One of the first Tesla Roadsters ever made just auctioned for $182,000 — nearly double its original price

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer
  • The original Tesla Roadster is the first car Tesla ever made.
  • The first 100 Roadsters built were part of the limited-edition “Signature One Hundred” series.
  • No. 38 just sold for $US182,000 on car auction website Bring a Trailer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

There’s no doubt Tesla is a big deal, and perhaps one of your regrets is not getting in on its story (read: stock price) 10 years ago. As a consolation prize, a buyer just took home one of the earliest pieces of the carmaker’s saga.

Way back in the land of 2008, Tesla was a little-known electric carmaker whose first production car was the Roadster, an all-electric sports car based on the Lotus Elise. The first 100 of those Roadsters were sold as limited-edition “Signature One Hundred” models.

This Radiant Red example is No. 38 of those original 100 and was for sale on car auction website Bring a Trailer. It just sold for $US182,000 at the auction’s close on Friday, which is nearly double what its original owner paid for it new.

Read on to see more.


A 2008 Tesla Roadster just sold for $US182,000 on car auction website Bring a Trailer. It’s No. 38 of the first “Signature One Hundred” limited editions ever sold.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

The very first car Tesla ever produced was the Roadster. This red one has only had one owner.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

The first owner ordered the car in July 2006. He took delivery in 2008 and has held onto it ever since.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

The car comes with a commemorative plaque that identifies it as being the 38th example.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

Inside, there are heated, beige-coloured sport seats.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

The first-gen Tesla Roadster was based on a Lotus Elise.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

But it uses a 53-kWh battery pack and produces a claimed 248 horsepower.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

The Roadster’s Carfax report says a sideswipe occurred in September 2020 to the left side and rear.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

There are two removable roof panels.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

A body-coloured one and a black one.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

All 100 “Signature One Hundred” Roadsters officially sold out in April 2010.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

Source: Tesla


Buyers included George Clooney, Dennis Haysbert, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

Source: Tesla


The owner of Roadster No. 38 paid $US100,950 for it in 2006.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

It has just under 24,000 miles on the clock.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

The auction closed on Friday with a final bid of $US182,000.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer

That’s nearly twice what the original owner paid for the car, meaning its value skyrocketed just like Tesla’s stock price.

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Tesla Roadster ‘Signature One Hundred’ Series. Bring a Trailer