I've begun with a new project, and that project is to write a longer text about Elon Musk. It will hopefully become some sort of book in the future, depending on my writings skills, and what I can find about Elon Musk. You can follow the progress here: @elonmuskbook
This is the first "beta" version of the introduction chapter, currently named Sand Hill Road:
In 1999, Elon Musk went out to buy a British made McLaren F1, and he bought it because it was the fastest car he could find. The McLaren F1 is a true supercar, and is essentially a road-ready version of a Formula 1 car. In 1998, the car set a record for the fastest road car in the world. The top speed during the record run was 231 mph (372 km/h). It only takes 6.3 seconds to reach 100 mph (160 km/h).
Only a total of 106 cars were ever manufactured, and Elon bought number #067. The fashion designer Ralph Lauren did actually try to buy the same car, but Elon had signed the deal one hour earlier. One may also argue that this was an investment. When McLaren began selling the car, you had to pay 970,000 dollars to buy one. But since only 106 cars were ever manufactured, the price of the car today could be as high as four million dollars. McLaren enthusiasts have described the car as the purest supercar that will ever be constructed. This may also sometimes be a drawback with owning a McLaren F1 since the enthusiasts of the car are known for chasing them like a paparazzi chasing a movie star.
In 2000, Elon was driving his new silver colored McLaren F1 along the Sand Hill Road together with his co-worker Peter Thiel. They were going to a meeting with the venture capitalist Michael Moritz. The Sand Hill Road in California has the same power as and can be compared with Wall Street in New York. Many venture capitalist companies are located close to the road and the road provide easy access to the Stanford University and Silicon Valley. During the height of the tech bubble in the late 1990s, the commercial real estates on Sand Hill Road were more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world. The prices were so high, that is was less expensive to live on Manhattan in New York.
Peter Thiel was sitting in one of the two passenger seats. The driver in a McLaren F1 is sitting in the middle of the car, with two passenger seats on each side, slightly behind the driver. He asked Elon "So what can this do?" Elon replied with "Watch this!", and floored the gas pedal. The McLaren F1 has no traction control since the car is designed for maximum performance, so when Elon at top speeds did a lane change, the car began to spin. Elon did his best to avoid the other cars driving on the same road, while he was trying to control the spinning car. Finally, the car hit the elevated side of the shoulder of the road, the car became airborne, and began rotating like a discus flying through the air. The McLaren F1 flew through the air before it finally crashed down on the ground. The main body of the car survived, the front of the car was damaged as well as the suspension. Elon started to laugh, probably because of the shock from the traumatic events that had just happened. Peter Thiel asked him why he laughed when he had just wrecked his new expensive car? Elon Musk replied “You don't know the funny part, it wasn't even insured!”
Both Elon and Peter Thiel survived the crash without any major injuries. "The first woman who saw us thought we were dead, and the whole thing felt like a roller coaster gone a little bit out of control", Peter Thiel recalled. Before the emergency services arrived to the scene, Peter Thiel had hitchhiked a ride to not miss the meeting with Michael Moritz. Elon also hitchhiked a ride to the meeting once the car was taken care of. The damaged car was soon repaired by the McLaren factory, and Elon used that car for several years as his daily driver between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Elon is in good company. Another unfortunate McLaren F1 driver is the British comedian Rowan Atkinson, also known as Mr Bean, who in 2011 crashed with his black McLaren F1 #061. He did also survive the crash without any major injuries, only an injured shoulder. In favor of Rowan Atkinson's driving skills, he has actually been driving his McLaren F1 since 1997, and has covered a distance of 37,000 miles (60,000 km). One difference between Atkinson and Elon is that Atkinson sometimes competes with other sports cars on a race track, while Elon has never participated in a race with his car. However, Elon once tried to see how fast he could drive the car on an airstrip, and he managed to push the car to speeds of 215 mph (346 km/h).
Elon has now sold the car, due to some troublesome events, but the McLaren F1 #067 was not more safe with its new owner. The new owner took the car out for a drive after six months of storage in a garage. A passing onlooker alerted the driver of the car that smoke was coming out of the engine. The fire spread quickly destroying large parts of the car. Since the car is a collectibles item, it had to be saved yet again by the McLaren factory, thus number #067 is now fully drivable once again. There is no need to feel sad for the owner while the car was being repaired by the McLaren factory, the owner had one in reserve. The owner had two silver McLaren F1.