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Elon Musk’s Cars: How Many Does He Own & What Does He Drive?

  • Things To Know
  • Renee Martin
  • 10 minutes

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He’s the man who’s hogging all the headlines now, ever since he took over Twitter! So we know all about his Twitter takeover, and we all know what cars Elon Musk makes. But how many cars does he own? And more importantly, what car does Elon Musk drive? Is it a Telsa or something else entirely? We find out.  

Did you think Musk’s garage was bursting at the seams with all sorts of electric cars? Quite surprisingly, the Tesla tycoon’s tastes veer to analog when it comes to his car collection. The Tesla titan doesn’t just like plug-ins and spaceships. Plug-ins and spaceships aren’t the only things that interest Elon Musk.  

Elon Musk, currently the world’s richest man, is a serial entrepreneur, innovator, and engineer who has built his fortune by bringing cutting-edge technology to the general public. However, it may be a surprise to learn that Elon Musk has a pretty impressive car collection, not only electric ones. Quite the gearhead, in fact, he has several absolutely one-of-a-kind and extraordinary automobiles. These include a classic Ford Model T and a Porsche 911 Turbo.  

Here are all of the vehicles in Elon Musk’s garage. 

1978 BMW 320i 

nakhon100, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Musk’s first car was inexpensive but still a beauty. Musk purchased one used for $1,400 in 1994 and fixed it up himself. This was the first generation of the renowned BMW 3 Series that debuted in 1975 in Munich’s Olympic Stadium. He kept his BMW for a couple of years until one of his Zip2 interns used it to run some errands, and one of the wheels broke off.  

With the unique kidney grill and a powerful fuel-injected two-liter engine that could run 0-60mph in little over ten seconds and had a top speed of 112mph, it was an instant hit in Europe but didn’t arrive in the United States until 1977.  

1997 McLaren F1 

1997 McLaren F1 Source: Dave Adams via https://flic.kr/p/2hVRhBm

After his company got bought, Elon decided to give himself a bit of a treat. While he did debate between buying a home in Palo Alto and a McLaren F1, there was no contest in the end. He bought the F1 and a modest condo significantly cheaper than the automobile. His number 067 was one of just seven McLaren F1s brought to the US in 1997. The three-seater hypercar could reach 240 mph (Elon claimed to have reached 215 mph on a private runway), and Musk used it as a corporate car, frequently traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  

Despite putting 11,000 miles on it, Musk was so sure that he wouldn’t be one of those stereotypically wealthy men who buy a sports vehicle and wrecks it that he didn’t bother buying insurance. Fast forward to three years later. Musk crashed his silver supercar while driving PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Neither passenger was injured, but the automobile was severely damaged. He eventually sold the supercar for a profit in 2007! Musk explained that he sold the legendary vehicle because he didn’t want people to constantly write about how he owned a gas-guzzling high-performance sports automobile.

Save more on auto insurance

There’s a moral to this tale, though. Everyone needs to buy auto insurance, however awesome you think your driving skills are! Musk could probably afford to pay for repairs, but not everyone can.

1976 Lotus Esprit aka Wet Nellie 

1976 Lotus Esprit submarine carSource: sv1ambo via https://flic.kr/p/a5YXi3

This iconic car in Musk’s garage was the only operational (barely) prop from the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. It’s the wondrous car that turns into a submarine from the film. So when it was finally put up for auction in 2013, Musk purchased it for close to a million dollars and took it out of the hands of the auctioneers.  

Ever since he watched James Bond push a button on the Esprit and transform it into an amphibious vehicle, Elon Musk has been smitten with the automobile. So we suspect that Elon Musk was dismayed, just like the rest of us, when he discovered that “Wet Nellie” could not, in fact, change into a submarine. 

1920 Ford Model T

1920 Ford Model T dave_7 from Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It may surprise you to see a classic like Tin Lizzie in Musk’s collection, but it demonstrates the man’s passion for the past. Some consider it appropriate that the man they believe will disrupt how people travel on earth and in space owns a car that revolutionized personal mobility in its day.

The Ford Model T is a piece of automotive history. When Henry Ford chose to release the Model T, the first mass-produced automobile for the general public, he created the most significant car of the twentieth century.

1967 E-Type Jaguar Roadster

1967 E-Type Jaguar Roadster Source: Steve Glover via https://flic.kr/p/2aDYpT3

Musk, like many others, including allegedly Enzo Ferrari, fell in love with the Jaguar E-Type when he first saw one at the age of 17. It became his dream automobile, and he decided to acquire one if he could ever afford it, which he did, of course, very early and did get the Jag.

Surprisingly, the British Roadster broke down on the way home from the showroom, kicking off Musk’s battle between man and machine. “That one was like a terrible girlfriend – it kept breaking down on me and creating all sorts of difficulties,” he claimed of the Jaguar.

