Lego James Bond's 1977 Lotus Esprit
Wet Nellie, the prettiest submarine ever made. From the James Bond film "The spy who loved me" came a Lotus that raced across the Italian island of Sardinia and transformed into a submarine. While they used multiple cars I had to do it in one MOC. For some the Aston Martin DB5 is the most iconic James Bond car, but for me and many others, its that little white Lotus Esprit S1. It was only ever called “Wet Nellie” by the production staff.
Bond’s Lotus was one of the most iconic cars of it’s time. It’s high speed chase scenes and the ability to turn into a submarine set the imagination on fire. When the esprit first appeared at the Paris auto show in 1975 it wowed crowds with its simple lines, low profile and flat modern surfaces. On the big screen this pretty little car out turned and outmaneuvered its opponents, but looked magnificent while doing it.
This model is to scale with the Logo Aston Martin DB5 10262 set and will pair with it nicely. In car mode it’s about as close to the shape of a Lotus Esprit S1 as I could get it. In fact, if it didn’t transform it would still be a highly collectible model car. The Esprit is just such a pretty car that draws the eye. This model would appeal to both James Bond fans and car enthusiasts alike.
The doors open. Lights flip up. Front torpedo launcher flips up. Chin scoop flips around and tucks in. Wheels fold in. Wheel covers tuck in while in car mode and fold out in submarine mode. Rear fins and propellers fold out. Mine layer works. Rear missiles launch with the push of a button, but I keep losing those little missley thingies.
Front and side window covers are removed for car mode. Periscope is removed in car mode. Drivers side view finder is removed and switched out with curved slope in car mode.
I could have used two wide wheels. It would have been easier and more accurate, but the three wide wheels give the car such and aggressive look. The folding wheel covers use three hinges for articulation. Even with the three hinges the panels hold quite well. The hood and rear window flip open to make it easier to transform. When transformed properly the fins tuck in and come off the ground behind the wheels.
Because the side panels are sideways (SNOT) it makes the car much sturdier. The internal structure is mostly plate. There is very little brick involved. The car is surprisingly solid to pick up and handle. It wasn’t enough for the car to have all this functionality. It had to be sturdy and solid at the same time. It has to be something that you can pick up and play with. That said it would be a tricky build and not for the faint of heart.
I also built a cradle for the car while it’s in submarine mode. This is how I like to display it. By elevating it on an angle the car not only looks more dynamic but it displays so much better.
This iconic car is a significant part of western culture. It displays well and has a lot of play-ability.