Assault on Battery: 2017 Tesla Model 3

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just got your hot new car, the car that you ordered probably close to a year ago, and drove it only 490 miles and then ran it into a “heavy-duty light pole”? This 2017 Tesla 3 is your answer. This car listing was sent in by a reader, just for the record, we don’t normally show new vehicles here. Anywho, this polished-off pole-fighter is listed on the Insurance Auto Auctions website and it’s located in Los Angeles, California. Of course it is. Let’s check it out. Thanks to Fred H for this submission!

Unless you’re coming directly from your Cro-Magnon-man cave art seminar you know that Tesla is one of the hottest car companies on the globe right now. We’re not here to debate the company, the propulsion method, or the tired argument of everyone getting their power from coal plants. We’re here to debate.. wait, we’re not here to debate anything! Let’s just check out this unusual car for a few seconds. This design isn’t loved by everyone, it’s the epitome of the jelly bean car, but the technology inside is why they have fans.

Tesla has been taking some heat lately in how backed up they are in getting their hottest model out and into mostly-patient customers’ hands: the Model 3. It’s taking almost as long to get a title transferred in Minnesota; 3 months and counting for one of mine so far; ugh. But, back to the Tesla, sorry. The company has also been taking some heat from engineering companies on the fit and finish, such as door gaps and things like that. I don’t know how there could be quality problems when they’re taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to deliver cars, they’re already months and months behind their projections on delivery. Growing pains are to be expected with any new company, especially one that is growing as quickly as Tesla is. I personally prefer the Chevy Bolt, but that’s just me.

The Model 3 is the starter EV for Tesla, coming in around $35,000 before any tax incentives which I wouldn’t count on being there for too much longer. Even at $35,000 and having a 220-mile range for the base model – the “long range battery pack” has a 330-mile range – there is an endless debate from otherwise non-CPAs as to how long it would take to pay one off an EV over a cheaper gas-powered car. Sometimes a person just likes to try new technology. In this case, “new technology” is well over 100 years old, but you know what I mean. On this particular 490-mile car, I don’t know if this one is fixable, at least monetarily. It would most likely be a break-even proposition at best. But, given the uber-long wait for a Model 3 maybe some enterprising young bodyshop has the guts to take it on. We won’t make a habit of showing cars this new, of course, but being a reader submission and being a pretty unusual car and situation, we thought that some of the Barn Finds family would get a charge out of this!


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  1. Derek

    WOW! Just what I always wanted, a blow-up paperweight.

  2. Coventrycat

    Just imagine if the British made an electric car. It would never run, but at least it wouldn’t leak oil.

    • h60memo

      I’m sure the British could find a way to get it to leak oil.

    • Ntenna Member

      It would leak electrons!

    • tugdoc

      Give an English man a car and he’ll make it leak!

  3. sir mike

    Ins companies will total these mainly because Tesla dealers do not discount parts prices.So the body shop gets to mark up the list price 25% and the ins co.hate this but nothing they can do about it.

  4. sunbeamdon

    Ah, come on guys – use a sixteen pound mallet to straighten the sheet metal, pull/remove the battery pack and install a flat four from a Subie and call it a day

    • George

      Definitely agree! Old skool engineering and repair.

  5. AirBoss

    Since Tesla mandates they be the only ones to maintain and fix their product, good luck to a prospective DIY restorer. Cost? As Cornelius Vanderbilt said of yacht racing, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

    • sir mike

      Not quite true,The collision shop I work for has fixed two so far and we are not a Tesla dealer.I had no problems ordering parts..took about a week.Also loved marking up list price 25% for the ins co to pay.

      • JoeBazots

        I work for a LARGE auto parts/ salvage/ aftermarket crash parts company. I can assure you we have crash parts for these at more than one quality point.

  6. Derek F

    They managed to square up that pole quite nicely!

    Best of luck finding Tesla replacement parts for that car just yet…. I imagine every part in Tesla’s inventory is getting used as fast as they can build them now that they’ve finally ramped up production.

  7. skagit340@gmail,com

    F.or some reason I like sunbeamdons idea. What the heck,just the parts cost

  8. Fogline

    Just a couple of things – The $35k price tag is a myth from what I have seen. First ones delivered have been supposedly around to $60k. Details on someone that actually got theirs and is trying to sell it:
    We may see some adjustment on that as more are delivered/produced.

