Lotus and James Bond - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Lotus and James Bond

Hi guys,

I'm new here and am doing a bit of research on the relationship of Lotus and James Bond (The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only). This includes behind the scenes information. Stuff such as how many Esprits were actually used. I know that The Spy Who Loved Me had 9 (2 production cars, and six underwater body shells plus one submarine.)

Where I get greatly confused is when it comes to how many were used in For Your Eyes Only. Some websites say 2 (both Monaco White at first, with one being repainted Copper Fire Metallic) some say 4. Some say there was only one (started white, ended up being Copper Fire). Some say that two cars were Essex Spec. Some say they were built exclusively for the film. Other's still say that an Essex car (Reg. MPW 71V) was used as a testbed for the Copper Fire paint scheme. I figure that you guys might know the true story. The contradictions go on. So does anyone know who's correct?
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 11:31 AM
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One of the coolest stories in my opinion is one that Roger Becker told on one of the James Bond retrospective specials.

Now I apologize if I get some of this wrong as I am doing it from memory and as we all know memory these days certainly has become a problem.

Roger is the person that really developed the Evora and quite a bit of the Elise (if not all of it). While he was at Lotus one of his jobs was to deliver the Esprits to the movie sets. In the Spy Who Loved Me, Roger delivered the Esprit to the stunt driver and then sat around to wait. The stunt driver took the car up the mountain but the director did not like what he saw. So they broke for lunch. After lunch they called for Roger to bring the car up the mountain, so Roger took off up the mountain. Roger can really drive and he knows the Esprit so he really flies up the mountain. When he gets up there, the director liked what he saw, so he asked Roger to go back down and do it again for the cameras. Which of course he did and they got the shots they wanted.

Now I don't remember if he says this in his recall on the TV show or if he told this to me in person. But Roger said something to the effect that the Esprit handles so well that when you are going fast like the stunt driver was driving, the car does not look like it is going fast. That you REALLY have to drive it super fast to get that result!

So when you see that movie, with the white Esprit being chased by the rocket shooting motorcycle and the helicopter, that is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. Roger Becker driving that Esprit.

I smile every time I see that part of the movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ivhR3MYs50

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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I remember reading that the problem was that the Esprit was too grippy for the stuntdriver to drive quickly around corners and make it look exciting.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 03:07 PM
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Came to tears while watching "SkyFall"

Once in a while you read or hear about a loss of a classic. I have to admit, despite the fact it wasn't a Lotus, I almost hysterically cried when I watched the scene where the resurrected Aston Martin heroically came back just to be shot into pieces. DON'T EVER DO THAT TO A LOTUS:
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 10:17 PM
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The story of the James Bond Esprits definitely have some inconsistencies.

Here's is my photos of the James Bond 'For Your Eyes Only' Esprits (and other Bond cars including the Esprit S1 from 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and the 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 from 'Diamonds are Forever):

Dezer_auto_musuem_florida_010213 Photos by eberin | Photobucket

These are claimed to be the actual cars used in the movies. While not definitive, here are a few discrepancies:

1. 1980 Esprit (bronze) - movie had white LOTUS on rear bumper; museum car did not.
2. Museum car did not have James Bond sticker on front; same car in Lotus factory video screen shot did not show FRONT James Bond sticker and other photos (not shown) show rear James Bond stickers - same as musuem

In summary, the variation in stories are there and not easily reconciled.
I thought I recalled the car VINs being mentioned somewhere; one of my photos show the VIN of the bronze Esprit.


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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 09:29 PM
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I was watching some show about the Esprit or Bond, and how it even became a "Bond" car. It was a while ago so if its not 100% accurate I apologize.

This show said that a guy from Lotus took an Esprit to some place where producers, directors or whoever was meeting, having lunch or something, talking about the latest Bond movie they were making, and still hadn't decided on a car for Bond yet. This guy from Lotus was waiting and left the same time as the movie makers, they saw this "car" not knowing what it was, and followed it back to find out what kind of car it was, and were so impressed with it, they decided to put it in the movie as the next "Bond" car.

Thats what this show I saw said anyways. Again, it was a while ago since I saw it and honestly dont remember what show it was.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 09:57 AM
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I believe this story was told on BBCA Top Gear, the Lotus people knew where the film producers usually had lunch and parked an Esprit outside the pub where they knew it would be seen.

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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 10:51 AM
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If 007 were to be involved in the tragic violent loss of a 400, it would double the sales and value and mystique of all our cars.

Or even just drive one through Wendys.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusEsprit007 View Post
Hi guys,

I'm new here and am doing a bit of research on the relationship of Lotus and James Bond (The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only). This includes behind the scenes information. Stuff such as how many Esprits were actually used. I know that The Spy Who Loved Me had 9 (2 production cars, and six underwater body shells plus one submarine.)

Where I get greatly confused is when it comes to how many were used in For Your Eyes Only. Some websites say 2 (both Monaco White at first, with one being repainted Copper Fire Metallic) some say 4. Some say there was only one (started white, ended up being Copper Fire). Some say that two cars were Essex Spec. Some say they were built exclusively for the film. Other's still say that an Essex car (Reg. MPW 71V) was used as a testbed for the Copper Fire paint scheme. I figure that you guys might know the true story. The contradictions go on. So does anyone know who's correct?

