An old model automobile auctioned by a couple for $100 was bought by Tesla CEO Elon Musk for $1 million. Now half a decade later the old James bond car is in the news because Elon Musk has affirmed that car was part of the inspiration for the new Cybertruck. 

The Long Island, New York couple who took part in an auction in 1989 and bought an unclaimed storage unit for $100 had no clue that they have acquired possession of immense value.

The couple was not aware of the value of the asset hidden inside the storage. Wrapped under old blankets was the 1976 Lotus Esprit sports car used in the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

In the movie, the sports car takes up different incarnations and also becomes a submarine that fires missiles while remaining underwater.

Unlike the couple who never saw a Bond film Musk was passionate about Bond movies right from teenage.

Inspiration for the new Cybertruck

Musk bought the car with the intent to make a real transformation of the car to submarine using Tesla’s engineering skills. The car was in many museums for 24 years until 2013.

Now the old car is in display in Tesla’s design studio ever since.

Elon Musk bought the old car for nearly $1 million, CNBC reported.

In 2016, Musk said he wanted to make an amphibious vehicle based on this Lotus Espirit. So, the saga of the Cybertruck is well connected with that ambition. 

The sports car had a long hibernation and remained in the storage unit after the filming until 1989. It was forgotten for more than a decade until the New York couple took over.

According to Doug Redenius, co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, which authenticated the car, the couple had no idea about the Bond connection. He told NBC News: “They had no idea how valuable their discovery was.”

They came to know about the “precious status” while loading the car onto a truck for some repairs including the sports car’s dented roof. Alert truckers told the couple that they were hauling a James Bond car, according to Redenius.

The car came into the hands of Musk in 2013 after the couple “cosmetically restored” the vehicle and held some displays at exhibitions of classic cars before deciding to sell it. 

Musk’s Nostalgia and more

Musk, who bought the heritage car, it was a case of nostalgia reborn.  Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the all-electric battery-powered Tesla Cybertruck in California, but the demonstration of the vehicle's armored glass windows didn't appear to go entirely to plan. Elon Musk claims that the Tesla Cybertruck can withstand a 9-milimeter bullet. Photo: Handout/Tesla /

“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.

The “Wet Willie” car was used extensively for underwater scenes, so when it was sold in 2013 it had no wheels and possessed some “articulated fins.” It was not good for driving on land as it worked more like a submarine by adding ballast tanks and propellers.

Outlook better on Cybertruck

Meanwhile, the focus on edgy design is going to help Tesla gain a strong foothold in the truck market like its sedan Tesla Model3, according to reports.

Even if the Cybertruck does not gain mass market acceptance it can shift to conventional designs to appease the traditional buyer.

The Cybertruck design also reminds of the classic DMC DeLorean sports car of the early 1980s, reports CNN. It is yet another reinforcement of the power of Lotus Esprit sports cars that swayed yet another automaker decades ago.