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James Bond sub car sells for ??550,000

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A family walks past the Lotus Esprit underwater car from the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum on January 15, 2012. (AFP/File)

The iconic submarine car driven by James Bond in the 1977 classic The Spy Who Loved Me fetched ??550,000 ($860,000, 650,000 euros) when it was floated at auction for the first time in London on Monday.

Following an intense bidding battle, The Lotus Esprit was finally sold to a telephone bidder at RM Auctions in Battersea, south London.

The car was made for the scene in which Bond, played by Roger Moore, evades the gunfire from an overhead helicopter by plunging into the water, accompanied by a nervous Barbara Bach in the passenger seat.

"We are very happy with that price, it is very strong money for what is an important piece of movie memorabilia," said Peter Haynes of RM Auctions Europe.

"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," he added.