Shelby vs Wilhelm Update
January 25, 2007 - Los Angeles, California. I am writing this update as I sit in the halls of a Federal Court building in Los Angeles, California waiting to testify in the Shelby vs Wilhelm law suit. Inside, Jon Wilhelm and the attorneys for Shelby Licensing are presenting their case to a jury so that this matter can be resolved. What's at stake is whether Wilhelm Motor Works will be able to continue on with the Shelby Mustang Continuation program that Shelby Licensing granted to Jon Wilhelm in June of 2005.
To refresh your memory, from it's beginning, John Wilhelm had been involved in the G.T.500E Shelby Eleanor Mustang Continuation program. A year or so into the program, he split with Steve Sanderson and Doug Hasty, his partners in the program. Discussions with Shelby Licensing resulted in a lawsuit being filed by Wilhelm Motor Works. To settle the lawsuit, Jon was given a contract to produce and sell an unlimited quantity of 1964 1/2 to 1970 Shelby G.T.350C (the "C" standing for Continuation) Convertible Mustangs and 1964 1/2 to 1970 G.T.350CR (the "CR" standing for Continuation Retractable) Retractable Mustangs. This was a huge contract as it gave Jon the largest licensing contract that Shelby Licensing had ever awarded. Each car Jon produced was to be done with Shelby's full support and backing and entered into the Shelby American Registry and accounted for the same as the Shelby vehicles that had been produced 40 years earlier and today. But, in October, 2005, after the first Prototype G.T.350C had been completed for Shelby's approval, Shelby Licensing charged Jon with a violation of the contract and canceled the contract immediately, something that Jon didn't feel they had the right to do. So now they are both having their day in court to determine who was right and what the fate of the G.T.350C and G.T.350CR program is going to be. As much as I hate to say it, in all likelihood the program is dead and it will become a matter of who gets how much money from the other.
I would love to hear what's going on inside the court room but the first motion of the Shelby attorneys was to have myself and Chuck Mills, who is also going to testify for Wilhelm Motor Works, to be excluded from the proceedings until it's our time to testify. I can't blame them for that. I can see that they would not want testimony from others that was given in court to enhance our testimony. But it sure does make for a boring day! So that's why I'm writing this now. To help pass the time and to give you an insight, in real time, as to what's going on.
How did I end up here to testify for Wilhelm Motor Works? Simply put, Jon talked to David and I at the 2004 SEMA show in Las Vegas about helping him to build a prototype Mustang for Shelby's approval that he could manufacture and sell much like the G.T.500E's. He said he was in the middle of negotiations with Shelby Licensing and he hoped to have a contract soon. The idea intrigued David and I so we told Jon that if and when he got such a contract to give us a call. Early in June of 2005 we got that call. Jon had negotiated a contract with Shelby Lcensing to produce the cars and asked us again if we would like to be a part of it. He needed us to work with him and produce a prototype G.T.350C to take to Shelby for their approval. At that time, he wanted to concentrate on the G.T.350C because Shelby had given him only 6 months to have it approved while they gave him a year to get the G.T.350CR approved. Also, he wanted to use the prototype to promote the project at a couple of high profile car shows, one of these shows being SEMA 2005 which was the first week of November. We got on board and, to make a long story short, the Prototype was completed here at Mustangs Plus in early September, 2005. Jon took it, and another similar Mustang, to the Route 66 Festival in San Bernardino a couple of weeks later and that's where all the trouble began. The trial is supposed to be over today but I have my doubts. I'll keep you posted!
2007 Restomods In Reno Update
For all of you who have been wondering about Restomods In Reno for this year, here's the plan. We are going to have a Restomod Show but it will not be in Reno this year. For 2007, we are going to have the Restomod show here at Mustangs Plus and change the name to "Restomods At Rons". The dates will be Friday, May 25th, Saturday May 26th, and Sunday, May 27th. Our website will be updated soon to reflect this name and location change. Be sure to go to either www.restomodsinreno.com or www.restomodsatrons.com for all the details. We'll have the schedule and hotels posted so that you can make your plans to attend.
