Tech Billionaire Elon Musk's Car Collection Conflicts With EV Innovations

By Simon Boseman

Published June 15, 2024

Tech Billionaire Elon Musk's Car Collection Conflicts With EV Innovations

Elon Musk is currently the richest man in the world with a net worth of $210.2 billion at the age of 52. So, where does the CEO of Tesla spend his share of profits? Well, among his investments in companies and in shares, the Tech. Billionaire has a fascinating palate for automobiles spanning from iconic and vintage classics to modern-day cutting-edge EVs. As the CEO of an EV company, Musk's favorite car is not an EV but rather a Hamann-modified BMW M5 from 2006 which was the inspiration behind the “Ludicrous Mode” in the Tesla Model S. Elon's choices for different vehicles reflect his broadminded thinking, eagerness to learn and grow, and spirit to push beyond boundaries and that's what exactly the tech. billionaire should aim for. 

11. 1920 Ford Model T

Elon Musk’s 1920 Ford Model T

The 1920 Ford Model T was gifted to Elon Musk by one of his friends. And it kind of makes sense that one of the most influential car markers in the 21st century was given to the most influential car of the 20th century. The cost of the Model T was just $850 when it was first released, but since then its value has increased, and it's estimated to be worth around $15,000.

1920 Ford Model TSpecs
Powertrain2.9-litre Straight 4
Horsepower22 HP
Torque83 lb-ft
Transmission2-speed manual
0-60 mphN/A
Top Speed42 mph

The Ford Model T is considered the most influential car of the 20th century, as when it was released by Ford in 1908, it was the world’s first mass-produced car. The Ford Model T is regarded as the first mass-affordable car that made owning a 4-wheeler available to middle-class Americans. The Model T was an instant success, as within a few days after the release Ford received 15,000 orders which was impeccable back in the day.

10. 1978 BMW 320i

Grey 1978 BMW 320i

Musk’s first car was a 1978 BMW 320i, which clearly shows off his humble beginnings because, back in the 70s, BMW wasn't quite the status symbol it is today. Elon bought the car for $1,400 and spent a bit more money fixing it. Sadly for him, the wheels fell off the car while being driven by one of his interns, whom he had lent it to when he worked at Zip2.

Elon Musk’s working on his 1978 BMW 320i

After finding out about the car’s condition, Elon chose to get rid of it. The value of a 1978 320i in good condition is around $16,600. The image above shows a young Elon Musk working on his BMW 320i. His mom, Maye Musk, posted this on with the caption "@elonmusk #1995 And people said you knew nothing about cars.”

1978 BMW 320iSpecs
Powertrain2.0-litre Inline 4
Horsepower109 HP
Torque112 lb-ft
Transmission4-speed manual
0-60 mph11.4 seconds
Top Speed108 mph

The 1978 BMW 320i belonged to the first generation of 3 series which later became the bread and butter line for the manufacturer. The overall package of great looks and fun driving dynamics made it an instant success.

9. 2010 Audi Q7

Elon Musk’s 2010 Audi Q7

Elon was in need of a large family car as his first wife had given birth to a set of twins in 2004 and triplets in 2006. He ended up getting the Audi Q7, which was one of the most luxurious SUVs back in 2010. Elon had his fair share of problems with the Q7, the main one being the third row of seats, which were pretty hard to access.

2010 Audi Q7Specs
Powertrain3.0-liter V6
Horsepower225 HP
Torque406 lb-ft
Transmission6-speed Automatic
0-60 mph6.9 seconds
Top Speed137 mph

So when he began developing his own electric SUV, the Model X, Elon made sure to give the car falcon wing doors, which enabled easier access to the back row of the car. The 2010 Audi Q7 shared its underpinnings with the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Toureg, however, provided a more compliant ride than other cars. It was a big comfortable SUV that featured a classy interior with active safety features.

8. 2020 Tesla Cybertruck

Elon Musk’s 2020 silver Tesla Cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck has an extremely controversial design, a built-in bed ramp, and can seat up to six people with an estimated range of 470 miles in the most.

