Three Brand-New Tesla Roadsters Found in Shipping Container After 13 Years

They’re about to become the last new Tesla Roadsters ever sold.

byJames Gilboy|
New 2010 Tesla Roadsters discovered in China
Gruber Motors

A trio of original 2010 Tesla Roadsters in almost perfect condition have been discovered in China. What are likely the last fresh examples of their kind are on their way back to the United States right now, where they'll be sold to the highest bidder.

The cars are listed for sale by noted Tesla Roadster broker Gruber Motor Company, which has the backstory on the cars' origins. Gruber says that the Teslas were ordered in 2010 by a customer in China; two in orange, one red, two with the Sport trim, one base. After arriving in China, the cars never left the shipping container. For unknown reasons, they've sat in the port for almost 13 years, accumulating storage charges the entire time.

But no more because Gruber says the cars are en route back to the U.S., where they're expected to arrive by mid-month. They're believed to include their original, unopened charge cables and hardtops with cases, all thought to be stored in cardboard boxes in the containers. They'll be put up for sale, with Gruber stating it's taking offers on the cars as a lot (and that it'll eat the cost of the storage charges). Before selling, though, Gruber will perform an extensive inspection that it anticipates could turn up some very bad news.

According to Gruber, original Roadster batteries can brick themselves after just a couple of months without a charge. These cars have been locked in a container since before the Model S came out, so they're in dubious condition. Gruber says it doesn't know if these cars' batteries have "any life left in the packs after 13 years of storage," and the only way it can find out is by deploying the defibrillator. (Proverbially, of course.) Their mileage is also unknown and won't be until their ECUs can be powered up.

If they're the last zero-mile Tesla Roadsters in the world and that may make them the last Tesla Roadsters that'll ever be delivered. Its successor model is already three years late to market, and with the more important Cybertruck behind schedule too, it isn't hard to guess where Tesla's priorities lie. But don't worry, I hear Full Self-Driving is still coming next year.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: