Billionaire Tesla Critic Buys Tesla Roadster

Billionaire Tesla Critic Buys Tesla Roadster

Dan O’Dowd is known for shouting down Autopilot and FSD, but the tech entrepreneur just saved three old-but-like-new Teslas at significant expense

If you’re a fan of “barn finds,” you’ll probably remember the tale of the three essentially brand-new 2010 Tesla Roadsters found collecting dust in shipping containers at a Chinese port last year. Turns out, the next chapter of the story features quite the shocking twist.

After over a decade of sitting, the trio of electric beauties has found a buyer — and they’re definitely not someone you would expect.

If you had billionaire entrepreneur Dan O’Dowd — the same guy who Tesla threatened to sue after he ran ads during the Super Bowl in an attempt to get the company’s self-driving software banned — as the dude that bought them, well, then, congratulations.

YouTube channel What’s Inside got the scoop after tracking the EVs down to Medlock & Sons, an independent Tesla service shop in Seattle, Washington. The shop’s owner, Carl Medlock — who was on the original braintrust that produced the Roadster — revealed that, yeah, O’Dowd was the buyer, and that the vehicles are going to need several hundred thousand dollars worth of repairs to get them back to a drivable state, on top of the estimated US$800,000 it’s believed the billionaire probably paid for the classic cars.

While he may be against Tesla’s “self-driving” software, O’Dowd is apparently a fan of the automaker’s hardware, as he allegedly owns several of the original Roadsters, MotorTrend reports.

Whether the cars are fully repaired or not, the unlikely buyer doesn’t seem to have plans to drive them, as Medlock revealed in the video that O’Dowd is looking to put the extremely rare EVs on display in a museum. The service-shop owner also suggested they are probably the only three Tesla Roadsters that have never been titled or registered.

O’Dowd made his fortune in technology, focusing on software development, and is best known for creating secure operating systems for the aerospace sector. The billionaire’s campaign against Tesla’s self-driving software (FSD) is well reported, with his organisation, The Dawn Project, funding political initiatives and even, famously, Super Bowl advertising to block the adoption of Tesla’s AI tech.

The three brand new, never-driven 2010 Tesla Roadsters were recently found in a shipping container in a Chinese port after being abandoned years ago by would-be reverse engineers that were denied importation of the vehicles.

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