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Roadster shopping: sturm und drang

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by tonybelding, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    As a few of you old-timers may remember waaay back, I was active here in the early days of this forum and was on the waiting list for the Roadster when it was still in development. After many delays, much sturm und drang (or "drama" as we euphemistically call it nowadays), and 18 months of waiting, I was worn out. It was just too much for me, I was overwhelmed and fatigued, and I cancelled my order.

    I still have the little laser-cut paperweight that they sent out to people who pre-ordered Roadsters, too.

    Without rehashing all of that, let's just say that years have passed and things look a lot different now than they did back in those days, and I've had plenty of time to get over that angst. Although I wasn't active on the forum for a long time, I was always watching the EV news, and the Tesla news. And I finally decided, you know, that I still want a Roadster. The desire just has not gone away. So a couple of months ago I started watching the listings on eBay, just to get some idea how often they come up for sale, what they are going for, and the like. And I came into it with my eyes open. I remembered what it was like owning that Lotus Esprit V8 for a couple of years, and I know from experience that whenever exotic sports cars are involved, there is always some sort of drama.

    Still... I didn't really expect so much, so quickly.

    A couple of Radiant Red Roadsters were listed, one in California and one in Dallas. Dallas! That's close! Well, semi-close. And it looked good. And the price was acceptable. But... The timing didn't work for me. The listing was up right when I was paying for foundation repairs on my house *and* getting another, far more utilitarian (but hardly cheap) vehicle. Buying a Roadster at the same time was too much. Then after Tesla announced the 400-mile upgrade, both of those red Roadsters disappeared from the listings very quickly.

    There was a Midnight Blue 2008 model in Houston. Houston! That's... ehhh, not close, but it's in the same state as me, anyhow. And Midnight Blue isn't exactly my favorite color, but it could probably grow on me. The Roadster is a beautiful car, and it looks good in just about any color except black. (I can't abide black cars in general.) So, I called Texas Auto Direct and started asking questions. Well, it turned out they got this car at auction. Bankruptcy auction? Estate auction? Police auction? The latter would be my guess, but I never really found out. I also learned they only had one key and didn't know the PIN. I knew I could get Tesla to make more keys and recover the PIN, but... Getting the car and then immediately having to take it 120 miles to Austin to get it straightened out didn't sound like fun. There's a Tesla service center in Houston! Wouldn't it be easier for Texas Auto Direct to take care of that before selling it? But no... TAD is all about volume, volume, volume! They're like the Sam's Warehouse of used car dealers! So... I quickly lost interest in that. Plus, I was beginning to think I'd really like a 2.0+ model.

    The *other* Radiant Red car I'd been watching before -- this one in California -- reappeared in the eBay listings! And it was a 2.0 Sport! And it had a cool red-and-black interior! It was like what I might have ordered from Tesla back when they were in production! I phoned the car dealership (which shall remain NAMELESS) and asked some questions. They said the previous buyer had backed out of the deal. I thought it was strange that they had zero feedback on eBay, but they said they were just getting started in eBay sales. (I also thought it odd that the listing showed it with "power steering" and a "recent oil change"!) Still, it was so *exactly* what I wanted, I thought it over for a while, and then early one morning I went to the page and hit the BUY IT NOW button. I also sent an email asking for instructions on how to complete the transaction, i.e. where to send my money. And then I waited. And waited. Two and a half days later I finally got someone on the phone who said the car was sold. To me, right? Right?!? He didn't know much, but he said, "We already shipped it out." WHAT?? I needed to talk with someone who really knew the score.

    After a few hours of me pacing around, furiously ranting and spitting nails, I finally got a call back from someone who explained that they hadn't sold the car at all. They couldn't sell it because, at the last minute, they'd found a terrible defect. It wasn't charging right, and it might take $20,000 to repair. They had shipped it back to the "wholesaler" they had gotten it from. It sounded like a fishy story to me, but what could I do? I'm several thousand miles away, I can't really investigate them. At least I didn't send them any money first and then have to try and get it back. So... My heart was just a little broken because the most perfect car I'd seen got away from me *after* I thought I had a sealed deal to get it. Lesson learned: don't fall in love with one until it's in your garage!

    And now... Hot on the heels of that debacle, I think I have a line on another one that looks promising. So, the hunt continues! I'll keep y'all posted.
     
  2. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles Tony. I watched from the sidelines during the early days and once I deemed Tesla to be stable picked up a brand new 2.5 in 2010 and haven't looked back.

    All that being said, I would watch the listings here on TMC. Also you might want to PM ecarfan as he recently purchased a Roadster and had it shipped from Florida to NorCal. A local TMC member was able to check out the car and verify it was what the seller said it was.

    Good luck!
     
  3. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Good luck I have been driving my lightly used Roadster for 3.5 years now and still look for extra opportunities to drive it.
     
  4. pharma5

    pharma5 Roadster F#25

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    Hey Tony, good to see you're in the hunt and active in the forum. The info way back from you and TEG in the original paint color discussion thread was really helpful when I could finally buy a Roadster, after years of lurking and saving. I've had mine about 3 years now and never regretted it.

    Aside for Radiant Red and maybe 2.0+, do you have any other requirements?

    Maybe after the 3.0 upgrade is fully tested and released, they'll put a couple of upgraded CPOs on the Tesla website to drive the point home.:biggrin:
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Tony, I am relatively new to the Roadster world, have had my 1.5 for just three months. If you find one for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area and need someone to take a look at it for you let me know and I'll help if I can.

