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James Bond Submarine Car Sells for lb550,000

September 19, 2013
Posted in Auctions,Car news — Written by Nationla Numbers

The infamous Lotus Espirit-turned-submarine was recently sold at auction.

Driven by Roger Moore in the 1977 Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, the aquatic vehicle is said to still be fully operational, though it is not road legal.

A bidding war took place for the legendary piece of memorabilia before finally selling for the lb550k price tag.

Peter Haynes of RM Auctions, who ran the auction, said: “Bearing in mind it is not a car that can be driven on the road, the price just goes to prove the draw that all Bond-related memorabilia has.”

Despite the bidding war and impressive selling price, it was said that the vehicle could have reached closer to a million pounds.

James Bond car driven by Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me

Lotus Espirit in The Spy Who Bought Me

It was one of the classic 007 scenes in cinema history. James Bond is driving the flash Lotus being chased by a helicopter. As he nears to end of the road with nowhere else to go, he drives off the edge of a dock into the cold ocean – only to turn his ride into a submarine.

It is one of the film franchises finest examples of our favourite spy cheating death and escaping an impossible situation.

The car had since been paraded around the world until it was put into storage by the production company, and that is where this story gets a bit weird.

For those who aren’t familiar with the TV show Storage Wars, if you rent a storage unit or shipping container but do not keep up with the payments, the owners have the right to auction off the contents.

In 1989, exactly this happened. After spending about ten years in storage, no one came to collect the 007 Lotus. At and auction in which bidders do not get to even look inside the storage container, the submersible sold for a meagre $100.

The buyer at the time, who has chosen to remain anonymous, did not recognise the car at the time, but has earned a very good profit from the recent sale.

An odd story, don’t you agree?

Dave Hester, from Storage Wars, agrees


The vehicle, nicknamed “Wet Nellie” by its on-set driver, retired Navy SEAL Don Griffin, was made for a sum of $100,000 – the equivalent of $500,000 today.

It sports the suffix number plate, PPW 306R, which were first issued in 1976.

The Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger and Thunderball, driven by Sean Connery, previously sold for $4.4million in 2010.


Daniel Walker is a wannabe movie expert and is the founder and editor of

DVLA under fire due to ‘atrocious’ handling of cherished number transfers

September 18, 2013


The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency have been criticised over the centralised handling of personalised number plate transfers by members of the motoring industry.

Concerns were voiced after the DVLA had revealed in-depth plans on the continued centralisation and digitalisation of its services.

The National Franchise Dealers Association released a statement saying:

‘The NFDA, supported by key personnel from Marshalls and Lookers, attended a meeting with the DVLA to update of services transferred to the Post Office and the changes to AFRL centralisation, but we pressed hard for comment on the atrocious central handing of cherished number transfers.

Swansea admitted they had grossly underestimated the amount of document checking and rectifying mistakes on the cherished number applications that had been carried out at local DVLA offices prior to them being stopped from handing [Cherished Transfers]‘

DLVA have previously quoted 6 working days turnaround time for the transfer of number plates, but in practice this time has been known to extend to 3 weeks on average, and sometimes more, due to what they have referred to as “post room delays”.

Transfers can still be done at local offices for a short time period.

Centralised Transfers

Plans to close local DVLA offices by the end of 2013 came ahead of on-going efforts to centralise services to the main Swansea office, while also attempting to bring many services to an online platform.

Office closures with take place throughout October and November with the final offices shutting shop by December on Friday the 13th.

Employees dealing with number plate transfers at Swansea have been increase to 140 to handle the workload, with currently stands at around 2900 transfers per day.

New staff receive 5 weeks training, but due to the number of administrative mistakes ongoing quality checking has been required.

It is expected that the workload will come down by the end of the year as staff become more efficient and work carried over from local offices dies down, though this will only be temporary due to the release of the 14 year registrations in March.

The Future

Government plans have revealed that the centralised handling of all number plate transfers by post will eventually make way to an entirely digital procedure.

DVLA aims to implement an online system to handle the retention of vehicle registrations. Once this is in place, a second system allowing drivers to assign private registrations to their vehicles will also be put into place.

Work on this action is likely to start by the end of 2014, though the DVLA warns that extensive testing of the online application means the public may not see it until 2016.

In the meantime, number plate retentions, assignments and transfers will all be dealt with by Swansea via postal applications.