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Does Euro Signature 01/250 exist?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by kamski350, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. kamski350

    kamski350 Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm currently trying to assist the owner of SFZRE2B13A3000002 with the sale of their car, due to go through Coys auction at the Paris Motor Show next month.

    There is quite a bit of speculation (and confusion) as to whether the car is the first officially imported European Tesla, and I'm hoping maybe someone here can offer some information?

    Background - the owner ordered the car at a very early stage, securing a build slot with a €50,000 deposit. He was promised the first ever car, but when it came to delivery the car's Signature plaque was 02/250 and the chassis SFZRE2B13A3000002. When questioned, he was given a few different answers:
    1) the first car was used as a prototype for testing and never released for sale
    2) there has been an error but 01 doesn't actually exist
    3) the first car needed to be crash tested

    Since then, the following have also been suggested:
    4) the first car was actually retained by EM for his private collection
    5) it is a black car which resides in London under wraps and was sold to Rupert Murdoch
    6) it was delivered to a buyer in Scandinavia due to an administration cock up in which 2 buyers were promised the first car.

    Suggestion 5) has been pretty much dismissed as there are no records of SFZRE2B13A3000001 on the UK "HPI" record (like Carfax). Unless it was sold to him unregistered so doesn't show up on HPI, although this is very unlikely.

    The suggestion which now seems most likely is 6), although I'm still not convinced that the answer is so simple.

    I've found quite a bit of info regarding SFZRE2B3XA3000001, which is the red car in Scandinavia. I have traced a lot of photos of the car on the "Zero Rally" being driven by Eldar Vagan with the "Ferdinand" dealer signage on the side. Using regnr.info I have also found that this car recently underwent an annual government inspection, and so it definitely wasn't crash tested. It is currently on circa 55,000 km according to what I've found online.

    HOWEVER... I'm not convinced this makes 02/250 the second car as the 'X' in the chassis of the red car doesn't seem to feature in any other Signature 250 chassis numbers. Furthermore, in all the photos of the car I have seen, it does not have the "Signature 250" square badges on the side panels and in one or two interior photos I'm fairly certain there is no circular "Signature 250" plaque between the seats. So, perhaps it was never sold as a Signature car, although technically carries a lower series number than 02/250, but isn't part of the names series!? Perhaps it was just a prototype / test car given to Ferdinand Motors for promotion + cold weather testing? In which case, does Signature 01/250 exist? Perhaps it has actually been held back for EM's private collection (in addition to his Founders cars)? Or perhaps it was sold to Rupert Murdoch but never registered? Or maybe the admin error was that 01/250 never actually made it to market so 02/250 the first?

    The final piece to the puzzle is that 02/250 was registered on 06-Aug-2009 whereas the red Norwegian car wasn't registered until 08-Oct-2009, months after 02/250 and also months after other "official" Norwegian Signatures are showing as being registered.

    I'm trying to remain as critical as possible and if there is any doubt that 02/250 is the first European customer delivery (or that there is a chance 01/250 exists) then the auction house need to be advised urgently as we don't want to mislead anyone. It's still a great collectors piece at just 1,700 miles and 1 owner from new, but clarification on whether it's the first official European car would be the icing on the cake for any collector, hence all this intrigue!

    Any information welcomed, and thank you very much in advance to anyone who can share any info.

    Many thanks
     
  2. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Cryptic code to summon the font of all roadster inventory knowledge @TEG
     
  3. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    The "X" in the VIN is a check digit[sic]. There's a complicated formula that takes all the other letters and digits in the VIN, and computes a value modulo-11. If the answer is 10, the letter X is used.
     
  4. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Using: VIN Decoder | TeslaTap

    Results SFZRE2B13A3000002

    Position Description Value
    1-3 Manufacturer SFZ = Tesla Motors (Roadsters fully assembed in UK)
    4 Make R = Roadster
    5 Body Type E = Convertible (Roadster)
    6 Region/Drive Position 2 = Europe (LHD)
    7 Restraint System B = Non-USA
    8 Motor/Drive Unit 1 = Tesla M6B Motor
    9 Check Character 3
    10 Model Year A = 2010
    11 Location of Manufacture 3 = Hethel, UK
    12 Serial #, 100,000s digit 0
    13-17 Serial Number Digits 00002

    Results SFZRE2B3XA3000001

    Position Description Value
    1-3 Manufacturer SFZ = Tesla Motors (Roadsters fully assembed in UK)
    4 Make R = Roadster
    5 Body Type E = Convertible (Roadster)
    6 Region/Drive Position 2 = Europe (LHD)
    7 Restraint System B = Non-USA
    8 Motor/Drive Unit 3 = Tesla M6S Motor
    9 Check Character X
    10 Model Year A = 2010
    11 Location of Manufacture 3 = Hethel, UK
    12 Serial #, 100,000s digit 0
    13-17 Serial Number Digits 00001
     
  5. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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  6. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Another possibility... Watching some of the historical YouTube videos of the early days of Tesla, it seems like the cars were delivered when they were ready, not necessarily in VIN order. You see a bunch of them in the factory in various stages of debug, with the awaiting owner told "yours is right here, just got it ready", or words to that effect.

    So, perhaps 01/250 had some glitch in manufacture that delayed it, making 02/250 the first one actually imported?