I agree , it is rather confusing how the FYEO Turbo Esprits have been written up in various articles over the years.

From talking to MJK, RGB and Brian Angus over the years I believe these are the cars Lotus supplied for FYEO.

Originally three white Turbo Esprits were supplied by Lotus to Eon Productions to be used in FYEO:-

OPW 654W Dry sump Essex engine vin no SCCFC22A9AHD10929 White Hero Car to be used for close up filming in Corfu

NCL 458V ex Essex Esprit development 1 car vin no SCCD20A8AHD10858repainted white with brown interior to be used as stunt /backup car in Corfu.

White Turbo Esprit Rolling Body/Chassis (no vin)to be blown up and destroyed in Corfu.

The cars were returned to the factory and the backup /stunt car (NCL 458 V) was re painted Copper Fire metallic and re-trimmed for filming in Cortina.

OPW 678W Dry Sump Essex Engine vin no SCCFC20A1AHD 10930 Copper Fire Metallic "Hero car "close up filming ,Cortina.

All three cars still exist, Michael Dezer has 929 and 930 in his collection in Florida and 858 was purchased at an auction in England 2009 by an unnamed Arab gentleman.

Heres a pic of the three white Turbo's taken on the FYEO Corfu location from the Lotus website:-


Monaco White Lotus Luddite

Last edited by WayneB; 03-04-2015 at 09:39 AM.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 04:42 PM
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I saw this at Lotus in May 2011




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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 04:55 PM
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...
I've always wanted one of those stickers for my Lotus
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 05:08 PM
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harder to see here, but the front plate was in Arabic, so I wonder if this was 858 that Wayne mentioned above.

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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-05-2015, 08:55 AM
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Aedo,

I have seen those James Bond "Burglar Protected" stickers on eBay from time to time...might want to check there.

I have no connection to the seller nor have I ordered them in the past, just pointing you in the right direction, but it looks like a fun conversation piece.

Here's a link to an eBay auction that ended Feb 28th. Perhaps the seller will re-list the item again or maybe you can contact him or her.

James Bond Burglar Protected Window Sign | eBay

Oops, just realized this one is a JPEG image, not a decal. I have seen stickers for sale on eBay in the past though so you might want to keep an eye out for them.

Roy

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I've always wanted one of those stickers for my Lotus
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-05-2015, 09:54 PM
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The eBay stickers I've only seen were for the 1/18 AutoArt Diecast Esprits . But the movie is so old - only Lotus Esprit/James Bond buffs would get the joke.

Still would be fun because I know the inside joke :-)

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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-05-2015, 10:29 PM
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Aedo,

I have seen those James Bond "Burglar Protected" stickers on eBay from time to time...might want to check there.

I have no connection to the seller nor have I ordered them in the past, just pointing you in the right direction, but it looks like a fun conversation piece.

Here's a link to an eBay auction that ended Feb 28th. Perhaps the seller will re-list the item again or maybe you can contact him or her.

James Bond Burglar Protected Window Sign | eBay

Oops, just realized this one is a JPEG image, not a decal. I have seen stickers for sale on eBay in the past though so you might want to keep an eye out for them.

Roy
Thanks

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The eBay stickers I've only seen were for the 1/18 AutoArt Diecast Esprits . But the movie is so old - only Lotus Esprit/James Bond buffs would get the joke.

Still would be fun because I know the inside joke :-)
Exactly
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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 05:48 AM
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Decals

Aedo, you mean like these? I had them made up locally, and you are correct, they are a good chuckle. More people understand it than I expected. And I never lock my car any more because -- it's burglar protected!

I'm sure I can get the shop to make another pair for you. Three things -- the font isn't exactly correct, the decal goes on the outside of the glass, and they aren't as cheap as I thought they'd be. They charged me $34 for the pair.

Still interested?

007 Steve
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 08:53 AM
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I seem to remember they wanted the car painted Copper Fire metallic because they were filming in the mountains and the white would not have shown up well in the snow scenes
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 09:59 AM
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Love that pic!
Sure to make any Bond or Esprit lover's day

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Aedo, you mean like these? I had them made up locally, and you are correct, they are a good chuckle. More people understand it than I expected. And I never lock my car any more because -- it's burglar protected!

I'm sure I can get the shop to make another pair for you. Three things -- the font isn't exactly correct, the decal goes on the outside of the glass, and they aren't as cheap as I thought they'd be. They charged me $34 for the pair.

Still interested?

007 Steve
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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:03 AM
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Fascinating bit of trivia there...that sounds logical. The same reason that they had to paint the Miami Vice Testarossa from black to white as it wasn't showing up well in night scenes, especially since it was not a convertible like their first car.

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I seem to remember they wanted the car painted Copper Fire metallic because they were filming in the mountains and the white would not have shown up well in the snow scenes
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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:18 AM
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Love that pic!
Sure to make any Bond or Esprit lover's day
In addition to the burglar decal, the front license plate says 007, and I have a plastic 12" trout that I dangle out the window on occasion
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