Tesla was incorporated in 2003 and sold its first Roadster sports car in 2008, but it didn’t really become the company we know today until a few years later.
It wasn’t until 2012 that the automaker’s factory in Fremont, California, kicked off production of the Model S as its first volume model.
The initial cars available for order included a base Model S with a 40 kWh battery pack rated for 160 miles of range for $57,400, but the first ones off the line were the high-end Signature.
They came with an 85 kWh pack good for 265 miles of driving between charges on Tesla’s then-nascent Supercharger network and a 416 hp rear-wheel-drive system at a starting price of $87,900.
The recently redesigned Model S now starts at $104,990 and has a standard all-wheel-drive system and a range of 405 miles per charge, while the 1,020 horsepower Model S Plaid costs $135,990.
The official launch date for the Model S was on June 22, when a delivery event was held at the factory, a tradition that the company has continued with each new model’s introduction.
Several customers picked there’s up in person, while other cars were sent off for at-home deliveries, a Tesla innovation that has since been adopted by some other brands and used car outlets.
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One person who didn’t grab his at the plant was Weblogs founder Jason Calacanis, who had placed the very first reservation for a Model S after the prototype was revealed in 2009 when the company’s future was very much in doubt.
He already owned the 16th Roadster, but was a little surprised when he received an email notifying him that he’d been assigned the very first Model S.
“Two or three years later, I get: ‘Congratulations, your serial number is 00001. Congratulations, your serial number is 00073,'” Calacanis recounted to Insider in 2017.
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The #1 because he ended up going with was a fully-loaded Signature Performance with a bottom-line price of $103,050 that he told FOX Business he still owns today.
He said he doesn’t drive it often, but takes it for a two-mile ice cream run on occassion “just to make sure it’s running ok.”
He also still has the Roadster, but uses the Model Y as a daily driver. And while he’s said before that he’d be happy to give the Model S to Elon Musk, he doesn’t have any intention of selling it, even though it could be worth quite a lot.
“The earliest Teslas — the Roadster model — are just now beginning to grab collector’s attention with values for top-condition cars falling between $150,000 and $200,000,” John Wiley, Manager, Hagerty Automotive Intelligence manager John Wiley told FOX Business.
The current record for a public Tesla sale stands at $250,000 for a Roadster with 840 miles on the odometer that was sold this February, but others have been listed with prices rising to over $1 million. They include the last Roadster built, which is currently on offer for $1.5 million.
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“The Model S sedan wasn’t their first car, but we see other brands or models where the first-ever version, or earliest model known to exist, can sell for up to four times what similar models sell for,” Wiley said.