In 1989, a Long Island contractor decided to buy the contents of a storage container. He paid under $100 and he didn't know what was inside.
But the next day, when he and his brother opened up the container, they saw a giant lump covered in blankets. When they pulled off the blankets, they saw a white sports car with no wheels and a dented roof. It was the famous James Bond submarine car from "The Spy Who Loved Me."
"They really didn't know what it was at first," said Doug Redenius, co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, which authenticated the car. "They had no idea how valuable their discovery was."
Now, 36 years after the car made its big screen debut, 007's underwater Lotus Esprit is headed to the auction block. The owner, who bought it for less than $100, could fetch more than $1 million. It is being sold by RM Auctions at its London sale on Sept. 9.
"It's one of the most famous James Bond cars ever," Renedius said. "There is a lot of interest."
Plenty of James Bond cars have come on the market over the years, seeking to ride the boom in collectible cars as well as soaring prices for movie cars.
(Read more: Iconic Hollywood cars)
A coveted 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was used in "Goldfinger" and other films and that sold in 2010 for $4.6 million. A DB5 that was used to promote the films is also currently on the market for $4.69 million.