Its body is made up of ultra-hard 30x cold-rolled stainless steel and armored glass that can only be broken if hit by something very hard (like the metal ball thrown by Elon at its windscreen at the launch event). The starting price of the Tesla Cybertruck is $50,000.

2020 Tesla CybertruckSpecs
Powertraintriple electric motors
Horsepower845 hp
Torque10,296 lb-ft (wheel torque)
0-60 mph2.6 seconds
Top Speed130 mph

The Cybertruck is the next car that is set to be released by Tesla in 2023, and it comes as no surprise to anyone that the CEO of the company has one of them. The Tesla Cybertruck uses an active air suspension on both the front and rear axles. This enables a self-leveling feature, where the suspension can adjust depending on the load weight. Also, the Tesla Cybertruck can repel bullets, depicting its robust built quality.

7. 1967 Jaguar E-Type Convertible

Elon Musk's 1967 Jaguar E-Type Convertible

According to Musk, he remembers first seeing the Jaguar E-Type in a classic convertible catalog at the age of 17. And after he saw it, he decided that he would buy the car if he was ever able to afford it. He ended up buying it and achieving his teenage dream. But at the same time, his problematic relationship with the Jaguar also started when the car broke down on his way home from the dealership.

1967 Jaguar E-Type ConvertibleSpecs
Powertrain4.2-liter Inline-6
Horsepower255 HP
Torque275 lb-ft
Transmission4-speed manual
0-60 mph6.8 seconds
Top Speed147 mph

In fact, he compared the Jaguar to a terrible girlfriend since it kept breaking down and causing him trouble. The 1967 Jaguar E-Type was priced at $5,580 when it was released. Its value has increased since then to around $110,000. The 1967 Jaguar E-Type is considered one of the best-looking cars. This particular model year is the most desired one as they came with higher torque output.

6. 2006 Hamann BMW M5

Elon Musk's 2006 Hamann BMW M5

The 2006 Hamann BMW M5 was another car owned by Musk in the past that ended up inspiring him with one of his innovations in one of his own Tesla cars. However, Musk went the extra step and ended up getting the car upgraded by BMW tuning specialist Hamann Motorsports to delimit the V10, upping the power to a monstrous 600 hp. The upgrade done by Hamann is what inspired the installation of the 'Ludicrous' mode in the Tesla Model S.


2006 Hamann BMW M5Specs
Powertrain5.0-litre V10
Horsepower603 HP
Torque423 lb-ft
Transmission7-Speed automatic
0-60 mph4 seconds
Top Speed203 mph

The standard 2006 BMW M5 cost around $81,200, and the cost of the Hamann package was around $30,000, which brought the total cost of the car to $111,200. The Hamann package increased the output of the F1-derived V10 under the hood of the car. It is a highly sought-after car among car enthusiasts until things go wrong and the S85 engine gets blown apart for which it is infamous.

5. 2019 Tesla Model S Performance

Elon Musk's 2019 Tesla Model S

According to Elon Musk, it is the Tesla Model S that he prefers to drive the most. After all, many people believe that the Model S is the most pleasant and luxurious vehicle available in the Tesla series. It is also the vehicle that Musk used to debut the "Ludicrous" mode, which was modeled after his Hamann-tuned BMW M5.

2019 Tesla Model S PerformanceSpecs
PowertrainElectric motor
Horsepower503 HP
Torque487 lb-ft
0-60 mph3.9 seconds
Top Speed155 mph

The base version of the 2019 Model S costs around $76,200, while the performance version Musk has created costs $119,990. The 2019 Model S Performance is the most powerful car in the lineup. However that does not compromise the space and comfort of the car, Tesla has incorporated faux leather seats and a dash that looks and feels premium.

4. 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo

Elon Musk's 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo

According to Elon Musk, he loves the Porsche 911 and considers it one of his favorite cars of all time. One thing that he wasn’t quite on board with was the humongous gas-guzzling engine of the Porsche, which made him obsessed with the notion of electrifying his Porsche 911. He got in touch with some businessmen who had started the electric car company Tesla in 2003, and the rest, as they say, is history.


