In 2008, the production of the first series vehicle by a then still young company called Tesla began. Just four years later, long before the group became the most valuable automobile manufacturer in the world, the last of a total of 2450 units rolled off the assembly line. So the Tesla Roadster is extremely rare – and only a few vehicles still drive around regularly. With such a short construction time and the small number of copies, it is all the more astonishing that three brand-new electric cars in the series have been found.

The auction by the American intermediary Gruber Motor Company tells the extraordinary story of three Tesla Roadsters that lay dormant for 13 years before they can now hope for a second chance. According to the seller, a Chinese customer ordered three vehicles at once in 2010: two Sport Roadsters and a basic model. Two in orange, one in red.

When the cars arrived in China in shipping containers after they had been ordered, nobody was waiting. On the contrary: the original buyer had given up the vehicles for reasons that were previously unknown. The containers therefore migrated to the port, where they have accumulated storage fees since then, which the current seller has apparently now paid.

For interested parties, this is a unique opportunity: all three vehicles are brand new and have hardly driven a meter. The photos show immaculate vehicles that have collected some dust but show no signs of human interaction. Even the protective covers on the seats and carpets are still in place. According to the intermediary, there are still boxes with cables in the storage space of the cars, through which no electricity has flowed so far.

Despite the new condition, a purchase at the current time would be a risk. Because the fact that nobody has driven the cars so far also means that the batteries have not been connected to a charging station for 13 years. The Gruber Motor Company states that it is not known whether the batteries are still alive after this long service life.

The current plan is to send the vehicles back to the United States in mid-May. Once there, they should be subjected to a detailed checkup. Only then will you be able to give the exact mileage and make statements about the condition of the batteries. As a processor of roadster batteries, Gruber will probably make the vehicles roadworthy before they change hands.

According to the Gruber Motor Company, the current owner would like to sell all the vehicles as a set, but could also imagine splitting them up if there is interest. Bids are currently $200,000 for all three cars, which is surprisingly well below the original price at the time. At the time, that was $109,000 per vehicle.

The few vehicles that are currently for sale in Germany cost between 100,000 and 150,000 euros on average. Some, however, with mileages beyond 200,000 kilometers. It can therefore be assumed that the auction is far from over. About two years ago, according to “Teslamag”, a Swiss man offered his Tesla Roadster, which was also brand new, for 1.39 million Swiss francs. The chances that the current bid will be awarded the contract are negligible.