Lot No: 679
The ex-James Bond, ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’
1976 Lotus Esprit Coupé
Chassis no. 76090187G
Engine no. 760913101
Important Collectors’ Motor Cars, Pioneer and Vintage Motorcycles and Fine Automobilia,
1 Dec 2008 Olympia, London
This Lotus Esprit is one of two complete, fully functioning cars that were used for the driving scenes in the motion picture ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, starring Roger Moore as secret agent James Bond, ‘007’. Approximately nine Esprits were used in different guises, but bar these two the rest were shells, some of which were used in filming the Esprit’s transformation into a submersible. Once fully submerged, the Esprit was represented by a radio-controlled model. One of the two ‘proper’ cars was used for the chase scene in which it was driven by Roger Becker, now Director of Engineering at Lotus Cars. The Esprit offered here was used in the scene where ‘Q’ drives off the ferry in Sardinia, instructs Bond in its operation, and the car is then driven away by Bond and his companion, agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach). Roger Becker confirmed this to trimmer Nick Fulcher when he visited Nick’s workshop during the car’s recent restoration.
This is the only one of the two fully functioning Esprits that had the missile launching button on the gear stick and the special revised housing for the clock/periscope screen. The car was taken directly off the production line and sent straight to Pinewood Studios where it was trimmed by Nick Fulcher, who was then working as a trim engineer at Lotus. Nick collaborated with production designer, Ken Adam to achieve the desired specification, removing the colourful tartan headrests, which reflected on the actors’ faces, and changing them to plain green. As well as the quayside scene, this particular Esprit was converted for use as a camera car in filming the dramatic chase along the Sardinian mountain roads, there being no alternative vehicle available that could keep up with the other one!
After the movie’s completion, the car was despatched to Lotus and put back on the production line to be returned to standard trim and sold on. The mounting for the clock was removed, the seats and headrests returned to standard, the engine serviced and a black Lotus badge put on. This ex-Bond Esprit later passed into German ownership, its last long-term owner in that country carrying out a mechanical restoration.
When the current owner acquired the car it was German registered and had an incorrect interior, so Nick Fulcher was commissioned to completely restore the interior and return it to the specification as used in the movie. Fortunately, he still had supplies of the original cloth and sufficient original carpet to trim just one car. (When the interior was stripped, some of the original carpet was found stuck to the transmission tunnel). Nick painstakingly restored the interior and a full photographic record of this is in the history file. The seats were stripped back to the bare frames, the correct extruded aluminium trim made, a original and correct VDU clock sourced and mounted between the sun visors, an original Motorola radio fitted, and he even found a spare missile launch button in his stores! Costing £14,500, the end result is a credit to Nick’s craftsmanship.
Of all the many hundreds of ‘movie cars’, none is more desirable than one of the exclusive band with a James Bond connection, examples of which are offered for sale only rarely. Representing a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of cinema’s most celebrated motor cars, this faithfully restored Esprit is presented in excellent condition and offered with a history file containing copies of the factory records (annotated ‘007’), assorted photographs of the restoration and an owners manual (for a Series 2).
See on auction website