    Second is stating you like the Bolt better. Nice looking car with limited cargo space versus say my RAV4 EV (that Toyota should still be producing adding just a bigger battery pack to hit 200 miles and blow the competition away). The biggest issue with it, SHOCKINGLY, is that my butt won’t fit on the narrow seats. Given this is an American car and the average size of our population, this seems like a great oversight(?). I guess if you are 5’2 and weigh 100 pounds, it is a great option and they seem to be selling well. Of course at 100 pounds, you will also be able to achieve your numbers range wise quite easily.

    I am still waiting for a better option to what I have and am definitely converted to being an electric car fan. One just needs one or two of these classics listed here to drive when traveling out of range.

    • bdub

      the moron is trying to include sales tax in his purchase price. I hate to tell him but the new buyer is going to have to pay sales tax on top of the sales tax…he’s not really selling it cheaper than what he paid for it, if the buy has to pay another $5k+ in sales tax.

  9. sunbeamdon

    Skagit340 – if you are on the Skagit River why don’t we propose salvaging the vehicle installing a waterproof membrane and floating it past your neighbors homes in the flood? My client’s septic tank is floating somewhere on one of our PNW rivers. He’s going for a negotiated settlement/foreclosure – good for nothing crapper hole in the house

  10. Derek

    Could be worse; it could’ve been spat into space for no reason whatsoever… D.

    • Dolphin Member

      I think Elon Musk had an excellent reason to put one of his cars on the nose of the rocket.

      It’s called “promoting your product”, and since Tesla is burning through money bigtime, Musk must be thinking that he has to do something to promote his cars. Now if he could just produce more cars to sell…..

      Of course, since this evening’s news is that the rocket burned too long, making it probable that rocket / car will end up in the astroid belt instead orbiting Mars, the promotion seems to have been botched.

      • JoeBazots

        I think the primary reason for the choice was not just self-promotion, but a payload test. Better Musk’s own car with a little electronic gear than a multi million dollar satellite for a customer w/ the distinct possiblility of an unsuccessful test that wrecks the payload. Seems logical to me and, no matter where this thing ends up, I think it was a great choice – and has everyone talking about it, whether in positive or negative connotations.

    • Bob

      <Could be worse; it could’ve been spat into space for no reason whatsoever

  11. CanuckCarGuy

    We’ll see it back here on BF again next month…sitting on a Ram 2500 four-wheel drive dually chassis, sporting a Cummins turbo diesel! A redneck eco friendly ride.

    • Jeffro

      I like diesels! And 4wd! Duallys too! And my neck is red….uh-oh! Here, hold my beer…

  12. techwreck

    If nothing else, at least it the panel gaps are better now…

  13. DRV

    Any car damaged so the doors don’t close is totalled. The occupant was safe and this is a parts car. It’s no different .

    • Ian

      That was the first thing I saw. Surprised the doors are out from a hit like that. Many modern cars fair better.

  14. angliagt angliagt Member

    You could graft a front end from another car,
    & improve it looks,if nothing else.
    I wonder just how many people bought one of these,
    just so they could flip it for big bucks to those who can’t wait
    for theirs.

  15. Doug

    On a recent episode of Caffein & Octane, a fellow was shoeing off an Exocet that was Tesla powered…. The chassis donor was a Miata, but he substituted the
    Tesla drivetrain. Looked like it could be a lot of fun for both drag racing and autocross, especially with the bottom end grunt that electric motors provide !

    • Canadian Mark S. Eh! Member

      Hey Doug I too like the idea of it donating it into building another car. I’m thinking a resto mod on a forties of fifties coupe or hardtop. Of course if you did build the drive train into an old car you need some speakers on the outside making engine noises. The way regulators are going at shutting down fossil fueled cars it would be a way to keep your classic on the road for years to come. I’m surprised there isn’t a kit for just that.

  16. Maestro1

    I think the car was hit by a stupid techno infant with more money than brains. This is not a car. It’s a computer designed by illiterates.

  17. elrod

    This just proves that the utility pole is smarter than the average Tesla driver. Like we needed proof…

    Like 1
  18. sunbeamdon

    I don’t know which – the driver of the car or the rocket launcher – “I just missed it by that much”

    Thanks Maxwell!

  19. Ken Nelson Member

    Musta been another text message to get a driver to hit a pole that square! Nice work! Wonder if he’s that good with darts??

