Licensed to upgrade: Elon Musk buys Bond car and plans to turn it electric

Everyone's favourite real-life Iron Man has revealed his latest project - he's bought the amphibious Lotus Espirit from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Let's be honest: if you were a tech billionaire, the first thing you'd buy would be James Bond's gadget-laden car.

Elon Musk has just fulfilled everyone's secret Alan Partridge-esque fantasy by picking up the Lotus Esprit featured in 1977 James Bond epic The Spy Who Loved Me. The car has an amazing history, having been found in a storage locker by one lucky punter who bought the locker for US$100. And now SpaceX, Paypal and Tesla boffin Musk has paid US$866,000 for the secret agent's car.

Lotus Lover

The car, bought through RM Auctions by a bidder who initially wanted to remain anonymous, was driven by Roger Moore in the 007 classic – famously taking to the waves as a submersible.

Now, the secret buyer has been unmasked as Elon Musk.

"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," said Musk.

"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."

The car was found in Long Island by a contractor who bought an old storage locker for US$100. In one corner was an object under a blanket - the Bond car. However, the buyer had no idea what it was - and it was only when he rented a VHS copy of the film (this was 1989, remember) he realised.

"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."

[Source: Jalopnik and NBC News]

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