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James Bond submersible car bought by Tesla Motors CEO

Oct. 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM   |   Comments

HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has purchased the Lotus Esprit featured in the underwater scene in "The Spy Who Loved Me," his company said.

Musk purchased the submersible vehicle for $968,000 at an auction held last month in London, automobile blog Jalopnik reported Thursday.

The car enthusiast and futurist apparently based the design of the first Tesla on James Bond's Lotus Esprit, The Hollywood Reporter 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," Musk said. "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 discovered in 1989 hidden under blankets in a storage container purchased for $100 by a Long Island building contractor. The car was authenticated by the Ian Fleming Foundation.

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