Introduced in late 2014 and put on sale in January 2015, the 50th Anniversary Cobra 427 meant that Shelby enthusiasts can purchase a limited-edition, classic-looking Cobra without having to pay the million-dollar sticker the original 427s fetch at auctions. A few months later, and the anniversary roadster could spell trouble for Shelby American, in the form of a lawsuit for alleged acts of unfair competition and breach of its dealer agreement.
In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Stephen Becker Automotive Group, a Georgia-based authorized Shelby dealer known as Planet Shelby Cobra (Planet Shelby), the manufacturer is accused of violating Plaintiff’s dealer agreement as well as California and Nevada statutes against unfair competition. Specifically, Stephen Becker Automotive Group claims Shelby American engaged in direct sales of vehicles to members of the general public and stopped referring customers to Planet Shelby, as required by the dealer agreement.
The complainant went on to add that Shelby American refused to provide a VIN number for a 50th Anniversary Cobra 427 it had ordered for one of its customers. Later on, Shelby informed dealerships it had already sold a "significant" number of the Anniversary roadsters directly to the public and gathered dealers, including Planet Shelby, to participate in a lottery to determine which would be able to order the cars. The lottery was contrary to the "first come first serve" basis promised initially, the dealership added.
Continue reading to learn more about the new lawsuit against Shelby.
After we lost racing and general automotive legend, Carroll Shelby on May 10th, a squabble ensued over his remains. His estranged wife, Cleo, claimed that she had the rights to his remains and the documentation that his children had, which requested that he be cremated and his ashes split between his children and his burial plot in Texas, was forged.
According to reports, Shelby had filed for an annulment of the marriage, citing that his wife had lied about her background and even her name, just before he died. Unfortunately, the annulment was not awarded posthumously, so it appeared as if the only other way to settle the dispute was in court.
Fortunately, the two sides managed to keep the case out of court by coming to an agreement on Monday and Mr. Shelby’s body will be laid to rest in the way that he requested, except for one minor compromise. The minor compromise is the fact that his estranged wife gets part of his ashes.
We’re glad to hear that the issue is settled, though we would have preferred to see his wife completely cut out of it. The most important thing, however, is that the issue is done and this legend can now be laid to rest peacefully and his children can hold their heads high that their father was laid to rest in the way he requested, though his son Michael says that they are still not happy with the results.
At this point, nearly a month after his death, we all assumed that Carroll Shelby was peacefully laid to rest in a plot of land or cremated, so his ashes may stay with his family or spread as he saw fit. According to a report by TMZ, neither of these scenarios are true, as his family is now fighting over who has control over his deceased body.
On one side we have Shelby’s children that are claiming that their father signed paperwork leaving the eldest son in control of the deceased former racecar driver’s body. It looks as if Shelby’s long estranged wife, Cleo, is fighting the children stating that being his wife, she has full rights to his remains. She is fighting this despite the fact that Carroll was in the midst of annulling their 14-year-long marriage citing her lying about numerous personal things, such as her assets and even her real name.
She is also arguing that there is no way that Mr. Shelby could have signed any papers giving his son control, as he did not have the “physical capacity or eyesight” to read, understand, and sign off on the papers.
Until this is all sorted out, Mr. Shelby’s body is stuck at the medical examiner’s office in a freezer, which is not the place for this automotive hero. He needs to be laid to rest in the place that he made clear he wanted to be prior to his death. If his estranged wife truly does care, she would allow him that right.
There is a silver lining to this whole thing and that’s that the annulment Shelby filed for in April is still pending and a judge does have the right to approve an annulment even after death. So in the end this could all be resolved with one tap of a gavel from a judge and Mr. Shelby can rest peacefully.