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Shelby Takes The Checkered Flag...In Court...Sort Of

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

It's one of the oldest maxims in the automotive world: drive on Sunday, sue on Monday. OK, that's a bastardization of the actual maxim, but whatevs, it works here so we're rolling with it. A California jury sided with Carroll Shelby in a trademark/licensing case against Wilhelm Motor Works, which has been reproducing classic Shelby Mustangs. But, the jury agreed with WMW that Shelby had unreasonably withheld licensing for one of the company's prototypes. Both parties were awarded damages of $250,000, basically amounting to offsetting penalties. And as you might have guessed, Shelby plans to appeal the decision. Lovers of complex and perpetual automotive licensing litigation rejoice!


A bit of history after the jump:

For those not following the back-and-forth litigation between Wilhelm Motor Works and various arms of Carroll Shelby, which has been chronicled here, a primer. WMW had been producing the Mustangs with a license granted from Carroll Shelby Licensing (after the settlement of another lawsuit). After the deal had been signed Shelby sued, claiming that WMW wasn't producing replicas but rather "knock-offs." In September, WMV countersued Shelby for treating them unfairly during the licensing process. While this shouldn't have a serious effect on car enthusiasts (there are plenty of ways to get a legal Shelby Mustang or Cobra replica), we imagine the lawyers are having a field day. We'll keep you abreast of more sleep-inducing developments as they occur.


Mixed verdict in Carroll Shelby trademark suit [Detroit News]

Jalopnik Question of the Day: What Would You Buy for $5.5 Million [internal]

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I gotta side with Shelby on this one. Sure, it sucks to sue everybody all the time, but these guys are sticking "Shelby" on every Mustang and fake Cobra kit car they can find and making a ton off of it.

The Shelby name is really getting watered down by all the bullshit aftermarket cars going around and that kinda sucks. Takes a lot of the mystique away from the originals when people do that.