“These Go To 11” — Tesla, Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest, & Jamie Lee Curtis

Some of those who have driven (or ridden in) a Tesla Model S may have noticed that the volume controls go up to 11, rather than 10. The reason for this apparently is Elon Musk’s appreciation of the comedy “This Is Spinal Tap” — starring actor-director Christopher Guest, amongst others.

On this note, actress (and wife of Guest) Jamie Lee Curtis recently related an interesting story concerning her and her husband going to pick up a Model S she had bought from the company.

For those who’ve never seen the movie, it’s a mock-documentary (mockumentary) of sorts, following a band on tour in the mid-80s. One particularly famous scene involves the guitarist of the band (Guest) and the supposed documentary director discussing an amp that goes up to 11.

Here’s the story in Curtis’s own words:

“The guy was taking us through the controls of the car. And, at one point, he said, ‘Turn up the volume control.’ ” She turned it up but “he said, ‘No, no, no. Make it go louder.’ So, I went up and – it goes to 11,” she said, echoing Nigel Tufnel, the Spinal Tap guitarist played by Guest in the 1984 film.

“I said to the guy, ‘The volume control goes to 11?’ He said, ‘Yes. (CEO Elon) Musk is a fan of a certain movie,’ ” she remembers. “So, Chris is sitting in the car and the guy doesn’t know it’s Chris. And I looked over to Chris and I was like, ‘Really? That’s crazy.’ ”

Here’s a video of the scene in question, for those with a bit of a desire to chuckle (or to realize how old they’ve gotten).


Apparently Guest was amused by the whole experience (or at least unphased) as he apparently bought his own Tesla Model S sometime afterwords.

(Tip of the hat to “mspohr” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for this. I don’t think that I would have seen it otherwise.)

Since we’re on the subject, I figure that I might as well throw these in as well:

2 thoughts on ““These Go To 11” — Tesla, Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest, & Jamie Lee Curtis

  1. So Tesla stereos will always be 10% louder than any other vehicle stereo on the planet?! Rock on!

    On the other hand, the volume on my 2004 Prius goes to 63, so maybe it’s not so impressive…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *