Tesla Cybertruck Inspired by James Bond Car that Elon Musk Bought for $1M

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 4 min read
Tesla Cybertruck Inspired by James Bond Car that Elon Musk Bought for $1M
Photo: Ella Thompson / Flickr

While some reviewers have described Tesla’s Cybertruck as being like “nothing we’ve ever seen”, Elon Musk has said the pickup’s design was inspired by two films.

These days many of us are wondering what has inspired Tesla for creating its Cybertruck. And there is an answer.

Perhaps you had the chance to watch some of the top shows about ‘blind auctions’, ‘storage wars’ etc. It’s mostly about people buying a storage unit without knowing what’s inside. Usually, it’s a bunch of crap, but sometimes, people find some crazy things inside – and very worthy as well. Be it as it may, back in 1989, a couple from New York bought such a unit for around $100. It was a blind auction, so they didn’t know what exactly was inside. However, what they found – was certainly not crap. Under the old sheets and blankets was a 1976 Lotus Esprit sports car, the very one used in the making of the 1977 James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me.” If you haven’t watched, in this movie the car is transformed into a submarine that can fire missiles underwater as well.

Years later, the couple sold this car for approximately $1 million – to Elon Musk.

So, there were actually 8 same cars that were used in the making of this movie. However, this exact one was used in making underwater scenes and it seems it was just left in the storage forgotten for more than a decade.

Doug Redenius, co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, which authenticated the car, told NBC News in 2013 that at first, the couple wasn’t aware of what this vehicle really was and how valuable it is, because, coincidentally, they had never even seen a James Bond movie.

After that, they decided to “cosmetically restore” the vehicle and started occasionally exhibit it over the next 20 years. In the year 2013, they’ve decided to put it for an auction.

And the story is now known. The car was sold at auction at RM Sotheby’s in 2013 to a secret buyer. Later, it was discovered that the new owner was Elon Musk, who allegedly paid $997,000 for the car.

A James Bond fan since he was a kid, Musk thought this was an excellent opportunity for him to own such of memorabilia.

Back in 2013 he said:

“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.”

When the original movie was filmed, a marine engineering company spent more than $100,000 (around $425,000 today) in order to originally equip the Lotus for the movie.

During filming, the underwater scenes were performed by a retired U.S. Navy SEAL wearing full scuba gear with an oxygen tank, as the car’s interior wasn’t really water-resistant.

Recently, Musk admitted that he was partially inspired by this exact car/submarine when making Tesla’s Cybertruck.

However, this 1976 Lotus Esprit submarine is definitely not the most expensive car from a James Bond film to ever go up for auction. In August this year, there was an Aston Martin DB5 that was used to promote the 1965 Bond film “Thunderball” sold at auction for $6.4 million to an anonymous buyer. When you see the next Tesla model looking somehow familiar, don’t say we haven’t warned you.

After the Cybertruck was presented, the orders came up wildly but the Tesla stock kept falling. A week ago we reported about 200,000 pre-orders but quite quickly Elon Must shared that already 250,000 orders had been placed. And yes, bear in mind that it is only a pre-order stage,

However, at the time of writing, Tesla stock was up, but only  0.47% in premarket trading selling for $329.24. Analysts think the Tesla weekly cycle will bottom on December 3 and tops on January 1. All six buy signals have been successful in the prior year. The stock is likely to rally to the high $300-$350 area in December.

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