No one can argue that Elon Musk is one extraordinary man. After all, we are talking about an innovator, someone who is behind a lot of firsts. At the same time, it’s also important to note the Musk is not done making his mark on the world yet. In fact, he’s still very much a man on a mission.
Born in 1971, it seems that getting started early has always been Musk’s main goal in life. In fact, according to Biography, Musk ended up developing an interest in computers at age 10. Two years later, he created his first software game, Blastar.
Around the same time he finished college, the internet was booming and Musk saw an opportunity. This was the time when he launched the Zip2 Corporation, which provided an online city guide. This was followed by X.com, which eventually became PayPal. Musk eventually sold both companies and increased his wealth.
After this, Musk focused on space. He founded SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation in 2002. The goal was to make commercial space travel possible. In 2008, SpaceX was awarded a contract by NASA to handle transport and cargo to the International Space Station.
Now, while Musk was pursuing his space dreams, he was also contemplating the future of automobiles. He co-founded Tesla Motors back in 2003. The company’s vision is simple: to prove “that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars.” Over the years, the company came out with several models that captured serious attention in the car buying market.
Today, that vision remains the same, only bigger. It’s not just consumer cars that Musk and his team want to supply. In fact, they have been making some serious strides towards the commercial truck market as well.
As Musk continues to dream, create and leave many awestruck, perhaps it’s time to take a look at what drives this man…literally. After all, who isn’t curious about what Musk drives himself? Well, we were, and we had to get some answers.
Believe it or not, Elon Musk owned a Ford Model T at some point in his life. According to a report from CNBC, Musk had said that the car was a gift from a friend.
If you must know, the Model T is a car that is as classic as can be. Also known as the “Tin Lizzie,” this car model was produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 to 1927. Around this time, Henry Ford was determined to come up with something that was practical, versatile and durable. And so, the company set out to make over 15 million units of the Model T. According to History, the selling for the Model T in 1908 was $850. By 1925, the price was down to $300.
According to a report from Business Insider, Musk bought the 1967 Jaguar Series 1 E-type Roadster as a little gift for himself.
Musk had known about the Series 1 E-type Roadster since he was around 17 years old. This was the time that he had received a book about classic convertibles. Looking at the book, he determined that the Jaguar was the one that he liked best. Since then, Musk told himself that he would buy one if he could ever afford it. As it turned out, Musk would have more than enough money to afford one someday. In fact, his initial bonus check for Zip2 amounted to as much as $40,000. And with that money, he decided to finally get his dream car.
Now, believe it or not, neither the Ford Model T nor the Jaguar Series 1 E-type Roadster was Musk’s first cars. Instead, that honor belonged to a 1978 BMW 320i that he managed to buy for a mere $1,400.
Unfortunately, the purchase would prove to be more problematic than appealing. In fact, during an interview with Forbes, Musk said that he only had the car for two years. At some point, however, the wheel fell off. By then, Musk was already fed up with the car. He even remarked, “I scrapped the car at that point.” After his experience with the 320i, it’s unclear if Musk ever drove another BMW 3 Series at any point in his life.
Well, here’s proof that Elon Musk did not get discouraged with BMW cars altogether. He actually ended up owning and driving a Hamann BMW M5, according to a report from Vanity Fair.
As far as sports cars go, the Hamman BMW M5 is among the most impressive. As Hamann explains, “The eight-cylinder engine in the M5 currently is the strongest standard BMW engine and delivers 412 kW or 560 hp. The Competition model even produces 575 hp. However, HAMANN sees the limit of the brawny 4.4-litre V8 beyond 600. With the help of a control module (chip tuning), the power is advanced by 90 hp and the maximum torque is increased from 680 to 850 Nm at 1 850 rpm. That ennobles the BMW M5 tuning version to a super sports limousine.”
If you could recall, the 1977 ‘James Bond’ film “The Spy Who Loved Me” featured a sports-car submarine in the form of a Lotus Esprit S1. Seeing this, Musk decided to buy the actual spy car. A report from The Guardian revealed that Musk paid $997,000 for it.
In a statement, Musk said, “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, it’s not just classic cars and spy cars that Musk had been fascinated by. In fact, he also has a practical side. This might explain why the Tesla co-founder owns an Audi Q7.
Today, you can still own a brand-new Q7. You just have to be willing to pay at least $53,550 for the 2019 model. Under the hood is your choice of a 2.0-liter or 3.0-liter engine. The former can deliver 248 horsepower while the latter can crank out 329 horses. Interestingly, owning the Q7 inspired Musk to create his own SUV. And when he went about developing Tesla’s Model X, he made sure to address the problems he saw in the Q7. This included space and third-row access.
