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.

The car has an amazing history, having being 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, starred in the Bond Classic and effortlessly took everyone's favourite agent underwater.

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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