2012 Porsche 911 TurboSpecs
PowertrainTwin-turbo 3.8-liter Flat 6
Horsepower500 HP
Torque423 lb-ft
Transmission7-Speed automatic
0-60 mph3.1 seconds
Top Speed196 mph

The 911 Turbo may in some ways be credited with helping Musk pave the way for Tesla today. The 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo came standard with dynamic engine mounts, Porsche's brake-based torque vectoring system control, and you get the option to add launch control with the Sports Chrono Package.

3. 2008 Tesla Roadster

Elon Musk's 2008 red Tesla Roadster

Tesla revealed their first electric car, the Roadster, back in 2008. The chassis of the car was based on a Lotus Elise, and it had a range of 227 miles. It could reach 0–60 MPH in 3.9 seconds, which was faster than a Lamborghini Gallardo back then and even quicker than a modern-day Emira. The first lucky owner of the Roadster was Elon Musk, obviously.

2008 Tesla Roadster Specs
PowertrainElectric motor
Horsepower248 HP
Torque211 lb-ft
0-60 mph3.9 seconds
Top Speed125 mph

While the original price of the Tesla Roadster was $109,000 when it was released, its value has increased since then and is estimated to be around $200,000. But he doesn’t have the car in his garage anymore, as it's way up in space, amid the stars. During SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launch in 2018, Musk loaded his Roadster with a dummy astronaut named - amply nicknamed Starman- and drove it into his own Tesla Buzz Lightyear journey. 

2. 1976 Lotus Esprit ‘Wet Nellie’

Elon Musk's 1976 Lotus Esprit ‘Wet Nellie’

Musk bought the iconic and barely functional car-cum-submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me for $1 million when it was put up for auction in 2013. According to Musk, he has been smitten by the car ever since he witnessed Bond transform the Lotus Esprit into an amphibious vehicle with the press of a button. You can obviously tell that the Tesla CEO wouldn't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

1976 Lotus Esprit ‘Wet Nellie’Specs
Transmission-speed manual
0-60 mphseconds
Top SpeedMPH

Elon was obviously upset to see that "Wet Nellie" couldn't actually change into a submarine, just like the rest of us. Despite his desire broken by false imagination, Musk's Lotus Espirit still remains a cool and iconic memoir in Elon Musk's car collection. 

1. 1997 McLaren F1

Elon Musk with his silver 1997 McLaren F1 in 1991

Famously, Elon Musk took delivery of what at the time was the fastest production car in the world, the McLaren F1, as documented by a CNN camera crew, as you can see in the images above.

Silver 1997 McLaren F1 with Elon Musk Mugshot

The man was a rising star in Silicon Valley, having sold his first company for big bucks and then making a big splash by starting what would become PayPal. To celebrate, he bought himself this legendary McLaren that was the fastest car of its era.

1997 McLaren F1Specs
Powertrain6.1-liter V12
Horsepower618 HP
Torque479 lb-ft
Transmission6-speed manual
0-60 mph3.2 seconds
Top Speed240 mph

The value of the McLaren F1 has skyrocketed in recent years, with one being sold recently for a sky-high price of $20.5 million at an auction. The McLaren F1 was his go-to car, but he was never able to obtain insurance for it. He ended up crashing the car three years later but got it repaired and sold it for a profit in 2007. Musk explained that he decided to sell the iconic vehicle because he didn't want to be the subject of constant articles about how he drives a gas-guzzling, high-performance sports car.

With that said, we are commemorating the car collection of Elon Musk. For more interesting articles follow the links mentioned below.

Also Read


What is the most expensive car owned by Elon Musk?

The most expensive car owned by Elon Musk is the 1997 McLaren F1. He bought the car in 1999 for $1 million after selling his first company, Zip2. He later ended up selling it in 2007.

How many cars does Elon Musk have?

Elon Musk has a total of 11 cars in his collection. The collection ranges from classic cars, such as the 1967 Jaguar E-Type Convertible, to modern electric cars, such as the 2020 Tesla Cybertruck.

What car does Elon Musk drive?

In the past, he has been seen driving a Tesla Roadster and a prototype of the Tesla Cybertruck. But it is the Model S Plaid that was revealed to be his go-to choice for tackling the daily commute.

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