Should LEGO green-light this James Bond-inspired Lotus Esprit S1?
Martini-swilling fans of MI6’s most famous debonair secret agent probably remember the 1:8-scale LEGO Aston Martin DB5 the company released back in July.
Oh, and the 28 ‘Goldfinger’-inspired DB5 restomods announced a few months later. Also, hang on, didn’t they heavily promote ‘Global James Bond Day’ back in October, too?
…wow, Aston really has been pushing its 007 connection as of late.
Still, enthusiasts of the late Sir Roger Moore’s turn as B, JB will be pleased to hear Lotus could receive its own 007 tribute in the near future, should the above ‘LEGO Idea’ be green-lit for production.
Designed by ‘Nessydazzz’, the model is a 12-inch by 5-inch replica of ‘Wet Nellie,’ the amphibious Lotus Esprit S1 made famous in 1977’s The Spy Who Love Me. In his first two films, Sir Rog had largely cocked around in an AEC Regent double-decker in Live and Let Die(1973); and yes, fair enough, performed an impressive barrel roll in an AMC Hornet in The Man with the Golden Gun(1974).
But this is the car for which the now-departed legend will be forever associated. And for good reason.
Dubbed ‘Wet Nellie’ by the Eon Production’s film crew, a nod to the ‘Little Nellie’ autogyro that appeared in You Only Live Twice a decade earlier, the Esprit S1 made movie history just two years after its official launch by outrunning a Kawasaki Z900, a Ford Taunus – yep – and a Bell attack helicopter before lawn-darting itself into the Mediterranean.
All the more impressive when you consider the S1’s mid-mounted 2.0-litre four-cylinder produced a measly 160 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. Despite weighing only 1,006 kg, the S1 would only hit zero-to-100 km/h in a shade over eight seconds. Today it would be out-dragged by a base-spec MINI Cooper, for God’s sake!
Still, the sequence, Barbara Bach’s hilarious reaction aside, remains one of the most ico…popular of the series’ run, and should the above design go into official production, it would be a fitting tribute. The detailing, already magnificent and with a harpoon cannon the cherry atop the sundae, is still under development.
Plus, thanks to a lot of time being spent on the model’s chassis, the S1 actually will transform from car to submarine, including folding wheels and enveloping canopies, and four rear-mounted electric motors powered by Graphene batteries. Ironically, you won’t want to get this sub wet.
You can check out further details of, and vote for, Nessydazzz’s creation on the official LEGO Ideas page.
Fun fact: did you know that in 2013, Elon Musk bought the original ‘Wet Nellie’ for £616,000 (just over $1 million) with a view to making its transformation from car to submarine a reality? While a cool premise, the link is a slightly awkward now, given the, er, ‘submarine’-related PR-bollocking Tesla’s founder got himself into earlier this year on Twitter.