Tesla apparently isn’t afraid to embrace some of its more embarrassing moments when doing so will likely lead to moving lots of merch — the automaker is now selling a t-shirt emblazoned with a graphic of the shatter incurred in the Cybertruck’s driver-side window when the controversial pickup truck was officially unveiled at the end of last year.
During that event in November, Tesla CEO Elon Musk invited Tesla lead designer Franz von Holzhausen onstage to stress test the Cybertruck’s durability. Von Holzhausen proceeded to smash the truck’s side panels with a sledgehammer, leaving no visible marks — but when he moved on to throwing a steel ball bearing at the supposedly blast-proof windows, they seemed to easily shatter.
The driver-side window first smashed, spidering the glass (but, as noted by Musk at the time, not allowing the ball to actually pass all the way through). At von Holzhausen’s urging, the rear driver-side window quickly followed suit on a second throw from the designer, once the attempt was OK’d by a seemingly stunned Musk.
This new t-shirt, which is available from the Tesla official merch shop, retails for $45 and features what looks like the actual photographic recreation of the shatter pattern from the front window, the first to be shattered in the onstage gaffe. The back of the shirt features the official Cybertruck logo, which is a primal, pared-down triangle that looks like a silhouette of the top of the Cybertruck from the wheel wells up.
When I checked, I couldn’t actually purchase the t-shirt, but it’s likely to be a hot seller (if it didn’t just sell out in the first two minutes of availability already). The incident was instantly meme-orialized, and though Tesla later said that it was actually a result of a structural weakening of the window glass due to von Holzhausen’s earlier sledgehammer blasts at the door below, it clearly wasn’t a planned or desired part of the presentation for Musk or Tesla.
Just like Musk’s onstage claims regarding the window glass strength, take his Twitter assertion that the “T-shirt is bulletproof & makes u buff!” with a healthy dose of skepticism.