Good News! Elon Musk Is The Richest Person On Earth So Let's Tell Him What Cars To Buy

Illustration for article titled Good News! Elon Musk Is The Richest Person On Earth So Let's Tell Him What Cars To Buy
Illustration: Jason Torchinsky/Disney/Monogram

Everyone, everyone, get over here! Quick! I know shit’s been pretty miserable and surreal and, well, just mad lately, but I just want to let you know that it’s not all bad news out there. On the contrary! In fact, there’s some fantastic news! Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and someone who was already a billionaire is now, it seems, the richest person in the whole wide world. Isn’t that fantastic? Aren’t you happy for him? Of course you are. Now let’s tell him how to spend his stupid money on cars the right way.


Just so you know, it looks like Elon finally edged out Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for richest rich guy when Tesla’s market value hit $700 billion, which, somehow, makes it worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai/Kia, Ford, and GM put together, even though in March Tesla sold their millionth car since starting back in 2012 and Toyota alone makes like nine times that amount in a single year.

Also, Tesla has trouble keeping roofs on.

None of this really makes sense to me, but what do I know, I’m a drooling simpleton Yugo-owner and Elon is worth about $185 billion dollars.

Just because I love these sorts of insipid attempts to convey vast amounts, 185,000,000,000 dollar bills, were you to stack them up in a big, tall, teetery stack, would be about 12,562 miles tall, or about six times higher than the orbit of the International Space Station.

Or, if this helps, if Elon instructed his engineers at Tesla or SpaceX to build him a money launcher that can shoot $20 per second, he could fire that thing constantly for 293 years before running out of ammo.

The dude’s loaded. I mean, sure, lots of that money is magic stock market magical whatever money, but if he really wanted to fill a pool Scrooge McDuck-style, he could.

Of course, we all know the only reasonable use of any currency is to exchange it for cars, and I have zero faith in Elon’s ability to amass a non-embarrassing car collection, so consider this document to be Elon’s instructions about how to spend his money on cars.


For the Richest Man In The Earth-Planet, you can’t just buy a bunch of off-the-rack Maybachs or Bugattis or Lambos or some other lynx-leather-slathered shitbox like a two-digit—or even single-digit—billionaire might. You just can’t. You have to take it to the next level, and, let’s be honest here, I’m the only person qualified to decide what that is.

Go on, do the math — you know it’s true.

Elon needs to collect nearly uncollectable cars, things that are truly rare and require absurd effort and resources to obtain, restore, use, whatever. And they should, I think, reflect a certain degree of innovation and technical novelty.


So, with that in mind, here’s a start on Elon’s future car collection:

Sir Vival

Screenshot: YouTube

Any car with a name like this has to be a good choice, right? Sir Vival was a very odd 1958 concept car built by Walter Jerome, who felt safety considerations in cars were being ignored, and so built this center-hinged, turreted monster that you see here from a 1948 Hudson.


It still exists and would be an ideal car for Elon to pay way too much for, then build a special facility to get it completely resto-modded with multiple Tesla drivetrains and maybe some kind of VR enclosure inside that upper turret.

Steal Richard Garriott’s Soviet Moon Rover From The Moon

Photo: NASA/Richard Garriott

Okay, this one is a bit different, because I’m advising Elon to steal a car for his collection, which isn’t normally a thing for really rich dudes, but I think the extra complications involved here make it right on brand for Mr. Musk.

The car is sort of an autonomous vehicle, too — well, teleoperated, at least. It’s the 1973 Soviet Lunokhod 2 rover that was bought for $68,500 by Richard Garriott (also known as Lord British, the man behind the famous Ultima series of video games) back in 1993. Garriott hasn’t put many miles on his Lunokhod because it’s currently still where the Soviets left it, near the rim of the Le Monnier crater on the Moon.


That’s where this gets rich-guy interesting for Elon: using lots of money and the abilities and resources of SpaceX, Elon can send a mission to the Moon to land, take Garriott’s space-Lada, and return it to Earth, where it will be displayed and placed under constant armed guard to keep Garriott from stealing it back.

Also, Elon will have to retain a team of lawyers tasked with keeping the grand-space-theft-auto charges at bay. I bet Elon would find this a suitable use of money because it involves so many of his pet interests, as well as sticking it to Garriott, who I bet Elon is a bit jealous of because he’s been to space and Elon hasn’t.


Every Fucking Oldsmobile On Earth

Screenshot: Oldsmobile

Any rich jag-off can buy multiple Bugattis or McLarens or whatever — that’s played out and boring and nobody cares. But you know what people would care about? If some rich loon bought every single one of a particular type of car. Elon could be that loon, and the particular car could be, um, Oldsmobiles, why not?

Think about it — this would be a fantastic suck for both time and money, as Elon would have to employ a whole team of agents to scour the globe, looking for every single Oldsmobile they could find.


Elon would have to commit to buying every single Oldsmobile that’s at least not in a junkyard already, let’s say. This means everything from every surviving Curved Dash Olds from 1901 to the most boring-ass Oldsmobile Aurora or Cutlass Supreme or a more exciting Toronado.

All of them. Wherever they are. People living in trailers hoarding rusted-out Delta 88s will be able to turn their lives around thanks to demanding $100,000 for some shitbox with a family of rats living in the dashboard.


This will become his lifelong quest! Maybe he’ll build a massive Oldsmobile Museum to house them all? I can’t wait.

A Singer A Month

Photo: Singer

Here’s an idea worthy of the richest man in the world: Elon orders a $2 million-ish Porsche by Singer, arguably the greatest of the Porsche 911 resto-modders, every week, drives it for a month, then destroys it. The next month, a new one arrives.

At a rough cost of $2 million per car, one a month for 50 years would only set him back a bit over $1.2 billion dollars, which is pretty much chump change to him. Maybe we round that up to $2 billion to cover the costs needed to expand Singer’s factory to keep up with the demand, but I think it’ll still be do-able.


How he chooses to destroy it would be his business — maybe he’ll invest in a crusher for his garage, or maybe he’ll drive them into an active volcano or launch them into the sun or whatever — that’s richest man on Earth prerogative.

My Yugo

Photo: Jason Torchinsky

I’ll sell Elon my Yugo for the special Richest Guy In The World price of $174,999,999.99, making it the most expensive car ever sold, which has to be a record he’d like to have.

Price includes a spare set of wiper blades, but they’re the wrong size.

Congratulations, Elon! Hug?

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:



I do not understand why the media continues to write about the ultra rich in anything but terms of “how the hell does society allow someone to become this rich?” His wealth should not be celebrated, but admonished.