Tesla Roadsters found in containers were on their way to be dismantled by rival company

Discovered 13 years after they were initially built, the mystery of what happened to these zero-mile Tesla Roadsters has been solved.

by | Published on 1st Jun 2023

Three zero-mile Tesla Roadsters were recently found abandoned in a shipping container in China.

So how did they get there?

The short answer is, somebody bought them to take them apart, piece by piece.

The long answer is a bit more complex.

Thanks to Gruber Motor, a Tesla service company, we discovered that an early Tesla competitor from China actually bought the vehicles in 2010.

Shipping documents revealed that a now-defunct R&D company for a Chinese automaker had ordered these Teslas.

The idea was to disassemble the vehicle and reverse engineer the building process to make Tesla Roadster rivals.

However, just a few weeks later, the company in question went bankrupt, and it seems everyone else involved also forgot about the cars.

Fast-forward to 2023 and Gruber Motor Company was able to secure the cars and they’re now for sale.

And it gets better because an anonymous buyer has actually submitted a whopping $2 million bid to buy the cars.

For the record, a Model Year 2010 Tesla Roadster had an MSRP of ‘just’ $109,000 when it was new – equivalent to $150,000 in today’s money, when adjusted for inflation.

It seems somebody is willing to spend nearly five times as much to get their hands on these brand-new Teslas.

They’re certainly unique.

These are the last remaining new Tesla Roadsters in existence because all the other Roadsters available are obviously used.

And this isn’t even the end of the story because the mystery gets deeper.

Gruber Motor was able to find out that the original shipment included four cars, not three.

Specifically, the shipment included VIN 1107, 1120, 1146 and 1185.

The first three Teslas are accounted for but no one knows where the fourth one is.

It’s been more than 13 years so at this point the car is probably gone, maybe it was stolen or maybe lost.

Or maybe it will resurface again in 13 years, and we’re going to be reading about it in 2026.

So, err, stay tuned…?



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Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.

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