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Larry's Most Excellent Adventure

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Larry Chanin, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #1 Larry Chanin, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
    It all started at my friend Warren’s place where we were celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, (his wife is British). He has a low Signature reservation number and was facing the irksome prospect of committing big bucks without a test drive. We knew that Tesla planned something for June 22[SUP]nd[/SUP], and that test drives were coming first to Fremont, but agonizingly Tesla still hadn’t firmed the dates up yet. So while sipping lots of wine at the party we resolved not to wait for Tesla any more and decided to book airline and hotel reservations for us and the wives to fly out to Fremont on June 21[SUP]st[/SUP] followed by a trip to wine country later. With only a few week’s notice fares and hotel rates were not great, but certainly better than waiting for Tesla to send out invitations.

    The plan was that his wife, my wife and I would be guests on his test drive and maybe, if we were feeling mischievous, we would try to crash the party on June 22[SUP]nd[/SUP]. :wink: So in the morning of the 22[SUP]nd[/SUP] the four of us are in my hotel room and we’re just about to head out to the Santana Row store, when my cell phone rings. “Lawrence, this is Doug from Tesla, we know that you’re on the Signature waiting list and we have a slot open for you, are you interested?” Whoopee, pandemonium breaks out! I tell him you bet and that I’m in Fremont. He says he’ll attempt to get me a test drive if one becomes available. Whoopee, pandemonium breaks out!

    So we head off to San Jose to check out the store and the local sights. The folks at the store are super friendly and they invite us to come back at 3:30 PM to watch the Tesla party on their big screen. Well, that sounded a lot better than trying to convince the security that Elon sent us. Later we return to watch the festivities, drink fake champagne, and yell encouragement to the Tesla folks on-screen along with other gathered reservation holders.

    The next morning we’re one of the first scheduled for test drives. George greats us. His enthusiasm is palpable. He tells me that he’s an avid reader of my posts. Golly.:redface: He also tells me that his wife and family were with us at Santana Row watching the festivities. George is the first to give us the instructions regarding the course and emphatically exhorts the drivers to “put the pedal to the metal”.

    Warren is the second car out. It’s a performance model. Well, Warren owns a Roadster and it seems his idea of a test drive is to see if a 4,600 pound sedan, with five adults can out-perform his Roadster. Before we get to the test course we’re tearing around the parking lot. When the Tesla copilot tells him to floor it, Warren FLOORS it!! I’m not a very religious guy, but I had a religious experience at that moment!! We may have been the second to leave the "starting blocks", but we were definitely first to return.

    Tesla Get Amped 020.JPG
    George "floor it".

    Tesla Get Amped 024.JPG
    On the way out Warren is coasting at a mere 81 mph, on the return we were just a hair under 100 mph. (Notice that the speedometer shows 81 and we're only a few yards from a sharp left turn.)

    Tesla Get Amped 027.JPG
    Yes, you could say Warren's driving style was "aggressive".

    Tesla Get Amped 029.JPG
    Here's the first car out in front of us just before Warren passed him on the highway in front of Solyndra.

    Tesla Get Amped 028.JPG
    Here's what a Model S looks like in your rear view camera.

    Larry
     
  2. Zextraterrestrial

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    Awesome :biggrin:


    did you ever go to Napa? (that was you right)
     
  3. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #3 Larry Chanin, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
    Minutes after getting the good news about my upgrade to Signature, we bumped in to our former Florida Store manager in the hotel parking lot. He’s since received a well deserved promotion to regional manager. Will took good care of us. Making sure I got my test ride and arranging for a private factory tour.

    Tesla Get Amped 006.JPG
    Will Nicholas of Tesla and me in the Tesla jacket.

    Speaking of my test ride, I drove a standard Signature model. Although not having the driving expertise of Warren I can honestly say that I tested the brakes a lot better than he did. :redface: At the end of the first long straight away I didn't realize that a sharp right-hand turn was coming up and had to apply the brakes very heavily. I'm happy to say that the brakes worked great.

    Having had test drives in both a performance and standard model we were able to compare the ride comfort, particularly over the bumpy course of the route. We were all surprised that the performance model clearly provided more comfort over the standard model. This is counter-intuitive considering that the performance has the low profile tires. Perhaps it's suspension is better tuned, but the difference, at least for these two individual cars, was unmistakable.

    Both cars handled extremely well and I have never felt so secure in taking turns at high speed.

    We were also able to compare the headroom with and without the panoranic roof. I'm 6'0" and I found that my head brushed the headliner when seated in the rear side in the car without the pano roof. This wasn't the case with the pano roof.

    Tesla Get Amped 035.JPG
    Here's a photo of the rear storage space and cup holders. As you can see it matches very well with the interior, but you do lose a passenger seat. We were about to get into this car for a test drive, but the all three guests couldn't fit. :smile:

    Tesla Get Amped 034.JPG
    Here's a close-up.

    Larry
     
  4. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Cool story, thanks for taking the time to share. :)

    Did you get a sense of how easy that center piece would be install/remove?
     
  5. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Wonderful story! When GB says "Reservation holders are treated like family" he really means it. Such a great experience for you, your guests and for all of us to read.

    And I can't get over how white the white looks in your picture! WOW!
     
