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Elon Musk adds 007’s Lotus Espirit submarine car to his collection

The progressive businessman and billionaire Elon Musk has officially bought the famous submarine car that James Bond used in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me. Knowing Elon Musk, the memorabilia will do more than just collecting dust inside his personal museum. Musk has the intention of transforming this “secret weapon” into reality.

The fictitious car was purchased for a whopping £616,000 which translates to $977,000 during an auction that was located in London during September. However, the winner of the auction was sealed until a blog named Jalopnik leaked the information to the rest of the world.


Lotus Esprit from James Bond Movie "The Spy Who Loved Me",1977 at a 1998 exhibition. Photo Credit
Lotus Esprit from James Bond Movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”,1977 at a 1998 exhibition. Photo Credit

After the Public Relations team from Tesla had confirmed the rumor, the story blazed through the internet, provoking Musk to release a statement about his recent purchase. He declared that as a child in South Africa, it was incredible to watch the famous spy movie that featured the Lotus submarine car. In order to transform the elegant car into a submarine he only needed to press a button. Musk joked that he was disappointed how the car didn’t actually transform but gave a couple of insights into his plans for the memorabilia. The businessman was going to upgrade the engine, obviously a Tesla one, and make a run at actually transforming the car into a real submarine.

While it could be brushed aside as a playful statement, Musk is known for his avid devotion to all realms of technology. Elon Musk has been responsible for the rise of PayPal, placing the electric car into the spotlight, publishing plans for the progressive Hyperloop train, and is even considered as the forerunner for the first businessman to populate Mars. At this point, it’s more likely that Musk will end up completing this ambitious side project during his free time. This guy is undoubtedly brilliant, and he has a knack for getting the impossible done quickly.

Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit Photo Credit

On the set of the movie, 007’s car was nicknamed “Wet Nellie”. However, after the film was completed, the car mysteriously disappeared. At one point, the 1977 spy car had been considered lost forever. But luckily, someone randomly picked up a storage unit for $100 and found the lost spy car. After the restoration process, the car had been displayed throughout museums for a couple of decades before it was listed for an auction in September.

The auction listing surprisingly explained the car in details by saying that it moved forward due to a bank of 4 propellers. The propellers had an electric motor that was driven by batteries housed inside of a watertight compartment. Underwater, the car was said to have a turning radius of approximately 20 feet. Its ability to rise and fall inside the water was regulated through the ballast tanks, which have been considered as crisply argonauts. However, unlike in the movie, the inside of the car shares no resemblance to the car used in the scenes that were shot on the road. Instead, the interior of the submarine car is filled with motors and controls. And sadly, the car only holds the driver.

Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit Photo Credit

The car’s construction is speculated at over $100,000 during the 1970s, making it quite a hefty investment. Three decades later, one of the most progressive men since Edison has bought the car having one mission in mind – to transform the elegant spy prop into an exciting reality, as The Guardian reported.

Here is another interesting read from us: The stunning Alfa Romeo Carabo: a futuristic concept car from 1968

Keep your fingers crossed. Within a decade, scuba diving may never be the same.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News