Early Tesla Roadsters climbing in value
Tesla’s first vehicle, the Roadster, was produced from 2008 to 2011. The company sold around 2,500 of them, at prices ranging from $109,000 to $170,000. The revolutionary Roadster was intended from the beginning as a sort of transitional vehicle, so it’s no surprise that once Model S, a more practical model with much wider appeal, starting grabbing the headlines, interest in the Roadster waned. After production ended, resale values gradually slumped. According to Phoenix-based Gruber Motors, as of last fall, you could buy a used Roadster for around $40,000.
Above: The Tesla Roadster at Gruber Motors (Source: Gruber Motors)
Gruber calls itself “the first commercial independent Tesla service organization providing engineering and aftermarket support.” The company services all Tesla models, and after years of repairing and upgrading Roadsters, the Gruber team probably know as much about these vehicles as anyone outside of Tesla itself. Gruber’s YouTube channel offers a wealth of information on Tesla servicing, aftermarket improvements and one-of-a-kind custom Tesla vehicles.
Above: A look at Gruber Motors (YouTube: Gruber Motors)
Lately the Gruber team has observed an upward trend in the prices of used Roadsters, as the historic vehicle is becoming a collector’s item. Over the last few months, a couple have sold at auction for $120,000, and a Signature model (one of the first hundred cars made, which were sold to an elite group of celebrities and influencers that Tesla dubbed the Signature One Hundred Club) recently went for $182,000.
Gruber offers “Roadster matchmaking services,” helping sellers and buyers to connect free of charge, and some highly collectible vehicles pass through the company’s database. It recently listed what is probably the highest-priced Roadster yet to go on sale.
This unique Roadster was the very last one to roll off the US assembly line (VIN 1459), and it was personally signed by Elon Musk. The owner sent it to Gruber to resolve a battery pack issue, and the company also performed a Power Electronics Module rebuild and upgrade, replacing all wear components in the drivetrain assembly.
Above: The last production Roadster made before the production line shut down, Elon Musk commemorated the occasion with a sharpie (Source: Gruber Motors)
Once Gruber had this historic vehicle on the lift, “we realized of the 100+ Roadsters we have serviced, this is the absolute cleanest one we have ever seen, inside, outside, and in all the normally hidden areas like the battery cavity. The car has never seen rain, is stored in a temperature-controlled environment, and as a result, looks exactly like the day it came off the assembly line.”
The pristine condition of this 10-year-old car (which has a mere 2,800 miles on the odometer) is amazing. Typical trouble spots such as the wheel wells, mud flaps and front and rear underbody clips, which typically show scratches and road grime, are like new.
Once the photos of this cherry got around, the owner started getting offers, and decided to put it up for sale. It can be yours for a mere $1.5 million.