At an RM Auction in London last month a mystery buyer gave up almost $1 million for the Lotus-based submarine from the 1970s-era James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Surprise – it was Elon Musk and he bought it to make it work.
Musk has disclosed it wants to make the $989,000 prop a real, working submarine car. And, in case you haven’t already guessed, his goal is to use a Tesla electric drivetrain on the movie memorabilia.
“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,” Musk confirmed in an e-mail to newspaper USA Today. “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 Lotus Esprit was Roger Moore’s choice car when the British actor followed the original James Bond Sean Connery into the 007 role for some ‘70s-era thrillers. Alongside the always fashionable Bond girl, the super spy evades an attacking helicopter by jumping with his car from a pier. The wheels hide, fins appear and at the touch of another button, an under water rocket fires, obliterating the chopper from the sky.