A trio of Tesla Roadsters that don’t even work by all evidence are about to sell for almost $1 million.
Is this a sign that this rare electric car is becoming a collector’s item?
Earlier this month, we had this story about three brand-new original Tesla Roadsters having been found sitting in a shipping container in China for over a decade going viral.
The early electric vehicles were never picked up at a port, and they have been accumulating storage fees for a decade. Someone settled the fees, took ownership, and hired Gruber Motors to auction the three Roadsters.
We were surprised to hear that someone had placed a bid for $750,000, considering those three Roadsters are not believed to be in working condition because they have been left unplugged for a decade.
The battery packs are likely bricked, and it could take intensive work to get them working again.
But Pete Gruber, the owner of Gruber Motors, told Electrek that he believes those Roadsters will be bought by a collector because they are pristine with 0 miles on the odometer; he went as far as predicting that they would likely sell for $1 million.
It is coming fairly close to that with a new highest bid of $800,000 with still a day left in the auction.
On top of the cars likely not working, Gruber also said that the keys have been lost:
The keys for the three intact Roadsters were supposed to be in one of the port offices, and when the current owners attempted to retrieve them to open the cars, it was discovered the Manager who held them had passed away, and they cannot currently be found. The sellers will replace them if necessary.
Gruber is also learning more about those long-lost Roadsters.
First off, there were not three, but four of them. They now believed that a Chinese automaker that went under bought the vehicles for reverse-engineering and that one of them was disassembled:
The original purchaser was an R&D center for a Chinese auto company, that subsequently went bankrupt, and the assumption is these were purchased for reverse engineering to be disassembled. In 2010, the Tesla Roadster was after all a state-of-the-art EV, before the Model S even came out, and would have been of enormous value to an emerging EV company.
It explains why they also found a bunch of Roadster parts belonging to a vehicle with a different VIN in the same shipment:
The auction ends tomorrow, May 26. Do you think the trio will sell for $1 million? Let us know in the comment section below.
Author: Fred Lambert