My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

Discovering the New World of Custom Teslas

by Wallace Wyss –

It was nothing like the 100 or so Ferraris I saw the day after attending a cruise-in cars-and-coffee at the art deco-restyled Petersen museum but I gotta admit that the Teslas I saw at the Zimmerman Museum in El Segundo, CA the day before were impressive as well because:

– I had never seen customized Teslas before and

– Some of the owners seemed to have cracked the lack-of-engine sound problem

Custom Teslas

The Teslas I saw, some of them had different wheels than stock, different front spoilers, or rear spoilers, and at least one had an all newly designed interior and two had a sound system that imitated internal combustion sounds. Somehow the sound track is synched to the car speed so when the Tesla speeds up, the “engine” revs up.

Custom Teslas

Of what cosmic significance is this? It proves to me that some Tesla owners are good old fashioned hot rodders. Oh, they love the space age technology but the make ’em-all identical design philosophy just don’t sit right with them–they want to individualize their cars.

Custom Teslas

I somehow think that Elon Musk knew this would happen eventually. I think he even ought to hand out annual Best Modification awards at say the Pomona Roadster show or the SEMA show. Maybe offer cash prizes to the winner so the clubs can reproduce the prize winning designs and sell them through the clubs.

Custom Teslas

I can remember when private tuning shops awakened owners of certain brands to the high performance possibilities of their cars, like AMG, which Mercedes eventually made their in house brand. And lately there’s a new brand, Pole Star, a factory model that sprang up from an outside shop modifying Volvos.

This trend–which I think I am seeing in its embryonic form in the electric car world with Teslas–is just what the brand needed. Oh, there’s absolutely no doubt Teslas in dead stock form are fast. At least two magazines are showing how they “smoke” exotic Italian sports cars that cost twice as much. But the general public may still see stock Teslas as bland.

When the roadster is finally available–that’s the one I predict will be the most modified by future owners. Individual owners will out-Ferrari Ferrari and out-Lambo Lamborghini. Of course, when you modify a luxury car with expensive, aftermarket accessories and boost the car’s worth exponentially, the auto insurance adjusters probably go a little crazy. Still though, one must have insurance—especially these days! Thankfully, it is easy to compare auto insurance policies online, and as much as the insurance companies probably hate offering coverage for modified cars, one of them will have to step up and do it. After all, the modified-car scene isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!

I don’t know how big the collective memberships of all the Tesla Clubs is, but I’m more confident now to write that Tesla book I’ve been talking about because I can see now that there’s a collective owner group that believes in these cars and is fast finding ways to individualize their cars–to make it theirs to speak. To take up where Elon Musk and his chief designer Frans von Holzhausen, left off.

Custom Teslas

That Ferrari meeting I went to one day after the Tesla meet was exciting – especially seeing the $2 million dollar plus SP2 roadster, a limited edition that cheekily dispenses with a windshield (owner and passenger wear helmets?). But I’d like to think, even as internal combustion cars are legislated out of existence, a new legion of modified electric cars will come onto the scene. I realize now I had predicted the fading out of car enthusiasts too soon.

Enthusiasts will always be there, it just took them a few years to adapt (oh, and order my Tesla with a Ferrari four cam carbureted V12 sound track, if you don’t mind…)

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is writing a book tentatively entitled How Tesla Killed Detroit. He is actively looking for a publisher. He can be reached at


Custom Teslas

Photos by Wallace Wyss.
Discovering the New World of Custom Teslas
Article Name
Discovering the New World of Custom Teslas
The Teslas I saw, some of them had different wheels than stock, different front spoilers, or rear spoilers, and at least one had an all newly designed interior and two had a sound system that imitated internal combustion sounds.


  1. Simon Vels says

    Also Saleen has aTesla bodykit and upgraded electric motors.

  2. Robert Feldman says

    I would like to have one like the car with the palm trees with a hydraulic suspension so I could make it jump up and down.

  3. wallace wyss says

    Hopefully the modifiers of Tesla will follow the BMW owner model, not the hop-hop tiny wheels tiny tires gyrating cars of rap music (I think some were featured in the Super Bowl ads).

  4. Wally owners of cars personalized and customized them from the very beginning of cars and they do it to their own taste. That’s a point of freedom, they don’t have to please you with their wheel choice or any other choice.

  5. wallace wyss says

    In some countries it is against the law to repaint your car a different color without notifying authorities. When I lived in Michigan owners of ’60s Corvettes with factory optional side exhausts were ticketed. I hope we never get to where you aren’t allowed to personalize your car. Or else what’s a heaven for?

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