PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk purchased a submarine-car prop from “The Spy Who Loved Me” for $866,000 in a September auction and plans to turn it into a working electric-powered submarine-car.
Jalopnik figured out that the billionaire was the winning secret bidder in the September auction for the car, which was found in a storage unit an unsuspecting New York man bought for $100.
The strange-looking, wheel-less Lotus Esprit inside the unit turned out to be the submarine car in the film. Though several Lotus Esprits were used as props in the film, this was the only one that was an actual, working submarine.
But it doesn’t work as a road car — at least, not yet. Musk plans to make life imitate art, telling Jalopnik: “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. 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.”
So, either Musk will give the world a car that can turn into a submarine and back or he’ll destroy a piece of movie history trying.
Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, which he hopes will soon allow private citizens to travel to into space. James Bond went into outer space in 1979’s “Moonraker.”