John Cena Ready to Take Ford to the Mat Over Supercar Contract

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
john cena ready to take ford to the mat over supercar contract

Late last year, Ford Motor Company decided to sue professional wrestler and actor John Cena after he decided to sell his GT supercar. Hoping to keep ownership of the vehicle exclusive, the automaker included a clause in the ownership contract that expressly forbade anyone from selling it within two years of taking delivery. Cena decided to flip the vehicle early, causing Ford to go after him in the courts on breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

His position appeared to be indefensible. Ford’s lawsuit even alleges that John apologized after the automaker took him to task, saying, “I completely understand and as stated am willing to work with you and Ford to make it right.”

However, the winds may have shifted in his favor. Cena is reportedly asking the judge in the case to throw out the lawsuit on the grounds that his contract never included the clause that forbid resale within the first 24 months of ownership.

“Ford’s action rests entirely on an alleged resale restriction that Ford failed to have its dealer incorporate in the dealer’s sales agreement,” the dismissal motion reads. “Ford failed to cause its selling dealer to include any resale restriction, so Ford has no claim.”

That assertion may be accurate. Instead of of a signed contract that includes the clause, Ford’s keystone evidence appears to be a screenshot of an online agreement referencing the two-year retention clause. However the automaker’s filing later mentions a signed a Ford GT order confirmation where he agreed “By signing this Order Confirmation Form you are verifying the following: … (B) You 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.”

However, Cena’s legal team claims Ford failed to mention that Ford tasked the selling dealer to establish the “purchase price and all other terms of sale.” Apparently, that includes those resale restrictions stipulated by Ford — which the dealer doesn’t appear to have included in the final contract.

One aspect both sides appear to agree on is Cena being chosen specifically due to an almost-promise he made that he would promote the vehicle and the brand. Ford allowed him to purchase the limited-production model after he filed an application that included photos and video of himself promoting high-end cars and his assurance that the GT would go “to an owner who truly deserved it and would care properly for the car.”

While Cena did post a video of himself praising the car on the Bella Twins YouTube channel after taking ownership of the model, he sold the car a few weeks later. The lawsuit claims it was done so he could liquidate it for cash “to take care of expenses.”

Ford is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and wants to buy back the GT for Cena’s original purchasing price, minus whatever profit he made from it when it was sold. Cena is asking to have the case thrown out.

[Image: Bella Twins via YouTube]

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  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Feb 15, 2018

    So, let me get this straight: Ford doesn't want to sell cars directly to the public, except when they do.

    • See 1 previous
    • Cash Cash on Feb 17, 2018

      @arach And the govt won’t let them because dealers got state legislatures to pass laws barring car companies from selling cars except through dealerships. Dealers did this to protect themselves from Henry Ford. Postwar recession in 1919 caused car sales in US to collapse. Most car companies stopped production for a few months. Not Ford. He kept his assembly plant operating, forcing dealers to take delivery of cars they couldn’t sell. If they didn’t, Ford would strip them of their franchise. In many small towns, the car dealer, even in 1919, is the biggest business. Lots of money and political clout. Every state soon passed laws denying car makers the right to sell cars except through franchised dealers and making it next to impossible for car companies to strip dealers of their franchises. I learned this from, of all people, Robert McNamara, the architect of Vietnam. I happened to meet him and we got to talking. At Ford in the 1950s half his time was spent fighting the dealers. He absolutely hated them and had Ford’s lawyers try to find ways around the franchise laws. Total failure. When he resigned the Ford presidency to become JFK’s secretary of defense, Ford continued to give him one new car every year for the rest of his life. Even that transaction needed to be run through a dealership.

  • CrystalEyes CrystalEyes on Feb 18, 2018

    Maybe they figured if they couldn't get the publicity from his endorsment, they could get it from a suing him instead. Just kidding. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhaustion_doctrine_under_U.S._law

  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.
  • Jeff S Got to give credit to Chrysler for putting the 300 as a rear wheel drive back on the market. This will be a future classic.
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