GM Sues Replica Corvette MakerS

Mongoose Motorsports produces an unauthorized replica of the legendary 1963 Corvette Grand Sport. GM doesn't like that. They're suing the Ohio-based company for trademark and IP infringement claiming irreparable damage done to the Corvette brand and their bottom line.

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The Corvette Grand Sport is an exceedingly rare beast. Only five of the cars were built in 1963 and today they command very serious prices when they change hands, with the last one hitting the blocks at RM and being sold for a price somewhere around $4.9 million. It's one of the most fetishized products in Corvette history and as such something GM's interested in protecting from copycats. Duntov Motor Company (so named after "the father of the Corvette" Zora Arkus Duntov) has the exclusive rights to produce replica Grand Sports under a license from GM and makes about four cars a year retailing around $189K.

GM Sues Replica Corvette MakerS

A real Corvette Grand Sport doing its thing at the track

Mongoose not only doesn't have the rights to produce their $89,900 replica of the Grand Sport but they really don't have rights to use exact copies of the Corvette badge, Corvette Grand Sport badge, and curve-for-curve design of the body and frame underpinning the car (the cars use C4 suspension bits and built crate motors). They also don't have rights to sell merchandise with anything associated with Corvette or Corvette Grand Sport. Understandably this has GM in a huff and they're suing the company on the basis of trademark and intellectual property infringement, asking the courts to force a halt to production and for unstated damages.

As much as we would love to have a half-priced Grand Sport with all the trimmings, just blatantly copying a car without at least making some substantive changes is a sure-fire way to invite trouble. Carroll Shelby has been suing over the same issue with his Daytona and Cobra for years. By blatantly copying the GS rather than tweaking the designs so they're unique, Mongoose has made themselves no better than a Chinese company copying a Corolla. Sure, the product is miles more appealing with a Grand Sport, but the underlying issue is still the same, taking without asking is a no-no, and Mongoose is probably in a heap of trouble. [Detroit News, Mongoose Motorsports]

Photo credit ByersCustom, Mongoose Motorsports