John Cena Sued By Ford for Flipping His GT Supercar

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ford wasn’t kidding about wanting to keep ownership of the GT as exclusive as possible. In addition to setting production numbers incredibly low, the company also carefully vetted prospective supercar buyers and made them promise not to resell the vehicle for at least two years.

While atypical of Ford-branded vehicles, clauses like that aren’t uncommon among high-end manufacturers selling an ultra-rare model. But what happens when a customer decides to ignore the contract and flip the vehicle prematurely?

Well, as wrestling-icon John Cena found out, the automaker takes you to court. On Thursday, Ford Motor Company filed suit against Cena in the U.S. District Court in Michigan over breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

According to a report from the celebrity hounds at TMZ, the manufacturer is demanding Cena hand over all profits made from the sale and pay damages. “Mr. Cena has unfairly made a large profit from the unauthorized resale flip of the vehicle, and Ford has suffered additional damages and losses, including, but not limited to, loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill due to the improper sale,” Ford said in a statement.

It’s a little sad to see things play out like this, especially after Cena publicly expressed his love for the GT right after purchasing one. The lawsuit states that John claims to have sold the car, along with other property, to pay off bills.

The company wants to keep the $500,000 supercar in the hands of enthusiasts and high-profile celebrities for obvious marketing reasons. Cena probably seemed like a safe bet. With a celebrity status that extends beyond his wrestling career, he also has a fairly extensive collection of rare cars he could have sold instead of the Ford if he needed some fast cash.

Maybe the interior was just too crowded for his bulky 6’1″ frame. Watching video of him trying to squeeze inside the squat GT almost makes one feel claustrophobic on his behalf.

Nobody likes when a corporate entity gets litigious and it’s often easy to take the side of the individual who’s on the receiving end of a lawsuit. But Cena knew the score when he purchased the car. Ford wasn’t trying to hide the clause and the order of confirmation clearly states that GT buyers “understand that being selected for the opportunity to purchase this vehicle is non-transferable and agree not to sell the vehicle within the first 24 months of delivery.”

Unless The Rock runs into the courtroom to back Cena and body slam the prosecution in a WrestleMania-styled plot twist, Ford looks to have this one in the bag.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • John John on Dec 03, 2017

    These comments are a great demonstration of why it's best to seek legal advice from a lawyer when you have a serious legal problem instead of getting it from who-knows-who-the-internet-expert-on-all-topics.

    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Dec 03, 2017

      I agree. I also believe John Cena sought the advice of his legal team.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Dec 04, 2017

    Sorry guys, I see this as an enforceable contract. He is a big boy. This isn't a normal car by anyone's point of view. I'd love to see the actual contract....to see if he agreed to injunctive relief. I'm reminded of the folks (usually ham radio ops) who get all twisted that the Homeowners Association is making them miserable because they can't put up huge antennas.....when they bought in, they signed agreements, and should have known of the restrictions...no one forced them to buy, like this guy, and it isn't a contract of adhesion, like a credit card agreement where everyone knows you have no leverage. This is clearly a toy. Ford sold them with conditions. You took the car knowing the conditions. Maybe he ran out of money. Possibly he drove it twice, and realized he hated it. The world is full of toy cars with 15 years and 9,000 miles on them. In any event, a well drafted contract (which I'd LOVE to read) would have some sort of "sell back" provision, but probably for sticker, not at a profit.

  • Ajla There is inventory on the ground but as pointed out it is generally high dollar trims of high-dollar models and at least around here dealers still aren't budging off their mandatory nitrogen tires and Summer weather protection packages.You aren't paying '21-'22 prices anymore but it's still a long way to go.
  • Slavuta Every electric car must come with a film about lithium mining
  • Sobhuza Trooper Drop a good, high-strung German engine in this and you'd have American flair with German repair costs!
  • Kwik_Shift I'll just drive my Frontier into the ground as planned. Possibly find an older "fun" car to collect.
  • Lorenzo The solution is so simple: if the driver shifts into neutral without applying the parking brake, the horn sounds and lights flash until the parking brake is applied. After the third time, the driver should be insulted by a voice saying, "Shouldn't your wife be driving?", or "Where did you get your license - Dollar Store?"
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