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Dream car turns into court battle
By William C. Lhotka
Of the Post-Dispatch
06/01/2005
2005 Ford GT

All his life, Edward F. Brennan Jr. said, he was fascinated by certain models of cars - particularly the exotic Ford GT40s of the 1960s that won races at Daytona and LeMans.

So Brennan, a lawyer from Belleville, wasted little time meeting with salespeople at the Dave Sinclair dealership in Mehlville when Ford Motor Co. announced in 2002 that it planned to build a limited edition super GT with a 550-horsepower engine and top speed of 205 mph.

One-thousand dollars changed hands.

But after the red-with-white sports car arrived on the Sinclair lot at Lindbergh Boulevard and Lemay Ferry Road about two weeks ago, Brennan and John Sinclair, president of the business and son of its founder, were at odds about exactly what that money had bought.

Now their dispute has landed in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

A deal is a deal, insists Brennan, 64, who said the deposit he paid on May 24, 2002, included an agreement to pay whatever Ford eventually listed as the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Brennan said the sticker price for his model, with the options he requested, is $153,095 - and that is what he should pay.

Sinclair insists there never was an agreement to buy the car at a particular price, and that Brennan really bought only a right of first refusal when the vehicle became available. He said Brennan is using the courts to try to create a deal that never existed.

Brennan can have the car for $59,905 over the list price, Sinclair said, which is $213,000.

According to court documents, Sinclair already has another buyer willing to pay $223,000. Sinclair said listings on the Internet as of Wednesday show an identical GT going for $244,096.

In an order Monday, Judge Bernhardt C. Drumm Jr. barred Sinclair from selling the GT to anyone pending a hearing on the facts. In the meantime, Sinclair said, the car sits "on our showroom floor about 10 feet from my office."

He complained, "It just goes to show you that no good deed goes unpunished."

Brennan had a rejoinder of his own, invoking dealer patriarch Dave Sinclair's familiar pledge in TV advertising that "If something's not right, I'll make it right." Complained the lawyer: "They advertise that they will make things right - but not so far."

The disenchanted buyer and unhappy seller are set to be heard in Drumm's court June 23.
 

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Funny, I live here in St. Louis. Never been to Dave Sinclair though.

I personally had a similar "verbal misunderstanding" with Bommarito Pontiac, here in St. Louis. It was a $2500 disagreement when we shook on a price that I didn't catch on the initial paperwork. Once I figured it out after the fact they done absolutely nothing to resolve our issue. I'm still going through BBB to mediate but the dealer isn't cooperating. DON'T BUY AT BOMMARITO!!!!!! This was the worst buying experience of my life.
 

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I once helped a former girlfriend negotiate a deal on a cavalier when her celica was totalled by a drunk. we came to a number that included tax which was 8.5%.

He ran to his manager to get the OK as the dealership was about to close. he got the managers signature and took a deposit. we were supposed to pick the car up in a few days.

she opens the paper that she signed before he went to the manager while in the car and notices someone scribbled "+tax" under the monthly payment.

needless to say they got a fax the next day saying if they cashed the check they would be sued. she bought an accord a short while later. way to go GM.
 

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Who would want a $200000+ car with oil leaks, A-Arm problems, and who knows what other quality problems. I don't care how fast it is.
 

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C5ORGTO said:
Who would want a $200000+ car with oil leaks, A-Arm problems, and who knows what other quality problems. I don't care how fast it is.
I hear what you're saying...but there was one here at my work a month or two ago. In person, it was a very impressive-looking car indeed. Don't get me wrong- for that kind of cash I'd get a something with a Prancing Stallion on it intead of the nasty blue oval, but there you go.
 

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Groucho said:
I hear what you're saying...but there was one here at my work a month or two ago. In person, it was a very impressive-looking car indeed. Don't get me wrong- for that kind of cash I'd get a something with a Prancing Stallion on it intead of the nasty blue oval, but there you go.
:agree damn good point, in person they are awesome! :cheers
 

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After reading that C&D article, you realize they just threw this thing together to generate a little bit of excitement at the dealer. It's a real shame to hear about these quality issues. I have a friend that has 3 original GT40's and they have a rich history. I would hate to see their history be tarnished by this mishap.

The guy that has the GT40's has a 65 GT350R that was run by Mark Donahue, a pefect 66 convertible, a 67 GT, and about 6 Jag XKE's. I'd kill for that collection.
 

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If the lawyer has in writing that the arrangement was to in fact purchase the car at sticker, it will probably hold in court that the dealer must sell it to him at that price.
 

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fastball said:
If the lawyer has in writing that the arrangement was to in fact purchase the car at sticker, it will probably hold in court that the dealer must sell it to him at that price.
:agree

I find it hard to believe a lawyer would be stupid enough to turn over $1000 without a written agreement. If he's got it in writing, and money changed hands, then the deal stands. If there's no written agreement, it's gonna be tough to prevail without witnesses to the deal.
 

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I am currently involved in a lawsuit myself (plaintiff, not defendant), and throughout the case I have learned alot of things. Not the least of which is how to think like a lawyer.

I this particular person did not have a written agreement signed by both parties, I find it hard to call him an attorney.
 

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Hehehe, I'm not sure if he's an actual trial attorney. By the mistakes he's made (particularly not getting anything in writing) it sounds like he's more of just a legal advice attorney :lol:
 
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