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Here's why Elon Musk paid early $1 million for car that was bought for $100

Web Report
Filed on December 5, 2019
Elon Musk, Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla

(AP file photo)

The couple had bought the car in a blind auction, not knowing what they are actually buying.

An abandoned car bought by a New York couple for $100 in 1989, was picked up by Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla Inc. for nearly $1 million.

The couple had bought the car in a blind auction, not knowing what they are actually buying, until they uncovered old blankets and found a 1976 Lotus Esprit sports car.

It was the same sports car used in the filming of 1977 James Bond movie 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. In the movie, the sports car transforms into a submarine and fires missiles while underwater. After the filming, the sports car had been put in the storage unit and remained there for more than a decade.

Musk bought the car as a secret buyer at RM Sotheby's auction in 2013. According to reports in CNBC, Musk said he had grown up watching the Bond movie.

"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 told the auto blog Jalopnik in 2013.

But the couple was oblivious of the car's value as they had never seen a Bond film.

Doug Redenius, co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, which authenticated the car, told NBC News in 2013 the couple had "had no idea how valuable their discovery was".

Redenius put the couple in touch with classic car auction company - RM Sotheby's, following which the car was sold in 2013 to then secret buyer Musk for reportedly $997,000.


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