Oprah Made Him a Star, Now He Gets Keys To SJ Supercar

Tesla roadster Goes to "Mr. Man," who Oprah clung to during Obama Speech

Tuesday, Dec 9, 2008  |  Updated 3:33 PM PDT
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Oprah Made Him a Star, Now He Gets Keys To SJ Supercar

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Steve Perry, who was a stranger to Oprah when she clung to him during Barack Obama's victory speech, later appeared on her show.

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Tesla Motors Tuesday honored Menlo Park businessman Sam Perry, known nationally for being the man Oprah Winfrey clung to during president-elect Barack Obama's victory speech, as the company's 100th Roadster owner.

At a news conference this afternoon at the company's Menlo Park store, Tesla Motors CEO and chairman Elon Musk handed Perry the keys to a 2008 radiant red Roadster and told him that, as the owner of a Roadster himself, Musk has never been in a car where he received more thumbs-up.

"You can have something that's sexy and fast and fun, and that's also environmentally responsible," Musk said of the sports car.

The Roadster, launched in early 2008, costs between $2.50 and  $5.50 to recharge and can run for 244 miles with a full charge, company spokeswoman Rachel Konrad said.

The purchase price of the car is $109,000, and there is a waiting list of nine months to a year, Konrad said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and actors George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio are among the other owners of the Tesla Roadster, Konrad said.

Tesla Motors manufactures about 15 Roadsters per week and hopes to make about 30 per week by the spring, according to Konrad.

Tesla Motors is a 5-year-old company based in San Carlos that develops and manufactures all-electric, zero-emission vehicles. The company recently announced plans to move its headquarters to San Jose.

The company plans to begin manufacturing a four-door, five-passenger luxury sedan in 2011.

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