A Father's Day Tribute to a very special Tesla Dad

Posted on June 19, 2022 by Matt Pressman

I decided to move to South Florida from the Big Apple. It was 2011, and I just got married. I was also (soon after) blessed with a beautiful baby girl. My life was changing, fast. One day, at my parents house, my father called me into his office. He was amped. He pointed, enthusiastically, at the computer screen and said, "Check out this new car! I'm going to get one. It's called a Tesla."  

Above: Roger takes delivery of his Tesla (Image: EVANNEX)

A what? I said, "Isn't that the new Maserati?" He shook his head, "No, it's a Tesla Model S. And it's electric." Whoa. The sedan was certainly stunning. But an electric car? I wasn't surprised. My father was always into new tech before others. When I was a kid, he bought an Apple Macintosh (serial number 000787) back in 1984. Fast forward: it was time for him to get his hands on another revolutionary piece of tech — a Tesla Model S (VIN number 000184) in 2012.

My Dad had been participating in the Tesla forums and started a popular thread about designing the first-ever accessory, a DIY project mind you, for the Model S. It was a center console insert that he was building in his garage. Forum regulars pressed him to make one, commercially available, for their Tesla. My father asked me to put together a splash page on the web for those interested, a wait list of sorts. It grew, quickly, to a few hundred names.

Above: Having owned each car, Roger discusses the differences between the Model S, 3, X, and Y and relays how he started designing aftermarket Tesla accessories (Source: Zachary Shahan via CleanTechnica)

"Well, I guess I can't just build only one in my garage... it looks like we'll have to start a business here," he told me. And so, in 2013, EVANNEX was born.

Wait, a father-son business? Could something like this work? Could Tesla grow into anything beyond a niche automaker? I didn't blink an eye — I took the plunge. My father rarely gets anything wrong. Rumor has it, according to my Grandmother, he got one wrong on his entire SAT test. Later, he got a PHD in mechanical engineering — graduating (ahem) summa cum laude.

Above: Roger charging his new Model Y (Image: EVANNEX)

So, sure enough, my Dad was right. Tesla took off. A few years later, we recruited my brother Mike. He moved his whole family from Los Angeles and also took the plunge. Let's do it, we thought, a business built around the mission of Tesla. Risky? Sure. But, Tesla was gaining traction. And we, as a family, were in this together...

Looking back, it's been a wild ride. My father is, needless to say, the heart and soul of our business. And our lives. We can't thank him enough for this amazing adventure.

Above: Roger (middle) and his two sons Mike and Matt (Image: EVANNEX)

Now, we all drive a Tesla. So does my wife. And my Mom even ferries her Model X to the office so she can help out too! We think it's wonderful to work hard and build a family business. In addition, it's pretty cool to be involved in a much larger Tesla family that's growing, every day, all over the world.

This Father's Day, Dad, we just wanted to extend our overwhelming thanks, appreciation, and gratitude for everything you do... Lots of love, Matt and Mike.

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