As one of the co-founders of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk has been at the forefront of advancing electric vehicle technology. What does his personal car collection look like?
Elon Musk owns numerous cars spanning the history of automobile design and engineering. His oldest car is a Ford Model T from 1920, gifted to him by a friend. He has also owned a Jaguar E-Type, a Lotus Esprit used in a James Bond movie, and several newer supercars. Musk’s first car was a second hand BMW 320i that he bought for $1,400.
For more on Elon Musk’s remarkable car collection, read on.
Before becoming one of the richest men in the world, Elon Musk’s car collection had humble beginnings. In 1994, he bought a second-hand BMW 320i for $1,400, the first version of the iconic BMW 3 Series.
Even back then, Musk was pushing technology beyond what was expected. In this case, it was by replacing the 4-speed transmission with a 5-speed that he found in a Philadelphia junkyard.
Musk’s 320i was from the late 1970s and was already in less than stellar condition when he bought it. A few years later, he allowed an intern at Zip2 to use the car for some errands and a wheel fell off, spelling the end for his first BMW.
One of Musk’s classic cars is more than a half-century older. His Ford Model T dates back to 1920, 12 years after the first models rolled off the production line.
The Model T was the first mass-produced car in history and changed the way automobiles were manufactured and distributed. It must have seemed an appropriate gift when a friend of Musk gave him the Ford, with the innovations of the past inspiring possibilities for the future.
Musk owns another legendary car, a Jaguar E-Type Roadster from 1967, widely considered one of the most beautiful and iconic cars ever made. Musk was given a book of classic convertibles in 1988 when he was 17 years old, and the E-Type quickly became his favorite.
He decided that, if he could ever afford it, he would buy one. In 1995, after making $40,000 at Zip2, Musk spent the majority of the money on buying an E-Type. His ownership didn’t start perfectly, as the car broke down on his drive home, but he had it fixed and it remained one of his prized possessions.
Musk made a less practical purchase in 2013 when he purchased a modified Lotus Esprit used in the filming of the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”. The Esprit had been modified into a functional submarine and abandoned before a Long Island couple bought it for $100 in a blind storage container sale.
Their investment paid off, as Musk bought the vehicle for just under a million dollars at an auction. Although it doesn’t transform as depicted in the film, Musk has said he wants to make that a reality.
Musk’s other cars are too numerous to describe in detail. He owned a 1997 McLaren F1, a three-seater hypercar that was capable of reaching a maximum speed of 240mph.
While driving with a friend, Musk put the car through its paces and ended up doing significant damage to the F1 (though thankfully not himself or his passenger). While selling PayPal to eBay in 2002, Musk made $165 million dollars and used some of this money to repair the F1.
Musk sold the car in 2007, not wanting to face constant criticism for owning a high-performance gasoline sports car. Among his other cars have been a Hammam BMW M5, a Porsche 911 Turbo, an Audi Q7, and many of his own revolutionary Tesla vehicles.