The Culmination of Plan B!
On April 22, 2014 I test drove a Model S in San Luis Obispo, CA while on a trip. On April 23 I reserved a Model X, RN 9378. I was 77 years old at the time so I didn't want to wait too long. I joined the Tesla Forum and learned a lot. It later became clear that the X was not going to be available any time "soon". I began to work on plan B, the acquisition and use of a Model S while waiting. I thought about buying. I thought about leasing. Then, one of the many brilliant forum contributors suggested that I purchase a demo model that I could later trade for the X, should it ever be completed. Why I dedicated myself to buying a 7 seat MX is a long story unto itself.
What a great idea! I traded a 2012 Honda Odyssey for a white S85 in February 2015 that was shipped from Maryland with 4400 miles on it. I named it Whitey. It was indistinguishable from new and had a new car warranty. It was built in November, 2014 and had the autopilot hardware. I put 11,000 miles on Whitey, including a couple of road trips, over the ensuing 15 months while waiting for the X. I had a blast. The car was perfect. The only issue was a cracked windshield caused by road debris, replacement paid for by insurance company.
As a retired electrical engineer, I enjoyed doing the math to determine the optimum road trip strategy subject to the constraints of rolling friction, air friction, battery capacity and charging profile and Supercharger limitations. I also had fun deriving what it would take for a Model S to compete with a gas-powered car on a road trip: weight reduction from 4800 to about 3200 pounds, battery capacity of about 135 kWh and Supercharger operation at 150 kW.
I am now 79 and have finally received my X90D (Whitey, jr.), albeit with some suboptimal design decisions (nonfolding second row and self-presenting front doors being most prominent). I am lucky to be in good health enabling me to outlast the many delays. I sold Whitey to a local Honda dealer after receiving the $7500 income tax credit plus the deduction of the residual sales tax after a trade. The dealer offered me enough more than Tesla to make a net $2,000 difference after taking into account Federal taxes. Next year I will receive another $7500 credit, this time for Whitey, jr. and another sales tax deduction. The economics of my sojourn through Teslaland have actually been quite favorable, all things considered. I essentially got to drive the S for 15 months for free, considering the added depreciation of the Honda over another 15 months. I'm a lucky guy. I just hope that Whitey, jr. is as solid as his predecessor. I know he will be quicker.
Thanks to all the Forum members who suffered through my many posts while waiting interminably for my X. I have enjoyed the interactions, the humor, the shared knowledge and the wisdom of you all. For what it is worth I will present a review of the MX in another thread,