Watch Elon Musk Take Delivery of his New McLaren F1—in 1999

“I can’t believe it’s actually here. It’s pretty wild, man.”

byChris Tsui|
McLaren News photo


If there was still any question as to whether Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk is a true car guy, this should put any doubts to rest. When Musk sold his internet news publishing company, Zip2, to Compaq in 1999 for $400 million, the then 28-year-old decided to reward himself with the fastest car money could buy at the time: the McLaren F1. The F1's place in the upper echelon of the fastest and greatest cars ever made is undeniable: with a then-world record top speed of 240 mph, only 64 production regular-variant F1's were ever made, making ownership out of reach to all but wealthiest of the wealthy. Fortunately, this video exists of Musk taking delivery of his million-dollar toy, letting the rest of us watch and revel in arguably one of the coolest parts of hypercar ownership. 

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The video seems to triple as a video diary of a very neat day in Elon Musk's life, a late-90s time capsule, and a foreshadowing for Musk's future vehicular accomplishments. Young Musk, here billed as "multi-millionaire entrep," talks about his life, the car, and the sale that led to it.

"It's decadent," said his then-fiancee, Justine Wilson, Starbucks cup in hand. Musk then discusses his next venture, the "internet bank"—a company that would eventually evolve into PayPal. Watching this, the existence of 'Ludicrous Mode'-capable Teslas no longer seem surprising, considering the types of cars its creator is used to. When asked about the future, Musk replies, "I'd like to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, that'd be cool."

As his new silver McLaren is loaded off the truck, a slack-jawed Musk remarks, "Wow, I can't believe it's actually here. It's pretty wild, man." Pretty wild indeed, Elon. Pretty wild indeed. 

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