Exclusive Tesla Roadster Haven Found In Owings Mills: Rare EVs Serve As Parts Hub To Preserve Remaining Models


Tesla car auto dealership sign and logo. (Credit: Renee Schiavone/Patch)

OWINGS MILLS - Motortrend, the popular automotive news service, recently found a hidden gem in Baltimore County. According to Motortrend, some of the rarest electric vehicles ever produced are sitting in a nondescript Tesla store in Owings Mills.

The news service discovered no less than six first-generation Tesla Roadsters "unceremoniously crammed together" behind the Owings Mills Tesla store.

The Tesla Roadster was one of the first EVs ever built. During its 2008-2012 production life, only 2,450 first-gen roadsters were made, causing collectors to covet the models.

Finding a Roadster for sale can be difficult; Tesla no longer sells them in its store, and none are currently available as used inventory. When Roadsters do hit the market, they routinely fetch over $100,000 at auction.

According to Motortrend, the Roadsters at the Owings Mills Tesla shop are not for sale but for parts.

"None had window stickers, some were damaged, and all of them were dirty. Registration stickers indicated many of them had been off the road for at least two or three years," the story says.

A technician at the shop told Motortrend reporters that the Owings Mills store had become something of a hub for Roadster service on the East Coast. One of the technicians is nicknamed "the Roadster guy" and is an expert in repairing these classic cars.

As one of the earliest contemporary electric vehicles (EVs), the Roadster provides a firsthand account of the hurdles involved in maintaining older EVs. The wear and tear on plastic components, damage to body panels, and faulty electronic systems can pose significant challenges. Additionally, battery cells may fail, the battery pack may lose its charging capacity, or the entire system may stop functioning altogether.

Because the Roadster's structure is based on a Lotus Elise chassis, with components obtained globally, procuring replacement parts can be a difficult task. The considerable alterations Tesla made to these vehicles mean that standard Lotus parts often don't fit, and Tesla has ceased production of new components.

This leaves service centers with only one option: cannibalizing the weak to keep the strong functioning. The technician told Motortrend they "deconstruct these cars, certify the components, and then utilize these parts to maintain the roadworthy Roadsters."

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