  6. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Yes, awesome really describes it.

    The Tesla portion of our stay in California was one continuous adrenaline rush. Of course the car provided the stimulation, but in addition talking to George and the other Tesla employees was also stimulating. The raw enthusiasm of everyone we came in contact with was very contagious. For example, their VP of Finance took us on a factory tour and he was unlike any finance guy I had ever met in my career with a big utility.

    Tesla Get Amped 055.JPG
    Here's a photo of Mike Taylor, VP of Finance explaining the details of how the massive press works. They were actually running it while we were there over the weekend to perfect the operation.


    In contrast to the stimulation provided at Tesla, yes we made it over to Napa where we had the most mellow, laid-back time. We hired a driver to take us to a number of wineries so no hassle about drinking and driving. The two experiences were total polar opposites. :wink:

    Larry
     
  7. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Happy to share.

    I don't know, but it was solidly installed so I would infer that it might be difficult to install and remove.

    Larry
     
  8. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Thanks, yes we really did feel like family even when I handed over a check for $35,000. :wink:

    When reading the description "white" in the design studio I was turned off. However, when actually viewing the "cream" interior in real life I completely changed my mind. Now I plan on getting the cream interior.


    Tesla Get Amped 012.JPG
    Here's the "white/cream" interior, but the tan to the left.

    Tesla Get Amped 011.JPG
    Here's the tan with the grey to the left and the "white/cream" to the right.


    Tesla Get Amped 050.JPG
    Here's Steve Jurvetsons' tan interior.

    Larry
     
  9. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #9 Larry Chanin, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
    Here's some more photos that may be of interest.

    Tesla Get Amped 073.JPG
    You don't often get a good look at the underside of a Model S. It's as smooth as a pool table.

    Tesla Get Amped 072.JPG
    Here's a closer view.

    Tesla Get Amped 049.JPG
    Here's the business end of a Supercharger

    Tesla Get Amped 051.JPG
    Here's another photo of Steve Jurvetson's Model S. It was taken to show the paint armor. I found it more obvious on the Model S cars that I have seen than my friends Roadsters. Here it is more difficult to see in the photo than in real life. You can zoom this photo to get a better look.

    Tesla Get Amped 074.JPG
    As I mentioned earlier, the brakes really work. :wink:

    Tesla Get Amped 075.JPG
    Cute booties.

    Tesla Get Amped 068.JPG
    Powertrain

    Tesla Get Amped 069 powertrain.jpg
    Another view of Powertrain

    Larry
     
  10. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Here's some shots of the exterior colors in the California sun.


    Tesla Get Amped 076.JPG
    Grey with 21" Performance Wheels.

    Tesla Get Amped 080.JPG
    Sunset Red with 21" Silver Wheels.

    Tesla Get Amped 079.JPG
    Green with 19" Standard Wheels.

    Tesla Get Amped 082.JPG
    White with 21" Silver Wheels.

    Tesla Get Amped 087.JPG
    Blue with 19" Standard Wheels.

    Tesla Get Amped 081.JPG
    White with 21" Performance Wheels.

    Larry
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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  12. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

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    Larry - please explain more regarding the difference in ride in the Performance - vs - standard car. Did the standard have the air suspension too? Was the suspension settings the same on both cars if they both had the air suspension? Is the difference you experienced only due to the difference in wheels/tire aspect, or a combination of wheel/tire plus difference in suspension settings (I thought I read somewhere that the air suspension could be set to different levels of firmness). Congrats on the SIG!!
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Excellent report Larry...thanks from all of us who couldn't make the trip! :smile:
     
  14. epley

    epley P85 VIN 693

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    Great pictures and a cool story! Thanks! Very interesting the the ride was smoother in the performance model.
     
  15. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #15 Larry Chanin, Jun 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
    Hi Roger,

    Both cars had automatic air suspension and we experimented with the manual settings. In every case we felt the performance model was more comfortable on bumpy roads. By that I mean that we felt the bumps more on the standard model. At first we assumed that the difference was due to the different tires, but it occured to us that it might simply be due to different tuning of the suspension on these early cars. It would have been nice if we had a third car to compare.

    Larry
     
  16. ddruz

    ddruz Member

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    Larry, Thank you for the excellent report and all the pictures. I'm very happy for you. Particularly thank you for the comparison on rear seat headroom between the hard top and the pano top.
     
  17. Zextraterrestrial

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    Larry-
    Which wineries did you visit? Recommended?

    I expect to head through Napa with the S probably next summer some time.

    Thanks for the good pics and details you gave everyone!
     
  18. bbmertz

    bbmertz Model S: P4909

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    It will be interesting to see how harsh the ride will be without the automatic air suspension. Unfortunately, we won't know until 2013 since the air suspension will be built in all cars produced in 2012 .
     
  19. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    +1 to Z's questions -- have some friends coming out from FL in about 5-6 weeks and while I've recommended J, Schramsberg and Ferrari Carano those are all a bit spread apart.

    I'm not sure they'd appreciate the big Cabs like Stags Leap or Dry Creek... so interested in your opinion too.
     
  20. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Hey Larry,

    Sounds like you had a great time at the event and you have some good pics. BTW, do you have any other pics of the supercharge?
     

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