After nearly a year, Ford and Mecum Auctions announced the two parties have settled litigation over the sale of a 2017 GT supercar. Details of the settlement are confidential, but the automaker said on Thursday settlement funds paid by Mecum will be donated to the Ford Motor Company Fund, the company's Ford’s philanthropic arm that supports various charities.
The drama unfolded last May after Mecum consigned a 2017 Ford GT for auction at its Indianapolis event. According to a report last summer, months after the sale went through, we learned Ford had filed a temporary restraining order on May 17 to stop the sale of the GT. Mecum Indy kicked off on May 15 and ran through May 20. A judge ruled in Mecum's favor and allowed the sale of the GT to go forward. We also learned Ford was aware that the GT's original owner, John W. Miller, sold the car to a new owner, Michael J. Flynn.
The automaker reportedly learned of the plot to sell the car in March and failed to act in a timely manner. A judge declared Ford had ample time to act and protect the agreement that no buyer was to sell his or her car within a two-year window.
2017 Ford GT sold at Mecum auction for $1,815,000
Following the ruling, Ford sought damages from Mecum and the car's second owner, Flynn. Ford Thursday press release announced it had reached an agreement with only with Mecum over the sale of the Ford GT. Motor Authority reached out to Ford to ask about Flynn's responsibilities in the settlement. A Ford spokesman responded by saying, "Flynn was a party to the litigation with Mecum but we cannot discuss the specifics of the case."
We also asked about the possibility of any legal action against Miller, and the Ford spokesman told us, "We cannot discuss specific cases other than this agreement Mecum approved by both parties"
As for the Mecum agreement, the auction house has agreed that it will not accept the consignment of any GT from original owners within the two-year sale ban. The two parties also agreed that Mecum will contact and consult with Ford over any GT the auction company consigns from a "downstream purchaser," or someone who isn't the original owner of the car within two years after the car's initial delivery. Finally, Mecum will not permit the sale of any GT without consent from Ford.
Both companies urged GT owners to follow the terms of agreement Ford puts forth. It will save a lot of controversy and legal battles in the future.
—Senior Editor Kirk Bell contributed to this report.