According to a report from Business Insider, Musk also happens to own a Porsche 911. It’s no surprise considering that Musk had always recognized Porsche as a “high-performance car,” according to the Vanity Fair report.
Now, ownership of a Porsche 911 today comes with a starting price of $91,100. At this price point, you get the 911 Carrera, which utilizes a 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine that can crank out 370 horses at 6,500 rpm and 331 pound-feet of torque at 1,700 to 5,000 rpm. When using a manual transmission, you get a top track speed of 183 miles per hour. Meanwhile, when using an automatic transmission, the top speed is 182 miles per hour.
As you can see, Musk is quite a car lover. And so, at some point, he decided that he needed to own a McLaren F1 car. Unfortunately, this car got wrecked during an accident in Silicon Valley in 2000. At that time, Musk was with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel in the car.
During an interview with PandoDialy, Musk recalled, “Peter said, 'So what can this do?' and like probably No. 1 on the list of famous last words, I said, 'Watch this.' So I floored it and did a lane change on Sand Hill. We hit an embankment, like a 45-degree embankment on Sand Hill, which tossed the car into the air like a discus and it kept rotating with about three foot of air clearance.”
If you could recall, Model S was one of the first cars that Tesla Motors had ever introduced to the public. Musk is certainly proud of it and he has been seen driving around in his very own Model S quite frequently. In fact, some would even argue that the Model S is Musk’s daily driver.
Today, Tesla refers to its Model S as the “best car in its class in every category.” The company further remarked, “Combining safety, performance, and efficiency, Model S has reset the world’s expectations for the car of the 21st century with the longest range of any electric vehicle, over-the-air software updates that make it better over time, and a record 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.28 seconds as measured by Motor Trend.”
As we have mentioned earlier, the Model X SUV was, in some ways, inspired by troubles that Musk encountered with his Audi Q7. As Musk had explained during an interview, “The Audi Q7 is particularly bad. Even in the best case scenario, you need to be a dwarf mountain climber to get into the back seat.”
And so, to fix these problems, Musk decided that the Tesla Model X would have falcon wing doors. Instead of opening the conventional way, they would go upwards, just like sports car and supercars. The idea itself sounded practical. However, when the SUVs finally rolled out, many reported problems with these falcon doors.
As you might know, the Tesla Model 3 is one car that many have been intrigued by for quite some time now. In fact, the car received a record number of reservations upon its unveiling.
Interestingly, it seems someone managed to spot Musk’s very own Model 3 car. According to a report from Teslarati, a Teslarati app user named “Crush” submitted some photos of a Model 3 parked at Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto one early morning. As the report further explained, “With parking sensors throughout, well-finished interior and no signs of it being a release candidate, and the fact that it was at Tesla HQ, community members quickly noted that this black Model 3 might have been Elon Musk’s personal “SN1” car or Tesla’s first production Model 3.”
The Roadster is the very first model that Tesla Motors had introduced to consumers. And as you can expect, Musk is the very first to drive one.
From the beginning, the car meant to impress. As Tesla itself had explained, this car is “the quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range, and performance.” Today, the car has an impressive mile range of 620 miles. Meanwhile, its top speed readily exceeds 250 miles per hour. Even better, the Roadster is capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a mere 1.9 seconds. That is certainly faster than a lot of supercars that exist today.
Now, the Model Y is currently model that everyone is looking forward to seeing real soon. And while no one has managed to get a glimpse of it yet, it’s safe to say that Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk already has one in his garage. After all, he would want to take it for a little spin before he unveils it to the rest of the world.
According to Tesla, the Model Y would be a crossover SUV. For some time now, Musk has been teasing about this car. The good news is everybody will be seeing the Model Y real soon. In fact, Musk also recently announced that the unveiling of the Model Y would be on March 14 at the LA Design Studio.
As you may know, Musk and his other company, SpaceX, went ahead and sent a roadster to space. That happened a year ago and now, his Roadster is still very much on a journey across the solar system. In fact, the car is currently traveling on an elliptical path around the sun.
Last November 2018, the Roadster had already gone past the planet Mars. Moreover, it is expected to go past Mercury and Venus too. Meanwhile, according to a report from Business Insider, the Roadster in space is expected to complete its first full orbit by the end of the year.
Today, Tesla Motors is just days away from revealing the Model Y. It is being referred to as a crossover vehicle that would join the company's existing model lineup. However, perhaps what Tesla co-founder Musk is more excited about is the development of a Tesla pickup truck. After all, this truck is his passion project.
According to Inverse, Tesla has been hard at work on this truck since 2016. Earlier on, Musk had teased that the Tesla truck would be "next-level." He also later remarked, "I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don’t care." Based on Musk's tweet earlier this month, it seems Tesla will finally unveil the truck later this year.
Sources - History, Forbes, Hamann, Vanity Fair, The Guardian& Tesla