Ferrari just lost a three-year court battle over a fake version of the F430 based on a Ford Cougar coupe after a Spanish court cleared the owner of any wrongdoing.
The owner of a second-hand dealership in Artexio, A Coruno bought a used early year 2000s example of a Ford Cougar in 2018, knowing it was a replica. The dealer used the replica as a reward for employees to drive around and so added logos onto the outside to advertise his business. It worked maybe too well because Ferrari noticed and twelve days later, the car was seized by the police.
Ferrari immediately pursued criminal charges against the dealer, suing for €2.1 million (~$2.2 million USD) and a one-year prison sentence for the owner. Fortunately for the dealer, the court believed that the penalties Ferrari wanted were disproportionately severe for several reasons.
The dealership bought the car as it was, so they didn’t create the replica and didn’t produce a fraudulent car, according to the ruling. Additionally, the dealership’s employees only used the vehicle for business purposes and showed no signs that they planned to sell the car.
While that sounds fairly reasonable, the replica also had very noticeable differences from a real F430. The emblems were only stickers and were deliberately incorrect featuring the Chilean flag rather than the Italian. The build quality was clearly not equal to that of a Ferrari, and the engine was in the wrong spot (not to mention that they would have found a V6 where a V8 should have been).
While the dealership has won the initial case, Ferrari still have the right to appeal the decision.