Watch McLaren Deliver an F1 to Young Elon Musk in 1999

mclaren f1 photo
mclaren f1 photo

“It’s a million dollars for a car,” Elon Musk’s then-fiance Justine said. “It’s decadent.” Yeah, it’s decadent alright. But not in the Ghiradelli dark chocolate type of way. It’s that world’s fastest car sort of decadent, and widely considered one of the best supercars ever created. And back in 1999, a young, balding, giant suit-wearing, pre-Tesla Musk purchased one of only 106 built (including all variants and prototypes).

The footage comes from a documentary about up-and-coming millionaires. At this point in his life, Musk was only 28 years old and had just sold an online publishing software called Zip2 for $400 million. The flourish was serious.

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Musk says during the video, “The real payoff is the satisfaction of having created the company that I sold. But the car sure is fun.” Yet, earlier in the video, he also subtly flexes when he casually mentions, “I could go and buy one of the islands in the Bahamas … but I’m much more interested in trying to build and create a new company.”

At the time, he was attempting to build an online banking company called, which eventually merged with PayPal, which Elon Musk sold for $1.5 billion. As everybody now knows, he took those earnings to create SpaceX and the uber-trendy Tesla Motors. Although the electric Model S has grown to tremendous heights (and the company’s stock along with it), Musk recently admitted that he was essentially completely out of money back in 2008 when the Tesla Roadster was failing. Just keep that (and this car) in mind next time you’re looking for a little inspiration. Not everything is as clean and pretty as it seems.

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Photo Credit: Ian Kuah / GTSpirit


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