Recent news about a settlement between Ford Motor Co. and Mecum auto auctions finally brings an end to the second high-profile Ford GT500 case.
Although the full terms of the settlement are confidential, the automaker and auction house were able to reach an amicable resolution that involves a sizable donation to Ford's charitable arm, as well as an agreement to consult Ford before commencing another GT500 auction.
What GT500 Case?
In case you hadn't heard about the Ford GT500 case, it involves the resale of one of the highly-coveted, high-priced supercars that Ford produced to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of Ford beating Ferrari in the 1967 Le Mans race with the iconic Ford GT40.
Ford announced plans to only produce 1,000 of the GT500 supercars, and additionally announced that it would select who could purchase the $450,000 car, as the owners would be considered "brand ambassadors." In addition to the hefty price-tag, the automaker also required the buyers to sign an agreement that they would not sell the car for two years.
Not surprisingly, despite the onerous price and terms, the automaker received over 6,000 applicants. One of those applicants that was selected and followed through on the purchase almost immediately turned around and sold the vehicle for over a million dollars to another private party. The new buyer then had the car listed for auction with Mecum, which started the whole legal matter, as Ford was trying to keep speculators from flipping the cars. Ford filed for a temporary restraining order seeking to stop the auction from going forward while the case was litigated; however, that was denied.
Luckily for Ford, the auction failed to meet the reserve. But the car did eventually sell at auction, for over $1.6 million. While Mecum seemed to insist that it was in the clear because it obtained the vehicle through someone not bound by the agreement with Ford, the automaker wasn't about to just let it go, especially after it already had to deal with this from John Cena.