Martin Eberhard first conceived of what ultimately became Tesla Motors and the Tesla Roadster when he couldn't get AC Propulsion to build him a TZero. Since he wanted a battery-powered sports car, Eberhard set out to bring together a team that would build his dream car. Of course, it was always his intention to buy the first car for himself, but creating a car company from scratch is not a low budget proposition. Hence Eberhard had to bring in some investors to fund the program. PayPal founder Elon Musk came in big with a pile of cash in return for which he requested the first car. After some haggling, Eberhard agreed to take Roadster number 2 and things moved along.
As we now know, Tesla encountered some speed bumps along the way and production got delayed by many months. The first production model was completed in December 2007, and delivered to Musk in February. Series production officially kicked off on March 17 of this year with the car with serial number 2 starting down the line. That car destined for Eberhard has yet to leave the Lotus factory in England. Meanwhile two other cars have been completed and one has been delivered to a customer in the U.S. while the other has been touring Europe for the last couple of weeks. Needless to say, Martin Eberhard is not pleased about other people getting their Roadsters before him. The problem is that automotive build sequences are a very complicated matter, which are only made worse when you blend big egos into the mix. The matter comes down to the difference between what the VIN numbers say and which cars we're actually built when. AutoblogGreen has a detailed report on what was "promised" to Eberhard, and what is being delivered, including documents provided by Eberhard.