James Bond car bought by Elon Musk was inspiration for Tesla pickup

Where was Tesla inspired to create its pickup, the Cybertruck?

Last week Turboway reposted interior photos of the truck that were posted by a Twitter user. It was the most read news of the year on the site. Some netizens questioned where Tesla was inspired to build the car.

The answer lies in a 1976 car used in the movie “007 – The Spy Who Loved Me”, released in 1977. It’s a Lotus Esprit that went through a curious history.

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The car is one of five produced especially for the James Bond film. In the movie he is a vehicle that transforms into a submarine. The story of how this car ended up in the hands of Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, was told by the American channel CNBC in 2019.

locked in warehouse

According to the publication, 007’s Lotus Esprit was locked in a storage warehouse after the film’s shooting and publicity process. After a while, the storage space in New York was abandoned and the company that owned the space tried, without success, to locate a responsible person.

Actors Barbara Bach and Roger Moore, stars of the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”, sit in the 1976 Lotus Esprit (photo: reproduction/ Fox Photos/ Getty Images)

According to US law, after a certain period of time without a claim, the company has the right to dispose of the assets. In 1989 the company put everything up for auction blindly for $100 (a hundred dollars, not a hundred thousand!). In this type of auction, the person bids for the unit and takes everything, not knowing what is inside.

The Lotus Esprit didn’t actually transform into a submarine. The 007 studio used several versions of the vehicle. The version that appeared underwater was characterized as an amphibious vehicle, but it did not actually function as an amphibian: it was just a model that imitated the original car that was placed in a giant pool and was guided externally by divers (watch scenes below film originals).

In the film’s scenes it is possible to see that the windows were characterized so that the spectators could not see that the car had an empty interior.

Sold for $1 million

The car was a surprise for the couple who bought it, who informed that they found out much later that the car was a copy used in the 007 movie. They decided to make superficial renovations to the car’s exterior to take it to exhibitions. This relationship with the car lasted until 2013, when they auctioned the vehicle and it was sold to a secret buyer.

That buyer paid $997,000 for the car. It was later known that the secret buyer was Elon Musk, who revealed when commenting on the Cybertruck pickup that the Lotus was part of the inspiration. He also cites that the cars from the “Blade Runner” movie complemented this inspiration.

About the car purchased, Elon revealed to the American site Jalopnik that he intended to reform the vehicle and make it work as in the movie. Despite this, there is no recent news of how the car is doing.

Esprit is back in “A Beautiful Woman”

The Lotus Esprit reappeared in a hit movie in 1990. It is the car driven by Edward Lewis, the main character alongside Julia Roberts. In this case, Lotus was the third option for the film’s production.

According to Folha de São Paulo, before the producers consulted Ferrari and Porsche, but they did not agree to give up their vehicles. The result was that Lotus tripled its sales between 1990 and 1991.

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