Back in 2011, when Kevin Hughes got wind of Porsche’s upcoming 911 GT3 RS 4.0 liter, he immediately phoned his local dealer (Porsche Centre Bolton) to place a £10k deposit in order to ensure his spot as first in line for any allocation the dealer might get. In fact, his deposit was confirmed by the salesman with an email stating, “I can confirm that you will get the first one from Porsche Centre Bolton if we get one, which I am very confident that we will.”
Satisfied with that, Mr. Hughes, who owns a classic repair shop, was happy to wait knowing he was first in line to get the new GT3 RS 4.0 when one became available. However, at some later date the dealer informed Hughes that despite their best efforts, they were never allocated any GT3 RS 4.0s. Turns out that was a lie. Porsche Centre Bolton had received a 4.0 liter, but sold it to someone else, someone who had put their deposit in after Mr. Hughes. Interestingly, court documents state the following as to why Mr. Hughes wasn’t given his allocation, “The reason for not supplying it to Mr Hughes was that it was thought that he was not a genuine Porsche enthusiast, but that he would resell the vehicle to make a profit, which was in breach of Pendragon’s and Porsche’s policy.”
For obvious reasons the Porsche dealer’s actions didn’t sit well with Hughes and in October of 2012 he decided to take the dealer to court to recoup the difference between what he would have paid and the current value of the Porsche. The original case was presented in court in November of 2013 where all of Mr. Hughes claims were rejected by the court. Obviously unsatisfied with the results of that case Mr. Hughes appealed the ruling to a higher court in January of 2015. Now, a year after the appeal hearing, and nearly 3.5 years since the original case, the judges in the appeal found in favor of Mr. Hughes and awarded him £35k in damages (the difference between the original MSRP of £135,000 and its present value to a collector) along with at least £50,000 toward Hughe’s legal fees.
Obviously, this is a U.K. based case and will set no precedent here in the. U.S., but I wonder if Porsche, and their dealers, will take notice and make the deposit process on certain limited edition vehicles a bit more transparent?
For those of you interested in reading the full judgement, it can be found here.