The Tesla electric car anecdote refers to a supposed invention of Nikola Tesla related by a Peter Savo to one Derek Ahers on September 16, 1967. Savo claimed that Tesla took him to Buffalo, New York in 1931 and showed him the automobile, a modified Pierce-Arrow automobile. According to the story, the stock gasoline engine had been removed and replaced with a brushless AC electric motor. The motor was said to have been powered by a "power receiver" consisting of a box measuring about 24 inches long by 10 inches wide by 6 inches high, containing 12 radio tubes and connected to a 6-foot long antenna.
The car was said to have been driven for about 50 miles at speeds of up to 90 mph during an 8-day period. This story has received some debate for the fact that the car’s propulsion system is said to have been invented by Tesla. No physical evidence has ever been produced confirming that the car actually existed.
In light of the fact that Tesla did not have a nephew by the name of Peter Savo, the Tesla electric car story is considered to be a fabrication. A number of web pages exist that serve to perpetuate the tale. Every account of this purported demonstration automobile is based upon the 1967 story plus literary embellishment.
Considerable coverage appeared in a number of newspapers in the Boston area.