Why move the show from Reno? It was a hard decision but it had to be made. In a nutshell, the Reno Hilton, which is where we held the last two events in 2005 and 2006, has been sold and the name changed to Grand Sierra Resort. They wanted us to have this year's show there, but they raised to room rate from $89.00 dollars a night to $159.00 per night. This was a huge increase and almost all the people I talked to said that they would not spend that much money on a hotel room for the two or three nights they would be there. We also looked at other hotels and casinos in the area but didn't find one that we would trust on such short notice. (Remember, these events are usually planned a year in advance.) So after much consideration, we chose to hold the show at Mustangs Plus and have a show rather than not have a show. We hope you will all agree with our decision and plan to attend.
Holding the show at Mustangs Plus does have it's benefits. The last two Reno shows were not the best weather wise. Rain in 2005, snow in 2006! Stockton should be nice and sunny with temperatures in the 70's. Plus or minus, if you know what I mean! Also, we will have a huge area to park trailers in so those of you who are towing your Mustangs to the show will have a good place to park. Not having a casino on the property can either be good or bad, depending on how you did at the tables during the last Restomods In Reno!
To give you a quick idea of what our plans are at this time, on Friday, May 25th, we'll have Brag Night at Mustangs Plus from 5pm to 8pm. Brag Night is always fun because you get to learn a lot about the people and the Mustangs that are attending the show. On Saturday morning, we'll have the Restomod Show with parking starting at 7:30 am here at Mustangs Plus and The Restomod Shop. In the past, parking has been limited to just Mustangs Plus' parking lot but now our parking lots are connected, thanks to Gary and David Brock, the father and son team from Brock Construction, also here in Stockton. You'll be able to walk around the buildings and check out the Restomods we have under construction as well as the new building we are adding on to the end of The Restomod Shop. We are planning to have a light lunch at noon and we'll hand out the trophies between 3pm and 4pm just like we do at our April and October shows. After the show is over on Saturday, we'll have a nice catered dinner from Bud's Seafood Grill from 5pm to 7pm. We'll top off the event by meeting back at Mustangs Plus on Sunday, May 27th, for a Pony Trails up into the foothills. One route we are considering is to visit Sutter Creek, which is about an hours drive from Stockton, and then head south down highway 49 through San Andreas and Sonora to Murphys, California and a nice lunch stop and tour at Ironstone Vineyards. We'll have a few other stops along the way. We'll end up back in Stockton in the late afternoon for those of you heading North. For those of you heading south, we'll have a good map for you to follow to get you back on the highway of your choice so you don't have to back track. Since Monday is a holiday, you'll have plenty of time to get home and unwind before work on Tuesday!
All in all, I think it will be a very laid back weekend that will result in a lot of new friendships and adventures. Cindy and I have been on many trips with car clubs through the foothills and there's always something new to try. The scenery is beautiful that time of the year and the roads are good. Maybe a little windy, maybe a little hilly, but always a lot of fun driving. Can't drive your Mustang on the tour? Leave the trailer at Mustangs Plus and drive the truck! It probably won't handle as well as the Mustang but it'll be better than not going at all!
Remember. May is anniversary month for many of us at Mustangs Plus. Cindy and I will have our 28th anniversary on the Saturday the 26th so I smell cake for everyone at the show! Be sure to be there or I just might have to eat yours, too! Any questions, call me (Ron Bramlett) at (209) 444-8031. We're sure you'll have a great time! We hope you'll plan to spend the Memorial Day weekend with all of us and enjoy the show!
The Latest Shelby vs Wilhelm Update
January 29, 2007, Stockton, California. As I was having dinner with my family, I received a phone call from Jon Wilhelm about the Shelby vs Wilhelm case. The jury came back on Monday, January 29th with the following findings. On Shelby's side, they found that Jon Wilhelm violated the Shelby trademark on 6 counts; His Wilhelm Motor Works logo, a patch, caps, and t-shirts that he produced to sell, and two cars, one of which was the Prototype, which Shelby claimed were shown and offered for sale without Shelby's permission. This all centered around the Route 66 Show in San Bernardino in September, 2005.
On Wilhelm Motor Works side, the jury found in Wilhelm's favor on 3 of the 4 counts. They found that Shelby had breached the contract. They found that Shelby violated the implied covenant of fair dealing. They also found that Shelby had unfairly withheld approval of the G.T.350C. These are the counts for both Shelby and Wilhelm Motor Works that I've been told about at this time.
The next phase of the trial will be the trail for the awarding of damages. It will be later this week and I'm sure I'll have to go back to Los Angles for it. Be sure to read all about it in the next edition of Restomod News in Restomod Magazine.
Until Next Time,