Wrestler-turned-actor John Cena has been grappling with Ford Motor Company ever since the automaker sued him for selling his brand-new 2017 Ford GT after just a few weeks of ownership. But now Cena's gone for a leg sweep and filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming the no-resale language was missing from the final documents he signed with his local dealer in Florida.
With only 500 examples being made, the Ford GT was always going to be a hot ticket. But Ford went the extra mile to make sure speculators wouldn't be able to cash in on that pent-up demand, adding a two-year ban on flipping the car into the buying process. However, as Cena's lawyers point out, he didn't buy the GT directly from Ford; instead, he bought it from Elder Ford of Tampa, whose final, binding purchase agreement includes no such restriction.
"Ford’s action rests entirely on an alleged resale restriction that Ford failed to have its dealer incorporate in the dealer’s sales agreement," Cena's motion reads. "Ford agreed that the dealer’s sales agreement would be the final governing contract setting '[t]he purchase price and all other terms of sale' for the 2017 Ford GT."
Cena brought the $460,000 Liquid Blue Ford GT home from the dealership last fall, and though he gave the supercar a glowing review on his Auto Geek YouTube series, he decided to sell it to an undisclosed third party after owning it for less than a month. In its lawsuit, Ford sought to recoup whatever profit Cena made on the resale, plus $75,000 in damages and the right to buy back the car at its original price.
Exotic manufacturers all have their own methods for controlling who buys (and drives) their limited-edition cars, so Ford's certainly not alone in this fight. The company put applicants through several hoops to make sure the Ford GT ended up with influential owners who would help boost the supercar's profile even further; when Cena applied, it certainly didn't hurt that he promised to "use every vehicle of communication to let the world know about the car, the brand, and the experience," according to Ford's original lawsuit.
But apparently a four-minute YouTube video will have to suffice, and if the judge does dismiss the company's complaint based on the fact that the dealer flubbed the paperwork, the resale ban could crumble in the court as other owners seek to squeeze through the same loophole.