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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Coffee With the Cool Kids

Settling in with something new is always a little "disruptive".  But unlike a small consumer device, with a Tesla pretty soon everyone around you knows you have something new.  A Tesla is pretty "far out" and hard to ignore when parked in the Camry and Explorer laden lots about town.
Ours is a subtle grey.  I can't imagine the attention a red one would get... oh wait... yes I can.  "This, officer, is a Tesla.  T-E-S-L-A.  And here's my license."
Plus, it is fun to show others that electric power is doable and realistic and encourage people to reconsider their habitual gas car purchases.  Faces lights up when they "get it".  If you read my 11-part mega-series about how we got converted to electric you'll recall that it was SEEING the car that started the ball rolling.  TOUCHING and then eventually DRIVING one sealed the deal.  But wait-- I'm not going to let any of you drive my car.  Just. No.  Call shotgun all you want, but that driver seat is off limits.

However, I'm more than happy to do my parking lot "show and tell" and have given numerous test rides around the area-- I think I counted TWELVE separate rides the first week...  and we haven't even taken it to Alice's workplace or church yet.  It's considerably cheaper than Kennywood, after all.  Whoosh, baby!  So out into the world we went.
Two days after delivery we took Serena to Cars and Coffee at Generoasta.  I'd been there several times previously but always either rode with Jake or parked out in proletariat land, far from the gorgeous and exotic sheet metal.  This week we met up at Jake's and then flew to Warrendale in formation and parked up dead center, back to back.  Not only was it the first time I'd ever SHOWN a car, it was the first time I'd been invited in with the "cool cars".   Remember junior high school when you first asked sit at the popular table in the cafeteria?  Yeah, it's like that.
While backing in between an Aston Martin and a Porsche and towards another Tesla-- with lots of people milling around-- I was VERY grateful for the HD rear camera and parking sensors!!  I certainly was not interested in being the next viral video by pin-balling off the assembled metallurgical sculptures.
Once out, it was hard not to see a lot of similar lines with the Aston's rear flanks and Serena's hips parked side by side.  Hey, if you're going to copy someone, at least Tesla chose someone beautiful!
The taillights are very close, the hips very similar, and even the windows and bumpers-- like long lost cousins!  The roof of the Aston was ridiculously lower though, especially for a front engine car.  Still, I daresay a Tesla with the front grill modified into the Aston Martin shape would be mistaken as a Rapide by most people.
Parked back to back with Jake, our Teslas found themselves surrounded by 2 door sports cars.  There were other sedans around but somehow we ended up in no-kids-territory and not family-car territory with the BMWs and CTS-V Caddys.  Hmm.
Being brand new Serena was staying closed up this time (aside from the pano roof) and I wasn't leaving anything to chance.  Taking the opposite approach, Jake had his car wide open as usual.  The frunk always gets smiles and shaking heads!  Probably the only thing more amusing to the casual car show crowd are the rear jump seats (which we didn't get).

You can see the new TSportline TST wheels Jake has mounted on his car.  We have an identical set in storage that will be getting winter rubber mounted on them (since the Tesla isn't AWD) and I'm eager to see them on our grey car... but not so eager to wish away the bright sun and warm weather!   Good thing I have Jake's to look at all Summer.
The Teslas fit in with those swoopy sports car roof lines pretty well.  In fact, they are more radical than some coupes from just a few years ago.
Two of the gentlemen in this picture are the guys who are going to be applying paint protection to our car.  The goal and expectation is that Serena will last decades so making some investments to prolong the finish in our urban/suburban war zones seems wise.  Rust isn't a concern, but dings and scratches are.  It can't all be prevented but we're going to try and prevent most.  Evan (in the green shirt) will be doing the initial preparation, detail and paint correction.  Adam (in the blue hat) will add on the Xpel film afterwards and the whole car will get a layer of OpticoatPro to make cleaning easier... since I'm the guy who has averaged less than one wash per year on our silver Subaru (it never LOOKS dirty!)
We were not able to stay at the event for very long-- a little over an hour-- because of kid commitments (not in the psychiatric sense... though I've been tempted more than once).  We had a great breakfast from Generoasta and then had to be on our way.  In the meantime we answered a lot of questions, caught up with some folks we'd seen at prior events and met even more new ones.  While still rare, I expect Tesla to become less uncommon around here and we'll be shoved aside to park on the outskirts again someday.  For now though, it's fun to demonstrate the car and catch people studying it from afar and wondering if "it really does that."

Yes.  It really DOES!


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