Don’t get me wrong: the Tesla Model S in its stock form is one sweet ride. However, Tesla Motors has plenty on its plate right now, and it doesn’t mean something that is already great can’t be made better. James Bond didn’t just have a 1964 Aston Martin DB5; he had a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 with twin .30 cal machine gun. While I think of myself mostly as a pacifist, the addition of the machine guns endows the vehicle with a certain je ne sais quoi. At Tesla Trips, we obviously have a bias towards electric vehicles, but there is no denying the eternal beauty of the ’64 DB5. While the Tesla is, in a lot of ways, different, the car’s design language does frequently get mistaken for the British luxury marquee, which in no way is a bad thing. It’d be as if every couple of days, women would come up to me and say, “Oh, are you Ryan Gosling?” I mean obviously they do, it’s just not that frequent…
But I digress. I had been told by quite a few of the local Tesla owners to have certain “protective elements added.” None of these were nearly as cool as adding oil slicks or ejector seats, but they were still purposeful. I’d heard of a few places to go, but I kept coming back to Apex Auto and Marine Spa. Not only would they put on a similar protective paint kit to the factory model, the cars I saw that were done by Apex looked better and covered more of the car.
I called up John Farris, the owner of Apex Auto (to keep with the Bond references, consider him Portland’s own ‘Q’ for luxury cars). John told me about some of the services they offered. There were three main services that local owners had been interested in. The first was the one I was most interested in: the 3M paint protection package. Some of the cars coming from the factory had the paint protection put on, but it was fairly noticeable, especially on the hood, since it only came halfway up. If it wasn’t properly cleaned, there would be a line of where wax or other cleaner would build up and make a very visible white line across the car. Apex would actually wrap the entire hood (versus just the first 14″ of the hood t hat Tesla covers) and protect more of the car so things like this wouldn’t happen. It cost $1295 for Apex to do it versus Tesla’s $950. If you’re thinking about getting a Tesla and haven’t decided whether to have Tesla put on the paint protection film or have a 3rd party do it, trust me, having seen how the car looks now, if you’re going to do it… PAY THE EXTRA MONEY. If you’re spending that much on the car already, this is money I feel better about than the monthly insurance.
The second option John mentioned was the “SunTek Carbon Series 45% tint.” This costs $335, and for tinting, that didn’t seem like a bad price. I figured since we are looking into expanding into executive sedans, it made sense and would give the car a great presence. The SunTek Carbon tint also contains no metals which can sometimes interfere with electronics. One thing John mentioned about getting it is that it would block a lot of heat from the sun, and we wouldn’t have to use the AC as much. In turn, that meant using less energy. Logically, it made sense, although, honestly, I thought he was overselling the addition (the modern “Johnson rod replacement”). I don’t like to admit it, but I was wrong. The option is especially worth it if you choose black for the interior like we did. I was getting into the car the other day after letting it charge for a bit outside, and I was expecting it to be quite toasty because I forgot to pre-condition the cabin. I sat down, and I was surprised by how cool the car was. Soon the AC in the car kicked in, and before I knew it I was actually cold. It was about 87 degrees out at the time. They also offer a protective for the front window that keeps out the heat too. We didn’t have that done but seeing how well it worked in the rest of the car, it is rather tempting.
The final option was “interior and exterior sealants, full detail with clay bar.” That is $350. Every time I’ve seen the car in the sun and noticed how clean it is on the inside makes me recommend you have them do it, too. There was something that had gotten on the rear passenger side seat, and after Apex worked their magic, it was permanently gone.
The quality of work they do is definitely apparent, but I really commend them on their overall customer service. I had a bit of a pressing request for them when we first spoke. Apex was very busy this past week, and I knew I had to take a trip out through the Columbia Gorge river with Travel Oregon and the crew. The only day they had free was Tuesday, but I couldn’t leave the car there all day. The next available day they had was Thursday. While I wanted to get the job done before going out through the gorge again, I knew timing-wise they couldn’t finish, so it’d probably be Thursday. John called and told me that he really wanted me to come in on Tuesday, just so they could get some of the exterior stuff taken care of before I went out through the Gorge to really protect the car. We brought the car in on Tuesday because of John’s willingness to work with my schedule, and you could tell he was just as worried about something happening to car as I was. I was very happy knowing that the car was protected as much as possible before the trip. He then arranged for me to come back out on Thursday to have the rest of the work done.
Text from John checking in to make sure our trip was a success
John also sees the value in the local Tesla owner community and even had a charger installed in his shop for cars to get a charge while they are being worked on, which I’m quite thankful for because otherwise our trip out through the Gorge may have ended differently. John is even considering adding a couple of 240 outlets in front of his shop so EVs of all types can get a charge on a trip, which is great because of his location. People can park their cars, get a charge, and even hop on the nearby Max train and enj0y a day downtown while their cars charge under Apex’s protective eye. Overall the addition of the chargers is a great way to see a local business reinvesting in a way a promote a new, responsible technology and rewarding a group of people who have been faithful to their business.