    I would not have had the courage to buy my Roadster sight unseen if Nigel had not been such a terrific help in inspecting one for sale in Sarasota Florida that I ended up purchasing!
     
  6. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I did not mean that Radiant Red is a requirement. I do like the color, and it seems like they made a lot of them in that color... but I was serious when I said the car looks good in almost any color. (except black!) I'm not as picky about that as I used to be.

    BTW, I've seen some later cars in an amazing brilliant green. I'm quite sure those weren't on offer in the beginning. I would remember.
     
  7. pharma5

    pharma5 Roadster F#25

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    Yeah, Lightning Green was offered quite late in the game.

    You may have seen this one in Very Orange already on ebay? 2011, priced under $60k, 28k miles, apparently in Houston area...make sure you're ok with the prior rental use and that the lien is cleared (see vehicle history report):
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tesla-Roadster-REARVIEW-CAM-2011-tesla-roadster-2-5-electric-htd-leather-nav-27-k-mi-001213-texas-/400839897296?forcerrptr=true&hash=item5d53eb70d0&item=400839897296&pt=US_Cars_Trucks
     
  8. Bataleon

    Bataleon Member

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    That is an awesome looking Roadster! Fair price too.
     
  9. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    One thing that I've found helpful about the Roadster community has been how easy it is to find people to tell you more about any particular car that shows up for sale. I've been driving a lightly used 2.5 Sport for a couple of years now and that wouldn't have happened without the communities help.

    They helped me avoid an amazingly well priced Very Orange (the correct most amazing Roadster color, for those wondering - just saying) that turned out to be a simple scam designed to get people to put money in the mail to them. When the same car shows up repeatedly for sale in a short period of time, and especially if it's bouncing around the country at the same time, ...

    The car we ended up with was in New Jersey when we bought it. I live in Oregon, and with the previous experience fresh on my mind, my first question wasn't whether the car was in the shape advertised - it was whether the car even existed, whether the dealership was real - stuff like that. I had 2 people who live in the area back in touch with information about the car the same day I posted about it.


    So as ecarfan offered up above for San Francisco, if a minor miracle occurs and you see a car for sale you'd like to know more about in the Portland, OR area, let me know. I say minor miracle as I think we've about a half dozen in the state total, and I know mine won't be going up for sale, but still - it could happen. I'd be happy to help.

    And good luck on your hunt. It only took me 6 months to find the right car, and that was back when Model S owners were trading in / selling Roadster early during the production Model S roll-out.
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Aw, man... It's the "Volume! Volume! Volume!" guys again.
     
  11. rudy sanchez

    rudy sanchez Member

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    compositor.jpeg Try Shift cars out of San Francisco. I purchased this mint 2011 2.5 sport with all extras and only 1000miles for less than $85,000. I purchased it sight unseen and I was treated like a king! They do have Tesla Roadsters from time to time. They are not a dealership and act as a concierge service for the owners of automobiles. Ask for Greg Gosnell. Shift
     
  12. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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  13. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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  14. dirkbike1

    dirkbike1 New Member

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    I've got a 2.5 sport Thunder grey black wheels black interior that I have been thinking of selling. Send me a PM and I will give you the details if interested.
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    It is unclear to me from the ebay ad if that Roadster sold for $59K or if the auction was ended for some other reason, but I am doubtful it could have sold for the price shown. Seems way too low.

     
  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    The TESLA letters are missing from the back of that orange roadster too.
    Repair/repaint?
     
  17. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    I don't like the way TESLA secures the letters to the cars. I have an almost complete extra set of letters and the word "Sport" off of a Roadster Sport rear bumper that was parted out. I live in NYC so I want an extra rear bumper and I will buy an extra front and doors too. People here drive by feel.

    I'm thinking of making replicas of the letters in black for my car, as Chromium is not my thing.

    If you do buy this car let me know if you want letters too.
     
  18. spiderguy

    spiderguy Member

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    Hey Tony, I'm familiar with each roadster that you mentioned and test drove the Radiant Red one that escaped you. The dealership had the car for about 2 weeks before I went to look at it. The car felt great and looked fairly pristine. However, I was waffling on the color. I asked them if they were keeping the car charged and they said no. Therefore, I informed them that it was imperative to keep the car charged and the sales guy supposedly plugged it in when I left.

    Fast forward a month and the car is still at the dealership, with the price slashed twice. Radiant Red was not my first choice, but it became a lot more attractive after the $10k reduction. Alas, when I called the dealership again, they informed me that the car had just been sold and that they were shipping the car out that day.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Segments of those letters do tend to fall off and get lost. Tesla can replace them, but $. He probably got tired of that and took them all off.
     
  20. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    My service center always had spare letters available. If they popped off, you may want to ask if they have that particular letter. They come off easily if you're not very very careful washing the car and if someone else is washing the Roadster make sure they're aware of that as well as areas of the car not to force water into such as the blowers/fans.

    I never liked the look of those letters. Have to play around with some fonts to see if I can come up with my own in a high quality sticker. A friend of mine had a white Roadster who removed his letters, repainted the car and never put them back on. I remember on EV day where he showed his car that it really threw people off, they didn't know what type of car it was nor who made it. He said it was happening all day.
     

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