James Bond submarine car from "The Spy Who Loved Me" sells at auction in London

The Lotus Esprit underwater car from the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" is seen at the press preview of the Bond in Motion exhibition at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum at Brockenhurst, England, Jan. 15, 2012. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

LONDON A car that transformed into a submarine in the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" has been sold at a London auction for 550,000 pounds ($865,000).

The distinctively-shaped white Lotus Esprit, designed for an underwater scene in the 1977 film starring Roger Moore, was sold at RM Auctions on Monday.

The sale price was below the auction house's initial estimate price of 650,000 to 950,000 pounds — perhaps because the vehicle cannot be driven on the road, although it is said to be a fully operational submarine.

In the film, Moore and Bond girl Barbara Bach escape a helicopter attack by driving the Esprit off a pier into the sea.