The 24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck Is Real, It's a World-First

24K Gold-Plated Cybertruck 13 photos
Photo: JerryRigEverything on YouTube / autoevolution edit
24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck24-Karat Gold-Plated Tesla Cybertruck
Bentley, Maybach, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and a couple of other brands that sell pricey rides might want to take notice of what's happening in the States. An edgy zero-tailpipe emission pickup truck that doesn't have very much going for it is slowly becoming a hit with people who don't look at restaurant menu prices. And someone just gave them a renewed reason to consider splurging on a Cybertruck.
It's 2024, and people are spending tens of thousands of dollars on silly things. But that's what many of us would do if money were no object. After all, what's the point of living (large?) if you can't have a little fun every once in a while?

So, the first step is to buy a Tesla Cybertruck. You might want to tell your family and friends that Tesla's pickup truck can be a workhorse and not just an attention grabber that charges rather slowly and cannot tow very far, but you'd be lying to them and to yourself.

The Cybertruck is, first and foremost, a fun electric vehicle. It's something you buy because you can and want, not because you need to. It's a reward or, for some "purists," an easy way to support Tesla and enjoy a dystopian approach to designing a production series vehicle that's illegal in many parts of the world.

Is there something wrong with that? No. People buy V12-powered Aventadors. At some point, believe it or not, Europeans were spending money on V10 diesel engines installed under the hood of a particular VW SUV.

24\-Karat Gold\-Plated Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: JerryRigEverything on YouTube
Nobody needs that much power to commute or to travel. But it's the insanity of it that attracts. Why settle for a naturally aspirated four-pot when you can have a bi-turbo V8 powerplant that can make all sorts of crazy sounds and develop hundreds of horsepower? If you can comfortably afford such capable machines, there's very little reason not to buy yourself at least one enthusiastic ride. After all, what gearhead hasn't dreamed of a driveway filled with supercars or very rare vehicles that don't need insurance?

One very precious pickup truck

Well, this Cybertruck must be insured because it was supposed to have a starting price of a little under $40,000. Somehow, buyers are now paying over $100,000 for an all-wheel-drive one. Some are even going over the $120,000 mark for a tri-motor one.

But you can't stop there. You already bought an absurdly expensive pickup truck that can't serve as a true ally for tradespeople. The triangle on wheels will attract attention without a wrap and without making a noise, but you need to make a statement.

The car is an extension of your personality. It tells the world a little something about who you might be and shares a glimpse of your character. That's why the second step is to do something other Cybertruck owners haven't thought of, and that's to gold plate your pointy EV.

24\-Karat Gold\-Plated Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: JerryRigEverything on YouTube
Before you dismiss the idea as being stupid, wait a second. It costs just $60,000 to get the necessary amount of 24K gold to turn the Cybertruck from a boring fridge into a piece of automotive jewelry. Yes, that's more expensive than the vehicle's original price, and it doesn't even include labor.

This type of gold is, as someone we know would put it, the best kind of gold because it has a purity of 99 percent. Normally, that means anything made of 24-karat gold is a bit soft because the precious metal itself is very malleable. Worn jewelry is typically made from 14-karat gold because the yellow metal is combined with copper or silver for improved strength.

However, JerryRigEverything's Zack Nelson knew that you can't use the cheaper stuff on Tesla's first-ever pickup truck. He used the real deal.

A lot of effort for something that hasn't been accomplished before

The EV was plated in three stages. First, the YouTuber used an electro cleaner to turn the "ultra hard cold-rolled" stainless steel panels hydrophilic. Basically, with the help of electricity, he made the pickup truck's exterior very thirsty to keep it conductive.

24\-Karat Gold\-Plated Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: JerryRigEverything on YouTube
Second, he used a specific type of acid to soften the surface of the stainless steel panels and "make" them accept an initial layer of gold. Essentially, the man broke through chromium oxide layers that guarantee the rust resistance to introduce the initial charge of 24K gold.

Third, the real plating started with a mix of 24K gold and cobalt. Zack Nelson used a platinized titanium brush as a positive electrode and a magnetic negative copper electrode (aka cathode) with a thin sheet of gold on it to gold-plate the EV.

We're giving you only the essentials here, but it took three people four days to bring this bling-bling thing into the world. This was no easy feat. It's a painstaking process that requires a lot of coordination. They even had to start over a couple of times! Nobody has done this before. So, it is understandable that there might be delays.

On top of that, other professionals worked to put a self-healing paint protection film on the pickup truck to protect its layer of 24K gold from bird poop or scratches that might cut through the plated layer. Starting all over again with this entire venture would cost a lot in case something damages the bullet-resistant body.

What's clear about this whole thing is that the gold-plated Cybertruck surely outshines the one polished to a mirror finish. It's a lot more expensive, too.

Now, you tell me: would a plain and useful F-150- or R1T-like Tesla pickup truck generate the same global interest as the Cybertruck that "looks like the future?" The answer is probably "no." That's why Elon Musk and Tesla's people made this thing into what it is today. It may not be the best battery-powered pickup truck, but it's certainly the most famous one.

Finally, if you read this whole article, here's the greatest bit that others might have missed: this 24-karat gold-plated Cybertruck could soon be given away to a lucky American. The company that paid for the truck's transformation is planning to give it away.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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