Tesla’s first model was a two-seater based on the Lotus Elise. The roadsters, which are not yet 15 years old, are currently becoming more and more expensive. The last Tesla Roadster built in 2011 is now for sale – for 1.5 million dollars.
Tesla built its first model, the Roadster, from 2008 to 2011. The electric sports car was built, almost completely, at Lotus in the English plant in Hethel. Then the almost finished cars went to the then Tesla production site in California: To the premises of a former Chevrolet dealer in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco. There, assemblers used a special lifting frame to insert the battery into the rear of the Roadster. And the battery was a sensation: a lithium-ion battery for which Tesla had connected 621 cells from laptop batteries in eleven sectors. Today it is clear that the lithium-ion battery helped electric cars to achieve a breakthrough, making the Tesla Roadster the first serious modern electric car. And since only about 2,450 of the electric sports cars left the small halls in Menlo Park, the Roadster’s value is currently rising massively. But the example now on sale in the USA is almost speechless: a dealer is asking 1.5 million dollars (currently around 1.23 million euros) for the last Roadster ever built.
With the signature of Elon Musk
The red roadster is parked at the Gruber Motor Company in Phoenix, Arizona. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that it is the last first-generation Roadster ever built with his signature on a plaque – the plaque is attached to an electronics cover plate of the Roadster. The 2011 car hasn’t been garaged exclusively, but it has only run 2,800 miles (4,506 kilometres). Its colour is officially Radiant Red. However, Gruber explicitly points out that at the time, a collector bought this car who knew what he was doing – even then, he assumed that this example would increase in value enormously.
The Roadster now on sale at the Gruber Vehicle Company in Phoenix (Arizona) is the last one Tesla built in California.
And the collector did not bring the roadster with the VIN (vehicle identification number) 5YJRE1A37B1001459 to Gruber with the intention of selling it – he was simply looking for a good workshop that could repair his car. After all, he had problems with the battery pack – and Gruber specialises in solving such problems. So the experts examined the roadster, which had travelled from Florida, and found that of the 100 roadsters they had repaired so far, it was the cleanest and best cared for. The car had never been in contact with rain and even hard-to-reach areas, such as the battery compartment, were free of dirt.