My 2013 Tesla Model S Electric Sport Sedan: Delivery at Last!

After 1,386 days of waiting, I first glimpsed  my new 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan at a local discount tire store.

The Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] delivery rep who was bringing the car up from the New Jersey distribution center to my house in New York's Hudson Valley had called me from the road, to say he was going to be late.

The car hadn't yet gotten its New York state inspection, so he was stopping by the tire store, about three miles away from my home, to get the inspection and sticker for the Model S--sitting on a trailer behind his truck.

I sat in my kitchen twiddling my thumbs in frustration for about five minutes. Then I jumped into my Chevrolet Volt and raced over to the tire store.

I couldn't bear to wait any longer.

Trying to be realistic, I had steeled myself for a tinge of disappointment. After nearly four years of anticipation, hype, and acclaim, my expectations ran so high that it seemed no car could meet them.

"Get real, man," I cautioned myself. "It can't possibly live up to the hype."

My visceral reaction upon first seeing my Model S there in the tire store parking lot was a jolt of euphoria. The car was freaking gorgeous.

I'd seen many Model S cars in captivity, so to speak, at Tesla stores and events. But in the wild, surrounded by the mundane, everyday cars parked at a drab strip mall, the Tesla Model S radiated an extra presence, a feline grace and power. It was a cheetah among wildebeests and water buffaloes.

And it was mine.

I'd worried about my choice of color. Seeing swatches at a Tesla store and playing with the color selector on the Tesla website, I'd specified the metallic green without ever seeing an actual car in that color.

Again, euphoria. The color was perfect: a dark, rich, British racing green with extra sparkle and luster.

After its state inspection, the car was loaded back onto its trailer for the brief drive to my house. I followed in the Volt.

The Tesla rep, an outgoing young fellow who'd given up a successful Broadway acting career to join the Tesla team, rolled it off the trailer and began the exhaustive briefing that every owner gets before the final handover.

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

Enlarge Photo

That was when I learned two unexpected pieces of good news.

First, my car included electrically adjusted and heated seats, which I hadn't known came with the leather interior option. Second, the car had  Internet connectivity, despite the fact that I hadn't ordered the optional high-tech package.

With built-in Slacker, that meant essentially any music, instantly. Eddie Cleanhead Vinson? Done.

This was turning into a very good day indeed.

My first solo spin was a five-minute drive to the local high school to pick up my daughter. She was impressed, but I'm not sure her friend noticed.

The second outing was to show off my Tesla to my buddy Chris, a fellow e-car enthusiast.

Pulling onto a local two-lane road with a 40-mph speed limit, I floored it briefly. We both giggled uncontrollably as the car shot silently ahead, touching 70 mph within three or four heartbeats before I quickly backed off.

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

Enlarge Photo

Too late. I saw flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror.

Damnit. He must be after somebody else. I was only over the speed limit for a few seconds.

How could this be happening?

It was happening. A local town cop happened to be parked precisely where I began my acceleration run.

"Sorry, officer, I couldn't resist," I said. "I just got the car an hour ago...I had to see what she'd do."

"Sir, do you know how fast you were going?"

"Maybe 60 or 70?"

"Seventy-two. In a 40-mph zone." 

He took my license and disappeared into the police cruiser for a very long time.

When he came back, he said sternly, "Sir, I'm going to cut you a break this time. But from now on, don't use the public roads to test out your car."

And he handed me back my license.

Yes, it was a very good day--hopefully the first of many with my Tesla Model S.

Stay tuned.

David Noland is a Tesla Model S owner and freelance writer who lives north of New York City.


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Comments (21)
  1. Congrtatulations. As a fellow 60 kWh owner , I must say it is quick and lucky not to get pulled over yet. BRG looks great.

  2. Scandalous… "Seventy-two. In a 40-mph zone" within three or four heartbeats.

    Drive safe, so the good days continue. :)

  3. Yay, congrats! I know it's been a long wait, and I hope it's all worth it :)

  4. As another 60 kWh owner, I want to recommend the curviest hilly mountain road you can find. I am especially fond of a steeply inclined highway entrance ramp near my home. I always feels like the car is about to "take off", and I have to get up to merge speed, don't I? Have fun!

  5. Congratulations!

    Keep us updated on how the car performs over the years...

  6. Congratulations David. I received my beautiful new Model S yesterday as well. Mine is also that wonderful rich British Racing Green! The car is so wonderful I have been giddy ever since! Enjoy your car.

  7. Congrats! Man, I am sooo green with envy. Someday I hope to get one ... someday.

  8. Tesla sure has made a great car. Very few if any of its owners are regretting their purchase. The Tesla Model S was the only car to unanimously win Motor Trends car of the year award. I myself am waiting for the Blue star $35,000 dollar sedan to be released in 2015. What I really like about the Model S is that it’s not a compromised car like other Ev’s on the market such as (Leaf, Ford Fusion electric, Chevy Volt) and its as good or better than the competitions gasoline powered luxury sport sedans

  9. You forget the Fluence ZE you guys chose not to get even though its a beautiful 25K car, with zesty acceleration and five seat comfort

  10. @Yuval: The Renault Fluence ZE is not sold in the U.S., which is largely the market we cover and where a majority of our readers live. That would likely be why Mark Stang and others don't include it as a competitor.

  11. "First of all, the Fluence "Zero Emissions" manages to look like a normal car. That's really not a given – the G-Wiz, for example, looks like something drawn by a sugar-addled five-year-old. The Fluence, by comparison, is a handsome and quite conventional saloon. Observers won't have a clue that it's powered by electrons instead of petrol".

    Based on a petrol car's design, this electric version does 0-62mph in 13secs and a top speed of 84mph. Those aren't sports car numbers of course, but because the Fluence ZE delivers all of its torque from zero revs, it does manage to feel quicker than the numbers suggest.

    Doesn't even compare to the Tesla Model S in performance. It does have about 119 miles of range however. Styling is nice however

  12. Congratulations and let's be careful out there (anyone remember what cop show that was from?!).
    I hope to bag a Model S in around 18 months when my car comes up for renewal. I currently have a jaguar XF which I think is about the closest "conventional" car to one of these Cheetahs - as you described it!!
    With all good wishes to you for the future. Joe.

  13. Hill Street Blues! What do I win? Hopefully a Model S. ;-)

  14. That doesn't look like David Noland in the Frunk as the picture's caption suggests... ;-)

  15. The flat lighting of the overcast weather on your delivery day makes it hard to see the beauty in that color. I'd love to see some sunny day pics of that car in the wild!

  16. Sure would be nice if they delivered on a trailer with front protection. Any stones thrown up by the towing vehicle could damage the prestine Tesla.

  17. Come on, David...! You get the new Tesla Model S and a police officer lets you get away with speeding. Meanwhile, I got a speeding ticket in my Volt just last Monday, with no forgiveness, of course.

    Just kidding, of course. Enjoy and keep all of us posted on what you find.

  18. David, I might be a bit weird, but I'm really seriously looking forward to your next installment about the Model S. Don't wait too long.

  19. Great Story David I Am Waiting With Baited Breath For Then To Arrive In Australia.

  20. The metallic green looks great in person, and would definitely be my choice too. Pictures for some reason just don't show the cool lines of the S. The back end looks like a Maserati, wide and aggressive; and the front hood has subtle ridges which strengthen it and direct airflow past the mirrors to reduce noise. Congrats!

  21. Oh and don't forget the fade-away retracting door handles. Way cool

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