    Just speculating...
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #7 TEG, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    My knowledge of Roadsters is primarily about the North American ones ( 5YJRE... ) but I have started to dabble a bit more in keeping track of ones made for Europe / Asia ( SFZRE... )

    I think European Sig250 #1 is/was SFZRE2B3XA3000001
    I think it may have started out in London, then to Sweden, then moved to Norway...
    Euro0001-vin.png
    Euro0001-win.png

    I think Sig 250 #2 is/was SFZRE2B13A3000002 ( Sterling Silver )
    Euro0002-vin.png
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    GENERELT
    ID 8602
    Antall ganger søkt på 1
    Merke og modell Tesla Tesla Roadster
    Kjøretøygruppe Personbil
    Registreringsår 2009
    Antall seter 2
    Farge Rød
    Drivstoff Elektrisitet
    Understellsnummer SFZRE2B3XA3000001
    Registrert første gang i Norge 08.10.2009
    Registrert første gang på eier 28.10.2014
    Registrert i distrikt Drøbak
    Sist EU-kontrollert 12.02.2016
    Neste frist for godkjent EU-kontroll 31.08.2017
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #9 TEG, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    I don't think that is a valid VIN... You can't just change one digit like that.

    As has been stated, X is just one of the possible check digit values.

    Here are some other Sig 250s with X check digit:
    SFZRE2B1XA3000112
    SFZRE2B3XA3000225

    Yeah, I have no explanation why it doesn't have those badges.
    I guess some theories could be:
    #1: Badges weren't available yet when they delivered the car?
    #2: It was the first 'Sport' and they couldn't decide if to use Sport badges, or Sig 250 badges.
    #3: Someone stole the badges off of it?
    #4: They weren't really calling it a Sig 250 even though it has what appears to be the first VIN in that sequence?

    Again, I don't know the story. I see the same online pictures as everyone else.
     
  10. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #10 TEG, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #11 TEG, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  12. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    002. Is this the one that the local second hand car dealer claimed was the first because 001 was used for crash testing [cough] ?
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #13 TEG, Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
    Yes that was the gist of why this thread started.

    They still want to say that this car is the first "official" European roadster, so they are wondering if the #1 car seen in Norway is a real "Sig 250" customer car...
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  15. Mark77a

    Mark77a Member

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  16. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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  17. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Also "'The car has received regular maintenance by its first and only owner"
    along with "Previous Owners 6"

    Interesting to know that we have 500cc motors. I thought they were small...
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #19 TEG, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    I think it is maybe #1 in the 2009 photo here:
    Tesla opens UK showroom | Autocar
    Tesla Opens London Dealer
    Tesla opens flagship European showroom in London
    [​IMG]

    Perhaps #1 sat in the London showroom for some months before being sold to Scandanavia?

    The photo above was from an article published JUN 26, 2009

    Here are some photos from July 2009 which seems to have #1 & #2 together:
    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/32151/

    And here is when #1 & #2 were revealed:
    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/31715/

    It looks like #2 has been updated since then - with CF trim pieces added, and wheels upgraded.

    It looks like #1 made an appearance at the Goodwood festival of speed in July 2009:
    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/32194/

    More pics of #1 & #2 being revealed together can be found here:
    IMG_0046
    IMG_0019
     
    • Like x 1
  20. kamski350

    kamski350 Member

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    Hi all, many thanks for all your input and for helping me get the story straight for the current owner (and any future owner).

    Facts on VIN #000002:
    • Car #000002's VIN is indeed SFZRE2B13A3000002. For a short time, the Coys advert was showing it as SFZRE2B35A3000002 which was typo... it's definitely SFZRE2B13A3000002! I just wanted to clarify this.
    • The car has only had 1 owner from new (the gentleman in the photo above outside Tesla Cheval Place, London). I don't know why the Pistonheads advert shows 6 previous owners... it has 0 previous owners on the V5 (title document).
    • It has covered 1,780 miles.
    • It was registered 06 Aug 2009.
    Facts on VIN #000001:
    • It was registered 08 Oct 2009.
    • According to EU Kontroll data, it had a mileage of 53,185 km on 12 February 2016.
    • In no photos does it appear to carry any Signature 250 plaques or badging.
    • It was, at the very least, the 4th car to reach Norway. See here:
    [​IMG]

    We've now outlined what we believe to be the full story here:
    Record Breaking Tesla Roadster Heads To Auction

    In summary - VIN #000002 is the SECOND European Tesla Roadster, although registered 2 months before VIN #000001. The full story on VIN #000001's early life is still unclear, but our conclusion is that it was used for business promotion and launching some of the European showrooms, before being passed to Ferdinand Motors in Norway in October 2009 and finally registered. Whether it went to a client or is still in the hands of the dealership we don't know. We also don't know why it wasn't officially dressed as a Signature 250, even though the Chassis number confirms it is part of the Signature 250 run.

    As suggested by someone above, VIN #000002 was indeed being marketed earlier in the year by a local UK dealer and the claim that Car 1 was used for crash testing was only made because this is what the owner was told by an ex-Tesla employee when questioned about why he didn't get Car 1 (even though he was promised it).

    Despite all efforts, Coys have not managed to edit their write up to clarify these findings in time for the auction, but without any doubt these will be highlighted by the auctioneer to all bidders and interested parties before the auction starts.

    Thanks once again for all your assistance(s)!
     

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