Elon Musk, the CEO of electric car company Tesla, wants to turn the film prop Lotus Esprit he bought at auction in London last month into a car that really can drive under water.
South African Musk paid US$989,000 for the Lotus used as a submarine of sorts in the 1977 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.
The car was just a prop that could only be driven underwater by a diver in scuba gear, but Musk said he wants to truly make it work.
“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 told USA Today.
“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.”
The vehicle would be capable of functioning like a real car on land, and once in water, would convert into a working submarine.
In the movie, the Esprit is driven into the water by 007 secret agent Roger Moore.
Once under the waves, it sinks before the wheels retract and fins and a propeller emerge.
Six Esprits were used for the film but the auction car was the only one kept. It was built by US company Perry Oceanographic and driven by a retired US Navy Seal. The build cost was said to be US$100,000.