Billionaire buys three 'long-forgotten' Tesla Roadster EVs after being hidden for 13 years - 'Fast and beautiful!'

Billionaire buys three 'long-forgotten' Tesla Roadster EVs after being hidden for 13 years - 'Fast and beautiful!'

WATCH: The Dawn Project 2024 Super Bowl Commercial

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 17/03/2024

- 08:00

Updated: 17/03/2024

- 11:00

'I love my Roadsters and have driven nothing else for thirteen years'

A billionaire has told GB News about how he was able to purchase three of the rarest Tesla electric vehicles, despite an ongoing feud with Elon Musk about the brand’s self-driving technology.

Dan O’Dowd, founder of The Dawn Project, has long been a critic of Tesla’s self-driving features over fears that the technology could have flaws and leave motorists in dangerous driving incidents.

The three once-lost Tesla Roadsters were discovered in a “long-forgotten shipping container” in a Chinese port, with the vehicles being the only ones in existence which have never been titled.

Speaking to GB News, O’Dowd explained how he was able to purchase the three Roadsters for $800,000 (£628,387) and what he plans to do with them.

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The factory-new Tesla Roadster

The factory-new Tesla Roadsters were left untouched for 13 years


The Roadster electric vehicles were originally purchased by a research and development team of an undisclosed Chinese automaker, which reportedly had the intention of using them for reverse engineering purposes.

The manufacturer eventually went bankrupt leading the vehicles to be seized by the authorities and left in a port for 13 years until they were rediscovered recently, prompting O’Dowd to purchase them – two orange and one red model.

O’Dowd told GB News: “I learnt about the Roadsters from Medlock & Sons, where I send the two Roadsters I purchased in 2010 for service. I love my Roadsters and have driven nothing else for thirteen years. They're fast, beautiful and nimble.

“With the roof off and the volume cranked up, they are pure joy to drive, so much so that I deliberately choose a longer commute.”

Dan O'Dowd with the Tesla Roadster

O'Dowd now owns eight Tesla electric vehicles


The three electric vehicles purchased by O’Dowd are the only Roadsters in the world that have never been titled, making them even rarer in the eyes of car collectors and enthusiasts.

Adding to their rarity, the Roadsters were developed in Tesla’s infancy, with only 2,450 worldwide sales, with interested motorists forking out $160,000 (£125,677) for the privilege of driving the sports cars.

O’Dowd has not yet decided on what to do with the three Roadsters but he has confirmed they will not be driven. He suggested that they may be put on display or loaned to a museum, with the expert now owning eight Teslas - five Roadsters, two Model 3s and an original Model S.

Despite the software developer’s love for the Roadster, O’Dowd has spent millions of dollars since 2021 on a campaign against Tesla’s full self-driving technology over significant road safety fears.

The factory-new Tesla Roadster

The vehicles were purchased for a total of $800,000


O’Dowd has a long history with software and developing systems for major projects, including Boeing’s 787s, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Fighter Jets, the Boeing B1-B Intercontinental Nuclear Bomber, and NASA’s Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, prompting his interest in Tesla’s self-driving capabilities.

The Dawn Project aired two high-profile adverts during Super Bowl LVIII, calling for a public boycott of Tesla, accusing the brand of using “dangerous” technology in its popular electric vehicles.

In the adverts, footage shows a Tesla under the control of Full Self-Driving technology seeming to ignore driving rules and create dangerous conditions on the road.

Tesla plans to bring out a new, updated model of the Tesla Roadster next year, which Musk has claimed will be capable of accelerating from 0-60 in less than a second, with the billionaire previously suggesting the vehicle could be powered by rockets developed by SpaceX.


Dan O'Dowd with the Tesla Roadster

O'Dowd has suggested the vehicles could be put in a museum


Musk, who has frequently backed his electric cars as some of the best and most technologically advanced vehicles in the world, said owners of the new Roadster would love it “more than their house” and that there “would never be another car like this”.

GB News has approached Tesla for a comment in response to the claims made by The Dawn Project.

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