Ten years ago Alex Ortega saw a story about Elon Musk. Elon had sold out of Paypal and was investing in a new business called Tesla. They were a year away from launching their first car – the Roadster. Alex knew Elon was onto something.

He couldn’t buy shares – a shame, he’d be a wealthy man right now – instead, he registered the Number Plate “TESLA” in New South Wales.

Kept in storage all these years, it’s cost Alex a lot of money every year – over $500 – to keep them, and now it’s time to move on and see if he can get a return from the investment.

Next month, on November 1 he will list the number plates on eBay starting at $1 with a reserve.  When EFTM spoke to Alex he wouldn’t reveal his reserve, only to say “over the years I’ve been offered a lot of money for them”.

When I suggested the market value of a name plate like that would be around $5,000 Alex was quick to reply “These are worth much more than that”.  So you can expect a high reserve.

For any normal plate that’s a word you might fetch 5, possibly $10,000 – but Alex has something important on his side: Wealthy Tesla car owners.

A Tesla owner has forked out well over $200,000 for their car.  Many already have vanity plates, relating to the environment or even TE5LA – but this is pretty special.

If wealthy Tesla owner Simon Hackett lived in NSW he’d be the perfect buyer (he lives in South Australia), but that won’t stop many looking closely at the Auction.

Kicking off on November 1, it will last 10 days.

Given the audience here, it’s possible, if not likely the plate will fetch over $20,000.  We shall wait and see.

EFTM has sighted the ownership papers and obtained photos of the actual plates that are in storage at a Sydney Motor Registry to confirm the validity of Mr Ortega’s ownership.