Roadster owners are a fascinating group of people with varied backgrounds and great stories to tell. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many of them over the past year delivering cars from our Menlo Park store. After rejoining our headquarters Customer Service team, it’s the daily interaction with our owners I miss most. When asked to help host the March 21st Road Rally for local customers, I didn’t hesitate.
We kicked off the event at the Tesla Store Menlo Park. Once everyone had assembled in the parking lot and enjoyed some coffee and snacks, we had a quick drivers’ meeting and were off. Up Sand Hill Road we went, passing some of the very VCs whose investments made these cars possible in the first place. We hopped on Highway 280, where Roadsters are becoming a familiar sight, then took the 92 towards the coast. Highway 92 is made for the Roadster – its a fun little twisty road that courses over Crystal Springs Reservoir and up into the coastal hills which greet the Pacific fog each evening. From the crest, we made our way down into the sleepy hamlet of Half Moon Bay. We cruised down the coast as the morning fog dissipated, exposing some of the best scenery the Pacific has to offer. After a dozen breathtaking miles on PCH, we stopped at Pomponio State Beach to line up the Roadsters for their photo shoot.
As we pulled in, I tallied up the Roadsters. There were thirty customer cars and four cars from our company fleet. A few of our earliest customers were there touting odometers that read over 20,000 miles. I was driving Validation Prototype 11 which had the highest mileage of any Roadster present, with roughly 67,000 miles on the odometer. Not bad for a car just over two years old! Leading the pack was our beloved VIN 750, the car we watched drive across the country to Detroit for NAIAS in January.
In the parking lot of Pomponio State Beach, we checked out the cars (a great opportunity to see color combos and customizations), and owners traded stories of how they came to be Roadster Owners. We took a group photo to commemorate the largest rally of Roadsters to date (beat that, LA!).
We were able to keep a tight grouping as we motored back up the hills to Skyline Boulevard, the famous ribbon of blacktop running along the hilltop crest of the peninsula south of San Francisco. This crossroads is home to Alice’s Restaurant, a local favorite for anyone who likes to tackle twisty roads on two or four wheels. This was the site of some of our earliest test drives, so this hilltop intersection is certainly a special place for Tesla. As we piled up for the stop sign, we could see restaurant patrons pouring out to have a look and give us a wave. While Roadsters may have become a regular sight in the Bay Area, seeing 34 of them in a row is certainly a spectacle!
After we slid down the hill and made our way into Palo Alto, we pulled into the parking lot of our new Headquarters where lunch was waiting. Since most of the building is still a hardhat zone while we prepare to build electric powertrain components, we ate in the sunshine, discussing the merits of solar power, electric drive, and the special feeling of being a member of the Roadster Owner Community.
I can’t think of a better way of spending a Sunday morning with a Roadster. If you can, let us know, we’re listening.