Why Elon Musk Once Paid Nearly $1 Million For Car That Was Bought For $100

This story involves a Lotus Esprit, an anonymous couple, and Elon Musk.

Why Elon Musk Once Paid Nearly $1 Million For Car That Was Bought For $100

Elon Musk once paid nearly a million dollars for a sports car.

Tesla's much-awaited electric Cybertruck was unveiled last month, creating a huge buzz. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had earlier tweeted that the design of the Cybertruck was partially influenced by the 1976 Lotus Esprit that featured in the James Bond classic, The Spy Who Loved Me. In the movie, the car transforms into a submarine and fires missiles underwater - but the vintage sports car used for filming those scenes has an off-screen backstory that is just as cinematic and unlikely.

In 1989, a couple from New York paid $100 for an unclaimed storage unit, reports CNBC. When they opened the unit, they were surprised to find that it contained the 1976 Lotus Esprit sports car that used in the filming of the 1977 James Bond film.

The car was one of the eight used in the filming of The Spy Who Loved Me, but the only one that was used for underwater scenes. Its significance was lost on the couple, who had never watched a Bond movie.

According to CNBC, the couple - who have remained anonymous - only learned of its significance when they loaded the car onto a truck and set off for home, and truckers contacted them to let them know they were travelling with a James Bond car.

The couple then restored the vehicle and occasionally displayed it at exhibits for two decades before putting it up for auction in 2013.

The Lotus Esprit was then sold to a secret buyer, who was later revealed to be Elon Musk. The 48-year-old reportedly paid $997,000 - or nearly a million dollars - for the car.

Elon Musk, in a statement to auto website Jalopnik at the time, had revealed that he grew up watching James Bond movies.

"It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater," he said. "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

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