Watch Elon Musk Take Delivery of a McLaren F1 in 1999

Before there was a Tesla Motors, a Tesla Roadster electric sports car, and before anyone really knew who Elon Musk was, he was a new-found up-and-comer in Silicon Valley whose company, PayPal, was just starting to sprout wings towards becoming the number one Internet payment portal. At that time, Musk had made tens of millions in the sale of his online publishing software Zip2 and at 28 years old, was already worth more than most small countries.

Elon Musk was flush with money and celebrated in a way that anyone at that age might: he bought a $1 million dollar car, a McLaren F1. He took delivery during the filming of a documentary on millionaires in America as his fiance (now ex-wife) called it “decadent.” Watch the video.

The young, exuberant Musk is profiled as what he was at the time. Several things should be noted about the historic significance here. First, Musk had made his first millions (which would eventually become billions). The he talks about eventually became PayPal, which just a few years later would sell to eBay. The F1 he is taking delivery of would become the inspirational benchmark for his Tesla Roadster design and the Tesla Model S P85D.

Hat tip to Road & Track for digging up this one.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at