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The drivable "mule" (modified Elise)


JdeMO Powered
Dec 10, 2016
@Danny_ wishing you all the best and hoping you can reunite the body, brains and heart of that car. Here's a link to the For Sale post for posterity's sake:


BTW, anyone else here dying to see some t-shirts printed with that original Tesla "T"?!

Original Tesla Emblem.jpg

Finally, found more photos of the Mule 1 here. Nice to see @Martin and Elon coexisting in the same car. Look at the size of the original motor :eek:

Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: TEG


Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
Sunnyvale, CA
Look at the size of the original motor :eek: View attachment 472350
That looks like the motor made by AC Propulsion as part of their AC 150 Drive System. The PEM box certainly looks like it.

What caught my eye was the inductive charger for the EV1 in the background. I have one of those, currently on loan to the Petersen Automotive Museum for a display.


JdeMO Powered
Dec 10, 2016
Adding a few more higher res photos as well as the txt from the Craigslist ad here so we have this piece of history memorialized.

TRADE the first Tesla for a new Tesla Model S - $100000 (mountain view)

FOR SALE OR TRADE - 2002 Lotus Elise AKA Tesla Mule 1. OR TRADE. The very first Tesla. The very Lotus Elise chassis that Tesla bought from Lotus to build and test their battery for the Tesla Roadster. This Elise is also one of the first spec Elise's Lotus brought to the US to show off to prospective buyers.

I am a single mom with a nonprofit and want to trade this car for a new Tesla Model S.

This is not a running car with a registerable title, it is solely a collector's item or rather an investment. It is the first Tesla. It goes without saying that this piece is already and will continue to be priceless.

This chassis is for sale and a local nonprofit gets to benefit from it. With the sale of this piece, Husky Halfway House Foundation, a husky rescue in Eufaula, OK, gets to build a community dog park and low cost vet clinic and the buyer gets a tax deduction. Please contact me for more information on the piece and to negotiate a deal. The deal will can include a tax deduction, a business deal or investment or be a straight sale. The sky is the limit. I have a goal though and I wont sell this cheap so please don't respond with offers of less than 100, the current offer on the table. 1.5 million animals die in shelters in the USA every year. I need enough to help put an end to this. I am not trying to get rich.. 1/3 of the sale of this piece is a cash donation with a tax deduction and the rest goes to build the facilities that will house the nonprofit activities. Please share this post with anyone you think may be interested in this rare piece of history and the impact it can make on a local community.

I have the car. Thanks to Jen and Rob for being so helpful regarding information on this car, and again to Rob for delivering it. I don't intend to race it; just to restore it.

I am now working to recover as many of the original parts as possible. I understand that JB may have some of these, perhaps others from that era may have them or know of them. I don't seek to diminish the value of this car by fitting anything into it that would not have been available in 2004, except, perhaps, more modern lithium cells.

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