2006 BMW M5

2006 BMW M5 The Car Spy, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hamman, a BMW tuning specialist, took on an M5 and transformed it into a thing of Bavarian magic. The M5 was already a fantastic car before Hamman got their hands on it. Hamman increased the output of the five-liter V10 engine to 603 horsepower and raised the M5’s peak speed from a limited 155 miles per hour to an astounding 199 miles per hour by fiddling with and de-limiting the engine’s capabilities. Not too shabby for a “family” vehicle with four seats. It was a vehicle that was so irrational that it may have inspired Elon Musk to create the “Ludicrous” driving mode for the Tesla Model S that he later released.

2010 Audi Q7

Audi Q7 2010 order_242 from Chile, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Elon Musk was shopping for a huge vehicle in 2010 to accommodate his large family, one of the most opulent sport utility vehicles (SUVs) on the market was the Audi Q7. Musk was not impressed with the car at all. In fact, he expressed his displeasure with the Q7 publicly, calling it “particularly horrendous.” However, he was also able to offer a solution.

Musk insisted that his SUV, the Tesla Model X, have falcon-wing doors while he was constructing it so that passengers could more easily reach the back seats, particularly in confined parking situations. Now, anytime Musk goes with the family, he does not have any difficulties of any kind whatsoever.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo

2021 Porsche Turbo 911 hugh llewelyn, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who could really criticize Elon Musk for being enchanted by one of the world’s most renowned and legendary sports cars? However, he wasn’t too keen on the massive gas-guzzling engine. So he became intrigued with the concept of converting his Porsche 911 to electric. Musk had the notion of battery-powered automobiles in the back of his mind when he met engineer JB Straubel in 2003.

Straubel had been collaborating with Alan Cocconi, who had created a successful prototype e-car (the T-Zero), and Musk was impressed. Musk then asked him to install a lithium-ion battery pack in his 911 and convert it to an electric vehicle. Cocconi didn’t really buy the idea. But he did get Musk in touch with a pair of people who were working on a small e-car startup named Tesla. Musk spent $30 million to become involved, and the rest, as they say, is history!

2008 Tesla Roadster

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster SpaceX, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Musk, of course, has a Tesla roadster. In fact, it’s not even the only Tesla he has (obviously!). This one, though, is no longer in his garage; it’s among the stars, way up in space. So how did that come to be? Well, that’s a bit of a story in itself. So gather around.

It was in 2008 that Tesla launched their first electric vehicle, the Roadster. (aka project Dark Star). It was based on the chassis of a Lotus Elise, utilized lithium-ion batteries, had a range of 227 miles, could accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 3.7 seconds (at the time, it was faster than a Lamborghini Gallardo), and Elon Musk was the first lucky owner of a Roadster. Musk used it as his daily driver for years before deciding to give it a fitting send-off.

So instead of selling it on eBay like us plebians would, Elon placed it aboard his SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, strapped a dummy named “Starman” in the passenger seat, played “Space Oddity” on the stereo, and launched it into space on February 6, 2018. If you’re curious, the Space Tesla has its own unofficial website tracking its voyage through space: whereisroadster.com.

2019 Tesla Model S Performance

2019 Tesla Model S PerformanceVauxford, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk has confessed that his Tesla Model S is the car he drives the most. That shouldn’t be a surprise, given that the Model S is the comfiest and most accommodating vehicle in the Tesla fleet. This was also the model on which Musk debuted Ludicrous mode, a power increase that provides equipped Teslas with a turbocharger. His Hamann-tuned BMW M5 served as inspiration for this piece.

The 2019 Tesla Model S Performance is a savage and efficient turbocharged beast capable of reaching 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, rivaling some of the quickest automobiles ever manufactured. In addition, the Model S, like most Teslas, has an abundance of technological capabilities, including semi-autonomous driving mode and a remote-control driving capability, as well as one of the biggest infotainment screens available in any car on the market.

The standard Model 3 comes with a battery that has a range of 270 miles. However, if you choose the Long Range model, you may increase the range to 335 miles. However, both versions were created with acceleration time rather than the range in mind, and the car’s Ludicrous Mode can be unlocked for just $15,000.

2020 Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla CyberTruck Source: https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

Is it any wonder that one of the world’s most controversial people introduced the most controversial automobile this side of the century? The Cybertruck, controversially designed and bulletproof glass, will not be available until 2023. Yes, we know Rivian’s electric truck is already on the market. But Musk’s future electric pickup truck resembles something RoboCop might have driven in 1987 (we mean that as a compliment!).

It offers seating for six, a range of up to 500 miles, a body made of ultra-hard 30x cold-rolled stainless steel, and armored glass. The glass presumably can only be broken by something very hard, kind of like the metal ball that struck at the windscreen and shattered it instantly at the launch event, much to Musk’s chagrin. The Cybertruck could very well be Tesla’s most outrageous vehicle yet.

Auto insurance savings

The Cybertruck, which has all-wheel drive, can tow up to 14,000 pounds and has a range of around 500 miles. It comes in three different variants, each dependent on the number of engines. Tesla claims the single-motor Cybertruck can reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and top out at 110 mph. The dual-motor Cybertruck can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and achieve a high speed of 120 mph, while the ultimate performance three-motor variant can reach 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph.

*Disclaimer: Images used are representational. They are not from Elon Musk’s car collection. 


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