Don't Even Think About Selling Your New Ford GT at Mecum

Mecum Auctions will tattle on owners who might be breaching their two-year 'no reselling' agreement with Ford.

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JEWEL SAMAD—AFP/Getty Images

Ford is serious regarding the premium-level exclusivity surrounding its flagship Ford GT supercar. When the automaker caught wind that one of its new cars was headed to the auction block at Mecum, it sparked an eight-month legal battle that finally resulted in an agreement with the auctioneer to ensure that owners aren't circumventing their contractual agreement with Ford.

Let's say, hypothetically, you want to buy a brand new Ford GT. You walk into your nearest Ford dealer with a duffle bag scrupulously lined with $450,000 in cold hard cash and drop the ten-pound payload onto the sales manager's desk. Chances are, he won't be able to sell you one. Limited to 1,350 units, you have to qualify to be an official Ford brand ambassador in order to buy the supercar. You see, the Blue Oval wanted to make sure its bellwether model is, above all things, celebrated. No average Joe or greedy Gary will get their hands on the car to throw it in a garage or immediately resell it for profit.

So in May 2018 when a year-old Ford GT came up for auction at Mecum, Ford was furious. It immediately filed a legal injunction to stop the sale but was denied its request on the evening before the GT was arranged to be sent to the block.

As it turned out, the original owner of the Ford GT has sold the car to a dealer in Florida for $1.1 million prior to it being cosigned with Mecum. The courts ruled that since the dealership wasn't legally entangled with Ford, the GT could not be stopped from being sold again (which it was, for $1.8 million).

But legal troubles for Mecum didn't end with the failed injunction. The battle continued until Thursday when Ford and Mecum reached an agreement to prevent the sales of further Ford GTs through its auctioning services. Though the exact details of the settlement were kept private, Ford did reveal three major points in which it claimed victory over the auction house:

  1. Mecum will not cosign any Ford GTs owned by the original purchaser of the vehicle that are still involved in the legally-binding, two-year moratorium.
  2. Mecum will not cosign any Ford GTs not owned by the original purchaser of the vehicle if it is still within the moratorium period. Additionally, it will work directly with Ford to disclose that a sale occurred to a downstream purchaser.
  3. An undisclosed settlement amount will be donated to the Ford Motor Company Fund.

If there's one thing that we've learned from this event, it's that Ford's exclusivity and branding for the Ford GT rivals that of Ferrari. The justice system's swift gavel has weighed the scales in favor of the automaker and put a certain premise on the sales of black market GTs that may stymie owners from breaking their contracts with Ford. Relentless flippers may try their luck with other auction houses and be able to secretly slip through, but only if the auctioneers don't fear Ford's legal team.