Wet Nellie

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A custom built submarine, well not really a submarine. It's actually called a 'Wet Sub' because once driven into your nearest lake or river you would want to be wearing scuba gear as to not ruin your favourite pair of driving shoes and of course prevent yourself from drowning as the cock pit filled with water.

Each car made for the film used the Lotus Esprit S1 body and cost the production team around $100,000 and in total only one was made with submarine capabilities. Using four electric motors and controlled by two crew members Wet Nellie could only travel forwards under water, the wedge shape of the Esprit provided great down-force on land and therefore was perfect for diving underwater.

It is thought that Lotus provided the production team with two road cars and seven fiberglass bodies. Each fiberglass body had a specific role in the movie and each were used to film different scenes listed below:
1. Used for the tyre retraction sequence.
2. Used to portray the side fins protruding from the wheel arches whilst the periscope extends.
3. Featured in the below-surface-to-air missile sequence from the rear hatch.
4. Tethered to a powerful air cannon and jettisoned off the pier and into the water below.
5. The spare unit for the above.
6. The one and only fully enclosed shell used to film the functional Submarine Car.
7. This one was split in half in order to film Roger Moore and Barbara Bach in their separate seats.

Now down to the good stuff! This huge icon came fully equipped with everything you would expect from a Bond movie, Cement Sprayer, Surface-To-Air Missiles, Black Dye Slick, Mines and even Torpedoes!

Once filming had ended, demand for the Lotus Esprit cars went though the roof with some customers having to be placed onto a three-year waiting list! The movie cars went on a promotional tour, they were soon sent to Long Island, New York and placed into storage. Now here comes the mind-blowing part! The storage unit was prepaid for ten years and at end the end of the lease in 1989 no-one claimed its contents! After this the unit was put up for auction and bought for $100 (the bidders were not shown the unit's contents). Lets just take a minute to imagine the feeling of opening up your storage locker you bought for $100, expecting to maybe find some rare comics or maybe a nice set of furniture and then you see it, the Lotus Esprit S1 Bond car in all of its glory.

In 2013 Wet Nellie was put up for auction as a Bond car and bought for £550,000 by Elon Musk who plans to have the car restored and converted into the functional car-submarine from the movie.

This is another of my favourite cars, I've always been a bit nerdy when it comes to Bond, as a kid i collected of the videos and i have every single official Bond toy cars and i even managed to keep them all in their original packaging! I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as i have writing it!

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Comments (6)

  • I think I might take in more storage unit auctions. There is one not far from here!


      4 years ago
  • Cool. Elon Musk is the luckiest man in the world. If he's a bond fan.

      4 years ago
  • Wow, great article! I had no idea that Elon Musk owns one of the movie cars! I wonder what else Elon owns in his collection?

      4 years ago
  • Nice story! I've heard that the guy who won that storage bin had someone come and say to them: "hey, why you do you have 007's lotus in there?" Apparently the winning bidder had no idea about what the car was.

      4 years ago
  • Thanks Todd! Was a lot of fun to write! I would love to know what else he has haha!

      4 years ago