Of Course Elon Musk Wants to Make James Bond’s Submarine Car Work

Published on October 19, 2013
by John Paczkowski


RM Auctions

Earlier this week, Jalopnik fingered Tesla founder Elon Musk as the mystery buyer of “Wet Nellie,” the Lotus Esprit submarine car from the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Now we know what he plans to do with it.

Musk plans to do exactly what you think the guy behind Tesla, SpaceX and the Hyperloop would do with it: He’s going to convert it into the real thing. He plans to outfit the car — for which he paid $920,167 — with some Tesla innovations, submarine technology and whatever else he needs to make it into a fully functional submersible automobile.

“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 said in a message emailed to AllThingsD. “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.”

Just how, exactly, Musk plans to do that isn’t clear. A spokeswoman for Tesla declined further comment on the project.

Below, 007’s Wet Nellie in action. And below that Musk’s appearance at D11, which is well worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it.

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