WWE wrestler-turned-actor John Cena is being sued by Ford Motor Co. for allegedly flipping his $463,000 Ford GT supercar for a profit in violation of an agreement that he would not sell it for two years.
In a suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, the automaker charges that Cena took delivery of the car in September. A few weeks later Ford learned he had sold it.
The Dearborn automaker received about 6,500 online applications for the first 500 GTs to be produced as 2017 and 2018 model-year cars.
Not just anyone can buy the 647-horsepower supercar: Ford implemented a rigorous vetting process that included previous GT ownership, activity on social media, and signing a legal document stating they wouldn’t selling it for 24 months. Among the big names in line were Jay Leno and Justin Verlander.
In the suit, Ford says Cena admitted to selling the car along with other assets to liquidate for cash to take care of expenses. When the automaker told him he had violated the agreement, he allegedly texted the company saying: “I completely understand and as stated am willing to work with you and Ford to make it right. My sincerest apologies.”
On Nov. 3, Ford offered to buy back the Liquid Blue GT for the purchase price and said “they could discuss how to address the profit he received from the unauthorized resale.”
To date, the suit says, Cena has “not made it right.”
“Mr. Cena has improperly benefited to Ford’s detriment by receiving a large profit from the resale. Ford also has lost almost two years of ambassadorship and brand value that Mr. Cena would have offered by owning the vehicle for the contractually required time,” the complaint concludes. “Moreover, the unlawful resale bypassed a line of people waiting to purchase the vehicle through the program, thus affecting Ford’s goodwill and customer relationships.”
The company seeks unspecified damages and recovery of what it calls a “large profit from the resale.”
The GT is powered by the automaker’s 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine. But the GT engine kicks it up several notches with custom pistons, rods, turbos and cams that help it get more than 600 horsepower. The supercar includes a number of light-weighting tricks, including a carbon-fiber tub and a gorilla-glass windshield that is 12 pounds lighter than a traditional windshield.