Last May, Mecum Auctions sold a brand-new, 2017 Ford GT to the highest bidder at its annual Indianapolis auction event, raising all manner of questions as to how – as in, how is it that the rare, carbon-fiber supercar, which buyers are required by Ford to keep for a minimum of two years, has ended up on the auction block? At the time, Mecum said only that a judge had okayed the sale, without divulging any details about the ruling.
Now, Fox News claims to have uncovered the specifics of the court case, in which Ford filed for a Temporary Restraining Order to keep the Ford GT from being sold at the auction. On May 18th, Judge Heather Welch of the State of Indiana Commercial Court ruled in favor of Mecum Auctions, permitting the car to appear at Mecum Indianapolis, on account of the fact that the car was consigned not by the original owner, but the second owner.
It was a man by the name of John W. Miller who reportedly bought the 2017 Ford GT supercar from Ford initially, having been approved for ownership after undergoing Ford’s intense buyers’ application process. He sold the car months later, on May 11th, to Michael J. Flynn of Florida’s Hollywood Wheels for $1.1 million, who then consigned the car to Mecum.
Since Flynn was the second owner, Judge Welch ruled, “Ford [would] not reasonably be able to show that Mecum tortuously interfered with contract between Miller and Ford” – that is, the contract that specified that Miller was obligated to keep the Ford GT for a minimum of 48 months. Flynn’s purchase of the car was similarly okay, legally speaking, as he was “under no obligation to search the records of Miller’s ownership of the 2017 Ford GT outside of the representations made by Miller,” in Judge Welch’s view.
She added that Ford Motor Company, which says it was aware as early as March, 2018 of Miller’s intent to sell the car, could have taken action weeks prior to try and prevent the original sale. Thus, the automaker’s attempts to place a Temporary Restraining Order on the car failed, and Mecum Auctions sold the Ford GT for a total of $1,815,000 including auction fees.
Ford is nonetheless seeking damages from Mecum Auctions and Michael J. Flynn in the very same court system, Fox News reports. The initial case management conference between Ford and Mecum is scheduled for August 17th.
This is, of course, not the first time Ford has taken someone to court over failing to uphold the conditions put forth by the Ford GT buyers’ agreement. Last year, the automaker filed a lawsuit against WWE superstar John Cena – and a separate lawsuit against the dealer that purchased his car – for divesting himself of the Le Mans-winning supercar after just a month or so of ownership. Ford settled both lawsuits out of court earlier this year.