The 5th Roadster Built

The first 11 Tesla Roadsters were actually produced in the UK, at the Hethel Plant.

After this first production run, Lotus began shipping Gliders, or complete Roadsters without drive trains to the USA, to a small Tesla production facility in Menlo Park, CA, and then electrifying the Roadsters.

This particular VIN #5 Roadster, has a Euro VIN starting with SFZ unlike the US versions which start with 5YR, since it was produced in the UK.

This Roadster became available for sale years ago after being in private ownership, in a family of people passionate about sustainable energy use, and solar.

A death in the family triggered this sale, and I became aware of its existence as family members were distributing “for sale” flyers for VIN #5 at a local Scottsdale EV car show.

Although its early production ranking and collectible value seem glaringly obvious at this point as Roadsters have been recategorized as collector cars, at the time VIN #5 became available for sale, Roadsters were still in a depressed market.

I actually spent the weekend promoting this Roadster for sale to a few friends, and by Monday, my wife and I decided it might be cool owning one of the first Roadsters ever built, and we struck a deal with the seller.

Another intriguing history item was that legend has it this Roadster was offered to Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, but he preferred to put his investments into Vegan Restaurants and passed it up which is why an early car like this went into private ownership.  We researched this angle only to find Kimbal was indeed offered an early Roadster, but is was a Founders car, also VIN 5.

VIN #5, today spends its time being invited to EV car shows and events, as the public is now much more interested in Tesla history and beginnings, of which the Roadster has become the centerpiece.

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