Elon Musk today is on the verge of revolutionizing the car industry. His startup, Tesla, is the biggest electric car company in the world, and is also pushing the boundaries of self driving technology. But back in 1999 – before Musk had founded PayPal, Tesla, or even SpaceX – Musk was a pretty serious car aficionado.
In 1999, Musk had just sold Zip2 for a staggering $400 million in cash. At 27, he was already fabulously wealthy. And he ended up doing what any 27 year old would do in the situation – buy a fancy-ass car.
“There are 62 McLarens in the world, and I will own one of them,” he proudly said the day he was supposed to receive his new ride.
Even back then, Musk had hinted at his entrepreneurial spirit. “I can go out and buy one of the islands in the Bahamas and turn in into my personal fiefdom,” he says, referring to his big payout from the sale. “But I’m more interested in trying to build a new company.”
He did not end up building just one company – he built several, which revolutionized whole industries. PayPal changed how payments were viewed worldwide, and SpaceX did what no private company had attempted before – send rockets into space.
But back in 1999, Musk couldn’t have enough of his brand new purchase. “Ladies and gentleman, the fastest car in the world,” he’d gushed as it had zoomed into view. Little did he know that many years later, he’d end up creating one of his own – Tesla’s Model S is now the quickest production car in the world.