Elon Musk paid close to $1 million for abandoned car couple found in storage unit for $100

  • Elon Musk owns one of the most famous cars in cinematic history
  • After appearing on screen, it was abandoned in a storage unit for over a decade
  • A couple bought it on a blind auction, for a shockingly low price

Published on May 24, 2024 at 4:16 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Jun 07, 2024 at 6:39 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Elon Musk once splashed out nearly $1 million on a vintage car.

Seeing as it’s the famous submarine car James Bond drove, it’s not surprising to see why.

What’s really unusual is that this iconic car of the silver screen was abandoned in the 70s.

And how it traveled from under a sheet in a storage unit to make its way into Musk’s fleet.

READ MORE: Jaguar C-X75 used in James Bond heavily re-engineered to finally become road-legal

The real star of The Spy Who Loved Me was Bond’s submarine car, a modified 1976 Lotus Esprit.

In the film, the car can drive and even shoot missiles while underwater.

So, obviously, the car used in the film became a celebrated piece of history, stored in a museum for all to enjoy, right?

Not quite.

Somehow the Lotus Esprit ended up in a storage unit for over a decade.

Then in 1989, a blind auction was held and a couple paid $100 for the mystery contents of the unit.

Once they opened it, they found the car underneath a pile of dusty blankets.

Having never watched a Bond film, the couple simply noted what needed repairing and loaded the car into a truck.

Luckily, one of the truck drivers recognized the car for what it was and told them that they were now in possession of a piece of cinema history.

After enjoying it for two decades, the couple decided to auction the Lotus off.

They made a hell of a profit, selling it to an anonymous buyer for $997,000.

Later, it emerged that the mystery buyer was – in fact – Elon Musk.

He added it to his small but impressive car collection, which includes one of the rarest supercars ever made, the McLaren F1.

The F1 was also bought for a fraction of its worth today.

At the time Musk forked out the considerable sum of $1 million.

But if sold today it would fetch between $20 and $25 million.

# Tags - Cars


Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.