Today, Elon Musk is a multi-billionare whose name is synonymous with spaceships, solar panels, and high-performance electric cars. But way back in 1999, Musk was just a 28-year-old millionaire flush with money from the dot-com boom. And he celebrated in fitting fashion: by buying a $1 million McLaren F1.
of a younger, somewhat gawkier Musk, back when he'd made $400 million selling Zip2, an online publishing software for newspapers.
Yes, 1999 was a long time ago.
In this video, Musk talks up X.com, the nascent online banking system that, through a number of famously profitable business transactions, begat PayPal, which begat swimming pools full of money for Musk.
"My fear is that we become spoiled brats, that we lose a sense of appreciation and perspective," Musk's then-fiancee (now ex-wife) Justine Wilson says in the video. "It's a million dollars for a car. It's decadent."
Musk is a bona-fide car guy, and it shows: Not only did he have the good taste to buy a McLaren F1, he used it as the acceleration benchmark for the astoundingly fast Tesla Model S P85D.
Somewhere in a high-tech lair, Musk is probably laughing at the innocent old days when a million dollar car seemed decadent.