The James Bond films are well known for their gadget equipped cars, and The Spy Who Loved Me had a particularly well remembered vehicle in the form of the Lotus Esprit which was also capable of travelling underwater!
When the vehicle went under the water a set of stabilising fins came out of the the bodywork, and some propellors popped out the back to drive it along. It was also armed with torpedoes, depth charges and surface to air missiles. Given that the computer generated special effects of today didn’t exist in 1977, when the film was released, it’s quite amazing to think that the film makers went to the effort of actually making an underwater car! Admittedly it didn’t actually work, but it was a cool piece of special effects works none the less.
It may predate the 1980’s by a few years, but this amazing car was also one of my favourite toys. Corgi made an absolutely brilliant model Lotus Esprit that drove around perfectly as a toy sports car, but with the flick of a switch out popped identical fins to the movie version of the car, and you could then pretend to drive around under the sea! Better still, the back window of the car had four sprung loaded missile launchers, and the car came with four little plastic missiles to put in them. Flicking another switch shot them out the back, only to then get lost under the sofa or be eaten by the family dog.