Whenever I read Letters to the editor in some magazines, people complain about the relevance of the Lamborghinis, the Enzo Ferraris and the SLR McLarens: no-one can drive these things quickly, so what’s the point of having them?
‘Oh, I see you’ve managed to get the Lotus back together again,’ Bond quips to Q after being presented with his second Esprit of the film.Once again, Bond found himself a Lotus owner: this time a more potent Esprit Turbo – Hethel’s alternative to the 308GTB or Urraco. A much grittier film, For Your Eyes Only made several references to OHMSS, including the death of a Blofeld-like character in the pre-title sequence. To date, no one’s been able to explain what his final words ‘a delicatessen in stainless steel’ actually mean.
The first white Esprit Turbo doesn’t see much action, though – when Bond is fleeing from Gonzales’ henchmen, they make it to his car before he does. The ‘Burglar Protected’ sticker in the window is seen by 007’s pursuer, who ignores it and smashes the side window with the butt of his rifle – only to have the car blow up in his face. Hence the switch to the Deux Chevaux.
Cue Bond’s second Esprit, a gadgetless bronze metallic Turbo fitted with a stylish ski-rack on the tailgate. It looked good in the snow at the Italian resort of Cortina D’Ampezzo; so good, in fact, it’s easy to conclude that Lotus also missed an opportunity: why didn’t they offer a ski-rack on the production car?