Man Rebuilds Flooded Tesla Model S For Just $6,500 – Video

1 week ago by Domenick Yoney 33

This just might be the world’s cheapest Tesla.

If you’re like most people, spending anywhere between $47,000 for a Tesla CPO Model S 60 and $147,000 for a Model S P100D with all the trimmings is, sadly, out of the question. So, how much would you shell out to get one of these premium electric sedans in your driveway? Does $6,500 sound reasonable? Of course it does. How about $6,500 along with a whole lot of labor, wheeling and dealing of salvaged vehicles, and auctioning off of parts? I guess it depends on your level of motivation.

Rich, YouTube‘s “Car Guru,” is exactly this motivated. And, luckily for us, he’s spent the time and effort to document his journey to awesome and affordable EV-dom. Now, you may have met Delores (Yes, he names his cars. Don’t judge. Too much.) here before, when we shared the Guru’s video series about restoring a Tesla salvaged after a flood. This time around, though, we get into the numbers and the convoluted process surrounding her transformation.

In case you don’t have time to watch the video — though we highly recommend that you do — it breaks down like this: $14,000 for flood victim Delores; subtract $10,000 from selling functional battery modules; subtract another $3,000 from selling the non-working motor; subtract an additional $900 from parting out the seat airbags and a few miscellaneous interior trim pieces and we’re pretty much looking at a free shell of a car.

Now, things get a bit more complicated. To replace the missing and non-functional parts for Delores, our hero bought “Slim Shady,” a crashed Model S, for $14,500. He then sold the airbags, steering wheel, and dash for $3,000; the doors brought in another $1,500; the aluminum shell a further $1,700; the battery fuse and coolant pump, and assorted other bits brought in $1,800. Voila! A $6,500 Tesla Model S.

Of course, this doesn’t include the labor cost of stripping and reassembling the cars. Nor does it factor in some storage fees and the priceless patience of his family. It also doesn’t take into consideration that he still has a number of parts he could sell and bring that net cost lower. Overall, though, we are still impressed with the actual dollar amount, even with all the added asterisks.

If you think you have the kind of passion it takes for a project like this, we highly recommend you check out previous videos on the Car Guru channel, and subscribe to catch future updates. If you think you can do even better, somehow, make sure you document what you do and come back and tell us about it.

Source: YouTube

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33 responses to "Man Rebuilds Flooded Tesla Model S For Just $6,500 – Video"

  1. bro1999 says:

    Now this is a Tesla owner I can like!

    1. L'amata says:

      This guy is Amazing !! I watched the entire process . Not only is he resourceful , He has the know how and ambition to do such a Great Job. I am not aware of many, if any at all that can take two wrecked Tesla’s and make one that is Near Flawless (seats need some shine) all hand made and looks incredibly awesome! Very Nice Work Indeed , It was a very impressing series of Videos .

  2. MAF says:

    So, he’s driving a Tesla with no airbags?

    1. Domenick Yoney says:

      As I understand it, he sold the airbags he didn’t need for this build, so it pretty likely has airbags.

      1. Nathanael says:

        Basically he bought two Teslas and made one complete Tesla out of them. Leaves a lot of spare pieces!

      2. L'amata says:

        All safety Items are intact , He had to go through a state Safety Check & it wasn’t easy ,It didn’t Pass the 1st time, they had him sweating Bullitts .. Nice Job dude !!

  3. wavelet says:

    A person proficient enough to do all this can earn a pretty serious salary for his time. If that’s taken into account, I’d be very surprised if he actually came out ahead vs. buying a used car.

    1. bro1999 says:

      Sounds like he could make a decent chunk of change just parting out salvaged Teslas instead of rebuilding them.

    2. Devy says:

      Rich is a business owner(salvage yard), so he makes more in selling parts in salvage cars than being a EV certified mechanic for Tesla (as a job).

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      The value of “sweat equity” varies quite a bit. Looks like when it comes to rebuilding cars, Rich’s sweat equity is worth quite a bit!

      Not to sound like Karl Marx, but the value of this rebuilt car is worth much more than the cash value of $6500 that Rich invested.

  4. CCIE says:

    and…he just burned it up…

    1. Rob Stark says:

      Appears to be a prank.

      Pics of burnt Tesla has black wheels.

      Guru’s Tesla has silver wheels.

      Unless he switched the wheels as the car was burning or replaced silver wheels with fire damaged black wheels after the fire this is a prank.

      1. Tom says:

        I looked frame by frame. They look silver just with some blackening. but still the it’s possible I suppose that the trailered on is a different vehicle and he is presenting it as a dream sequence thing with the voice over from the previous videos. Perhaps we will see his next video have only a slightly damaged Tesla?

        1. Mister G says:

          If true it is tragic or it can be a ploy to gain views on YouTube.

    2. Nathanael says:

      Unfortunately, it looks real. The moral: don’t try to work on the car while it’s charging. (I mean, duh, seriously…)

      1. Rob Stark says:

        It is a prank.

        1. Rob Stark says:

          That is why there is no footage of the car actually on fire.

          Just a smoke machine in the frunk

  5. offib says:

    It already blew up

    1. JP says:

      It did not.

  6. SparkEV says:

    “If you think you can do even better,”

    I can build it for free, but I won’t bother. Since labor doesn’t count, I can spend the next 100 years mining and refining scrap rocks to get Al, Cu, Si, etc. and then next 100 years forming them to make S.

    Everything of value has associated labor cost (aka, value). To ignore that pretty much makes “$6500” way too expensive.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      His explanation is that the labor/tinkering is his hobby. Many people waste time on hobbies with no appreciable benefits.

      1. Klaus says:

        Exactly, you missed the point SparkEV. His hobby + $6500 in costs resulted in a Tesla Model S.

    2. Jim J Fox says:

      Daftest post EVer. Trolling?

  7. Tom says:

    Someone posted this whole thing in another thread and I went and watched the whole series of videos. Thanks whoever that was. Comments on his process.
    1. Interesting.
    2. Foolish
    3. Dangerous…how many different ways could he have gotten killed?

    1. Carl says:

      you fail to understand… all those things are not accidents 😀

      he is daft, crazy and more then a little odd.

      Carl
      (his editor)

  8. Tom says:

    By the way the whole series on this car is way over an hour long. I believe it’s a 5 part series.

  9. georgeS says:

    I wanted to know the details on the battery salvage. Apparently some of the modules were OK and he sold them. How can some get wet and not others???

    I quickly went thru the videos but didn’t see the part where he got into the details of disassembling the pack……just some general footage in the main video.

    Anyone know where the detailed battery teardown is buried in these videos??

  10. =j says:

    Who spends $3000 on a non-functioning motor?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That’s my #1 question regarding this article, too! WTF? Are the parts alone in a Tesla motor really worth that much? Or is someone going to rebuild it and sell it at a profit?

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Since Tesla does not sell parts, the market for some parts may dictate the high prices. Now that there are 100k+ Teslas, he has a good market niche.

    2. Scott B. says:

      Just a hunch, but it may have been Jason Hughes (wk057). I know he was active in discussions with the “Car Guru” early on in his adventure. He’s in the process of building a high power monster, using 2 volt batteries and model S drive units.

  11. Mister G says:

    This guy is amazing, but he must get rid of his gas guzzling corvette LOL

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