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Transportation Technology

Elon Musk Making a Working Version of James Bond's Submersible Car 91 91

Nerval's Lobster writes "In The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), James Bond is given a Lotus Espirit S1 that doubles as a submarine. More than thirty years after that movie's release, a contractor opened up a random Long Island storage container to find one of the automobile-submarines used in filming. He promptly put it up for auction, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk purchased it for a cool $866,000. But Musk isn't planning to restore the Bond car and put it in a garage somewhere: he wants to make it run. '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,' Tesla PR wrote in a statement to Jalopnik. '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.' Whether that means Musk will install new equipment in the actual prop, or have his engineers build a seaworthy replica, is an open question. What's more certain is that Musk has the capability (and cash) to make something like that happen, considering how he already manages the construction of next-generation electric cars and reusable rockets for a living."
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Elon Musk Making a Working Version of James Bond's Submersible Car

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  • Re:impossible (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 18, 2013 @02:58PM (#45168051)

    But there already exists submersible cars, this wouldn't be the first.
    One I remember, it works as a car, a boat, a sub and sadly not a helicopter / VTOL, that would be great if it could.
    I forgot the name of the one I saw recently on Gadget Man on Channel4 in the UK, but it was a rather nice.

    And of course, I cannot fail to link this, Top Gear submersible experiment [youtube.com].

  • Re:waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobbied (2522392) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:21PM (#45168371)

    Let him waste his money if he wants. I agree this is a foolish idea but if that's what he wants to do for a hobby, what do I care?

    Besides, I got a feeling there will be hours of fun just watching U-Tube videos of his system tests. Wonder how many times they will have to winch the thing off the bottom before he gives up?

  • Love it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kookus (653170) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:26PM (#45168437) Journal

    It's pretty difficult to keep good talent at organizations. Especially when you get into the grind of a single goal and day in and day out it's the same thing.
    Having a boss that might step in 1 day that and say hey, instead of working on that problem you've been on for a while, how about you work on making this car into a submarine. Thanks.
    That would be awesome, adds spice into the mix, and helps make people reconsider ever wanting to leave their organization.

    Hopefully that's the motivation behind this moreso than the I'm farting so much money now I can't find enough ways to spend it kind of thing!

  • by Andrio (2580551) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:44PM (#45168741)

    It seems to me that this is purely just a very rich person having a fun side project. He's not planning on a fleet of submersible Tesla's or anything like that. He just wants a toy from his childhood fantasy.

  • Re:waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:53PM (#45168873) Homepage

    In a capitalist society, it is the excess money that should be devoted to improving society

    That's more communist, where someone who has more than he needs gives it back to help those that don't have enough.

    In a capitalist society, his excess money goes anywhere he wants to do anything he wants, and anyone who can provide what he wants gets paid for it, and can in turn spend it however they like, and so on. It will certainly take a good deal of money to turn this car into a submarine, and that means more paychecks for manufacturers and engineers on the project, who can then spend those paychecks on whatever they want, and so on.

    That is, after all, the purpose of capitalist commerce: people getting things they want.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn