What do you buy when you have everything? Well, if you're Elon Musk, you buy James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine car from "The Spy Who Loved Me" and turn it into a functioning submersible.
Musk, the PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX founder, secretly dropped $866,000 on the Lotus featured in the 1977 film, the car website Jalopnik reported on Friday.
As if that weren't cool enough, Musk wants to outfit the car with a Tesla engine and turn it into a working, transforming, real-life Bond car.
“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," Musk said in a statement provided to the Huffington Post. "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.”
Check out a version of the vehicle below:
The story of how the car ended up in Musk's hands is just about as interesting as what Musk plans to do with it. According to CNBC, it was lost for years after being used to promote the Bond movie, but its re-discovery began in 1989, when a Long Island contractor bought a storage unit on a whim. Upon opening the mysterious container, the contractor and his brother found a "giant lump" covered in blankets, which was revealed to be a white car with a dented roof and no tires. When they loaded it onto a truck, others at the scene informed the brothers of the sub's cultural significance.
After the Ian Fleming Foundation verified its authenticity, the vehicle went to RM Auctions, who led its restoration and put it up for auction. It sold for $866,000 to a "secret buyer," now known as Musk, who beat out another collector.
While transforming a submarine from a 1977 Bond film into a functioning, all-purpose, Transformer-like vehicle seems like science fiction, we know by now that not much is beyond Musk.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the website reporting on Elon Musk's newest car purchase. It is Jalopnik.
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