Tesla wants $250,000 for a second-generation Roadster in the limited-run Founders Series, but someone paid a quarter of a million dollars for an original Roadster. Yes, we’re talking about the company’s first model of which approximately 2,450 units were made between 2008 and 2012. Although the electric sports car was far from being a success, it did put Tesla on the map and paved the way for the automaker to take the EV scene by storm.
Loosely related to the Lotus Elise from which it borrowed less than seven percent of parts, the Roadster Mk1 has been gaining value in the used car market. Case in point, Arizona-based Gruber Motor Company sold one for $190,000 a short while ago, only to break that record recently with an early example. VIN #013 with extremely low miles changed hands for a whopping $250,000.
Having covered only 840 miles (1,351 kilometers), the 2008 Roadster is a veritable time capsule and illustrates Tesla’s early and rather difficult days. Having a low production run and with even fewer cars still on the road after over 10 years, such a pristine example will probably only gain value in time. It’s especially true given the huge popularity of the brand, prompting more and more deep-pocketed people to grab Tesla’s very first EV. Consequently, increased demand drives up prices.
The car in question is a Signature One Hundred of which only 100 units were ever made. Back in the day, customers had to make an eye-watering $100,000 deposit to claim one. These cars came with a commemorative plaque inside the cabin, signed by Tesla’s principals and individualized for the buyer. In addition, the Roadster came bundled with a hardtop and all the available options, including a navigation system. To sweeten the deal, the company delivered the EV with a special Signature One Hundred trim package.
With a 0 to 60 mph sprint in four seconds, the original Tesla Roadster is still properly quick even by today’s standards. It was touted as having a 250-mile range on a single charge, which again, isn’t that bad for 2022. For example, the Mazda MX-30 has been rated by EPA at just 100 miles.