to its road-going roots, but with the powertrain of a Model S in tow. That’s right, he is taking a car that cost nearly $1 million and stripping it of the majority of why it was so expensive.
Sure, the creativity is out of this world, and an electric-powered Esprit with somewhere between 302 and 416 horsepower in tow in fantastic, but to drop that kind of dough, then change the whole car seems rather wasteful. He could have just snagged up any old Esprit for a fraction of the price he paid for this iconic sports car.
Then again, Elon Musk likely found that scratch between the seat cushions of his couch...
Click past the jump to read more about this awesome Lotus
Lotus Esprit Submarine History
Lotus is in deep water figuratively, but this Esprit was literally in deep water — at least on screen. This model was the most-used of a large group of Esprit submarines, and it was the only fully enclosed shell used for the actual functional submarine — yeah, this puppy was under water at one point and actually moved.
In addition to its underwater time, it also saw use in the tire-retraction sequence, and several other key scenes in the movie.
Informally known as "Wet Nellie," this Lotus quickly went to the hands of Fred Stevenson after filming was completed. It did a short auto show tour, then went to a storage unit that had 10 years of rent prepaid, per rumors. After the renter defaulted on the storage unit, the car was part of a "blind auction" and a New Jersey couple bought the unit with this surprise hiding under blankets.
When Elon Musk bought the car at RM Auctions London sale, it was the first time this car was ever offered to the public..