It’s one thing to take an old Corvette and turn it into a replica of one of the most sought after Corvettes of all time in the Grand Sport from 1963 for your own driving pleasure. You may even be able to make one for your best friend and not raise any red flags. It is a whole other ball of wax if you are replicating them and then selling them in order to make a tidy profit; especially if you are not licensed by GM to do so.
That is the scenario that custom Corvette and car makers Mongoose Motorsports now find themselves in. Their replicas of the 1963 Grand Sport racer are incredible and they really lack nothing in detail. What they do lack however is GM’s blessing and that slight oversight may end up costing the operation a very pretty penny as GM has now filed a lawsuit against them.
GM is suing the Ohio based company for copyright infringement and is not only seeking to stop the company from making anymore unauthorized replicas and destroying any marketing materials they have in order to sell the replicas, but they also want financial records and are seeking an undisclosed amount of monetary damages. This has to come as a shock to Mongoose Motorsports as they have been successfully making and selling copies of the Grand Sport since the year 2000 and up until now there has never been a single gripe.
However, fair is fair and when you set out to make a copy of something that is copyright protected you have to get permission and pay your dues. The company may be in further trouble with the auto giant as it also came to light that they have been making replicas of the 1984 Corvette GTP racer as well. This, GM found, has been going on since 2007.
There is no telling what will happen to the much smaller Mongoose Motorsports, but if they plan on fighting GM they better have some deep pockets as GM will certainly bring the lawyers and more than likely bring the pain. The matter may end up being settled out of court or taken to the courts where both sides of the story can be told. For Mongoose Motorsports though, there really isn’t much going for them right now.
For those of you that wanted to obtain a 1963 Grand Sport replica all is not lost. As of last year, Duntov Motor Company announced that it would be making its own version of the 1963 Grand Sport in replica form and these will come with a seal of approval from GM. While it was not immediately announced as to what the price is going to be for these classic copies, you can expect to pay a good chunk of change seeing as how they will be official issue.
So what is the moral of the story? Don’t make copies of famous Vettes and then sell them to make money. That is of course, unless you go through all the red tape and obtain permission from GM.