  20. Adam T45 Staff

    It’s a Tesla. It needs to be donated to “subterranean metallurgical studies” (dig large hole, insert Tesla, fill in hole). If I had to choose between this and the Wheel Horse E-141, I know which way I’d be jumping. Perhaps Elon has sent the wrong Tesla into space.

  21. Bob S

    Everybody should be aware that Tesla WILL NOT sell parts to repair a salvage vehicle. They require the VIn and will verify it is not salvage.

  22. Fred H

    Batteries Included .

  23. Rube Goldberg Member

    To driver: nice goin’, yutz.

  24. Jay E.

    If a car is totaled, does Tesla disable the brain?

  25. Pete Christensen

    Tesla…..Yawn most unexciting car to hear quiet as a field mouse. I need a V 8 gas powered car to make me happy! I need to hear the rumble

  26. fahrvergnugen

    Looks like somebody had a hard charging car.

  27. Classic Steel

    Tesla’s still not releasing all parts to salvaged as they want certificates of ownership. It was said I believe in past a Cali lawsuit is in play.

    Here’s your nightmare of half priced salvage of 58k panic this guy endured

  28. Dan in Texas

    Until I have no choice, I think I will pass on any car that can be activated or deactivated without my say so.

  29. Andrew Minney

    Second best thing to happen to a Tesla. The first was to fire it into outerspace to be lost forever. Trouble is the little green men would probably send it back!

  30. Richard

    Can autonomous cars commit suicide?

    • tbone

      funniest thing I have read all day! smooove!

  31. Dt1

    Got a Talia Texas look good when this matched up maybe they should all come out of the factory just like that not the but garbage

  32. Mark J. Soderberg

    Apparently, the majority of folks here don’t like change. Wonder how many horsemen thought the ol’ gasoline or steam contraptions would never amount to much. We all know how that story came out!

    • DrD

      There is change and then there is change for the better

  33. Jerry

    This is just another example of an owner unworthy of their car. Like all those corvettes, porches, etc. we see abandoned, and left to rot. Those owners don’t deserve those cars.
    And to those bashing the Tesla cars, have you ever been in one? Have you ever driven one? They are amazing, and if I had the money, I would get one. If I had even more money, I would get the roadster.

  34. Tyler

    I don’t get the hate on the Tesla, they are absolutely amazing & are the future of the automobile. I’m in a truck every day for work, & only rarely drive over 100 miles a day, but usually start & stop up to 20 times. If they built a pickup, I would seriously consider one.

  35. David Miraglia

    Collectible in 29 years

  36. Miguel

    Didn’t this car have that new fangled gadget that doesn’t let the car hit anything in front of it?

    I guess not.

  37. JonnyA

    Several of these Model 3s have shown up at this past months cars and coffee.
    I have to say it’s not attractive at all. The face has a weird blank look and the greenhouse is way too round. I’d never own one because of this.

  38. Nick

    A question of pole-arity.

  39. Clay Bryant

    The most stunning hubcaps/wheels my eyes have ever laid on. Chick bait………..NOT! Moon disks at 1/50th the price would look better……….

  40. sunbeamdon

    Clay, you cynic – let’s get it write – this is an opportunity waiting and waiting (and waiting and waiting, ad nauseam) to happen!

    What are we- 222 comments, more or less, into elon musk’s dream (typo’s intended)??

    • Clay Bryant

      There’s two different opportunities that people had on the Titanic. Either don’t take the boat at the pier or jump in the icy water half way to the destination…

  41. W9BAG

    Tons of comments, but it boils down to one thing ? What does this have to with Barn Finds ? It’s a wrecked Tesla. A new one. NOT a Barn Find ! Please, keep with the theme.

  42. Cliffyc

    Not what you could call “light damage”…,or is it ??

  43. Larry K

    There is no good without evil. No ying without yang. This was just to cleanse the the bf palate.

  44. Car nut from Wpg Member

    My (slightly) cynical thought is that maybe he bought it and waited a year and a half, then was stuck with this car he did not like/want. “Accidentally” totalled with full replacement value?

  45. Andrew S Mace Member

    Tough crowd. ;)

  46. tbone

    “we don’t normally show new vehicles here” How’s bout we continue that policy? Man I don’t care anything this modern. Not a barn find, just completely boring.

  47. Bobinott

    In a related story, Tesla released a map update for the Autonomous Driving package. The new maps exclude Pole-land.

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