A one-of-a-kind secret Tesla Roadster R&D prototype is for sale

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You’ve perhaps heard of the original Tesla Roadster, the car that started Tesla and the EV revolution. Now, a Roadster you probably haven’t heard of is for sale – a one-of-a-kind prototype for a performance package that never saw the light of day.

Update: The car has now been listed for auction on Cars & Bids. The auction ends July 15th at 10:30AM PDT.

Recently, we got an email tip about an original Tesla Roadster which the owners were about to put up for sale.

Normally, we wouldn’t write an article just because someone is trying to sell any old car, even a Roadster (that said, I’m thinking of selling mine). But this email stood out because it came from Jamison Cummings, Tesla’s Chief Technician from the Roadster days, and it was about a particularly special Roadster – and one which most people haven’t heard of.

The car, a Tesla Roadster Sport with VIN #1124, was originally bought from Tesla in 2012, then was damaged in an accident and reacquired by Tesla. Tesla’s VP of Service at the time, Joost de Vries, acquired the car and it was repaired and rebuilt under the supervision of Carl Medlock, who at the time was the manager of Tesla’s Seattle service location, and who now runs one of the only third-party Roadster repair shops in the US, Medlock and Sons (Medlock currently co-owns the car along with Cummings).

After being repaired internally by Tesla, de Vries had the idea to develop a performance package for Tesla Roadsters, with the goal of coming up with a way that service could be made profitable – a directive leadership had established for him. An after-purchase performance package would be a way to bring revenue in through service departments.

The project never ended up being released as an option to the public, but the Roadster in question, which was going to be called either “Roadster RR” or “Roadster E-Sport” still assembled a large list of custom cosmetic and performance modifications:

  • Tarox Italian Performance Brakes Front and Rear (only 1 of 3 cars known to be equipped with this system)
  • Custom ABS Flash engineered to work seamlessly with the Tarox Braking System, developed by Continental (also 1 of 3)
  • Hollinger Limited Slip Differential customized for EV torque (one of 2)
  • Custom Tuned Bilstein Performance Sport Suspension (sole unit)
  • Custom Roadster RR camber plates and handling package
  • Hand-laid raw carbon bodywork, making it the only raw carbon Roadster in existence

The most striking feature is that last one, with the entire body clear-coated rather than painted, making the fibers of the carbon fiber visible on all body panels except the bumpers (which are plastic). The Roadster has a carbon fiber body normally, but it’s usually painted, with the carbon fiber only visible on the roll bar (and possibly a few other parts of the body, depending on option kits).

The package was proposed to cost $30,000, and would include several performance upgrades. But the project never finished due to changes in leadership, so it was never offered to the public, and this ended up being the only prototype.

While there are other customized Roadsters out there, this one occupies the unique space of being “factory customized,” at least to some extent. While it didn’t originally come out of the factory like that, the work was done under Tesla’s purview after the fact, with the intent of being an official manufacturer upgrade package – though the project was also controversial within Tesla, as there were accusations of overspending and the package never ended up seeing the light of day.

The car went on to be owned by de Vries until it was bought by Cummings and Medlock in 2022. Since the battery had died, the car was given a new “Roadster 3.0” 80kWh pack, and has been driven less than 100 miles on the new battery. Otherwise, the car has around 31,600 miles total, most of which were applied before the rework was completed.

To find out more about this special Roadster, visit the car’s website or check out the auction on Cars & Bids. Internal documentation about the project will be provided to the buyer.

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