Man spends £78 on a shipping container before selling contents to Elon Musk for £600k

Man spends £78 on a shipping container before selling contents to Elon Musk for £600k

Forklift working in at Container unit

The man had “no idea” how valuable the container was (Image: Getty)

A man who bought a shipping container for £78 managed to sell its contents to Elon Musk for £600,000.

The buyer had “no idea” how valuable his container would be when he purchased it from an American site in 1989 alongside his brother. When they first opened the unit, the brothers saw nothing but a “giant lump covered in blankets,” reports the Daily Star.

Upon further inspection however, they discovered an unusual white sports car. It had a dented roof and no wheels.

The siblings took the vehicle to get valuated. It was then they discovered it was the authentic submarine car from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

James Bond's Lotus Espirit

The submarine car from James Bond (Image: Handout)

The car, known on-set as “Wet Nellie”, is thought to have cost around £78,400 to make in the 70s. It starred in the 1977 film, with Roger Moore and Barbara Bach taking the lead roles, as it was driven in a mountaintop chase before plunging into the ocean.

When it enters the water, the car’s wheels contracted and it transformed into a submarine. It is thought two cars were used to shoot the chase scene, three to record the underwater shots, and another for travelling submarine footage.

According to NBC News, Doug Redenius, the co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, was the one who valued the rare find. He said: “They really didn’t know what it was at first. They had no idea how valuable their discovery was.”

It was around 24 years later the car was put up for auction. Reports at the time suggest Elon Musk outbid the competition and purchased the submarine car for (£616,000) in September 2013.

7th Viva Technology Conference In Paris - Day 3

Elon Musk (Image: Getty)

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Initially the tech billionaire bought the vehicle as an anonymous buyer. But he later put out a statement regarding the iconic motor.

He said: “It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me drive his Lotus Espirit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater.

““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.”

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