• Oct 8, 2007

Carroll Shelby's licensing arm is taking steps to end its relationship with Unique Performance, the Texas tuner that created and still updates muscle cars for both Shelby and Chip Foose. Unique has apparently been the subject of an increasing number of complaints and lawsuits from folks who have paid for cars and not received them.

Unique's issues with Shelby seem to revolve around the Shelby GT350 SR and GT500 E, which sell for upwards of $100,000 apiece. The Foose vehicle in question is the Foose Stallion. The Foose is produced by two companies, Unique and Tecstar, so it's possible that Tecstar could continue to produce it without Unique. Chip Foose's licensing arm is still working with Unique and their customers to resolve complaints.

[Source: AutoWeek]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      As I read the comments, there are inaccuracies.
      - Steve Sanderson did NOT start UP. He was simply a sales and marketing guy. Last I heard Steve was in financial trouble as well.
      - When Bobby Mikus and Gregg Bond (Fort Worth operation) were running the ops at UP, MANY of the cars were returned to UP because they were not built right the first time. The quality of the vehicles increased substantially after their departure.

      True statements:
      - UP customers need to be patient during the police investigation. I understand all too well they have already waited an excessive amount of time. I assure you the Shelby team is NOT taking this lightly and is very concerned.
      - UP employees cannot get paid.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow....

      Browne Woods & George Announces That Disney's Hollywood Pictures Has Entered into a New ``Quitclaim'' with Halicki Triggering a New Lawsuit against Carroll Shelby & Unique Performance

      Denice Halicki, The Original Gone in 60 Seconds, LLC and Halicki Films, LLC filed a new lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District armed with a new "Quitclaim Agreement" and famed trial attorney Allan Browne of Browne Woods & George LLP. Mr. Browne filed the action on behalf of Halicki and her companies against Carroll
      Shelby, Carroll Shelby International, Inc., Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc., Carroll Shelby Engineering, Inc., Carroll Shelby Motors, Inc., Carroll Shelby Distribution International, Inc., Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, Unique Performance, Unique Motorcars, Inc., and Sanderson Sales & Marketing for copyright and trademark infringement, Case No. CV-07-06859 SVW.

      Hollywood Pictures Company (HPC), a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company and producer of the 2000 remake of "Gone in 60 Seconds," entered into the Quitclaim Agreement with Halicki to clear up and forever set the record straight over Halicki's rights to the starring character "Eleanor" from the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds," which also featured Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie. The Quitclaim Agreement absolutely confirms that Halicki, and not any other person or entity, owns the right, title and interest in and to all merchandising for "Eleanor," the instantly-recognizable, and iconic "souped up" 1967 Fastback Ford Mustang, which is the "signature" of the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds" 2000 (www.gonein60seconds.com).

      The complaint alleges that, without the authority, consent or knowledge of Halicki, the defendants, led by Carroll Shelby, entered into an improper and malicious scheme and conspiracy to manufacture, market and sell "knock offs" of "Eleanor" to the public, billing the car as authentic "Eleanors" from "Gone in 60 Seconds." In doing so, the complaint alleges that the defendants knowingly and deliberately sought to capitalize on and exploit "Eleanor's" fame from the movie, even though the defendants had no association with, participation in, or connection with the creation or development of the movie or "Eleanor." Indeed, the movie and "Eleanor" are the brainchild of Halicki's late husband, H.B. "Toby" Halicki, known to all in the movie and automobile circles as "The Car Crash King."

      The complaint further alleges that, despite their lack of any right or interest in the character of "Eleanor" or the movie, the defendants, in particular Carroll Shelby, sought to mislead the public into thinking that they had created "Eleanor," they owned a right to "Eleanor" and that they had the permission and authority of Halicki to produce and sell the "knock off" vehicles. The complaint alleges that Shelby went so far as to falsely claim that he "shares the rights with Disney for the Eleanor name." Moreover, even though the defendants knew that Halicki owned the rights to "Eleanor" and "Gone in 60 Seconds," the defendants intentionally took no action to obtain a license from Halicki to merchandise the cars. Instead, as alleged in the complaint, Steve Sanderson, the principal of defendant Sanderson Sales & Marketing, met with defendant Carroll Shelby and officers of defendant Shelby companies, including Neil Cummings and John Luft, and Douglas Hasty, Chris Layne and Richard Kearby, the founders of the Unique defendants to discuss obtaining permission from Halicki and HPC to produce the "Eleanor" cars.

      According to Sanderson, when asked directly about contacting Halicki and HPC, Carroll Shelby reportedly replied, "If they sue me, I'll sue them right back."

      • 7 Years Ago
      The Farmers Branch Police, FBI, and other law enforcements agencies shut Unique down last week and took the owners into custody. ALL facilities were raided and all cars, parts, etc were taken. If anyone has a car in production that you have paid a deposit for, contact the Farmers Branch Police, Auto Theft Division (Pete Turner - 972-919-9344). Basically, there is evidence to prove that Unique was building kit cars and selling them as Original classics. There is also evidence that some cars may have been stolen. This is what I am told by agents at the facilities being raided. I am also told that it goes a lot deeper than what I know. In either case, it looks like the owner of Unique is heading to prison. As far as the vehicles in production, they have to review those (and all those previously sold and delivered) to make sure they are legit. If vin numbers and licensing turns out correct, the cars will be returned to the owners. The problem is that the cars in production are not tagged with owner information, so you will be hard to track down. Your best bet is to contact the FBPD direct and get that ball rolling now. Owners of cars at unique for warranty work (and there was a lot) are most likely going to be ok. Once they assure that the car is not stolen and you are the regsitered owner, it will be returned. Either way, contact the FBPD.
      The original designer and
      owner of Unique now owns a shop in Fort Worth. He might be able to
      finish the build, but that is between you and him. I can forward you his information upon request. He severed ties with the current owner a few years ago because he is an honest, trustworthy guy.
      It is too bad that such a great idea and the image of SHELBY has to be marked by the works of such an idiot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Steve Sanderson started UP and ended up suing the other partners a couple years ago. he got many millions in the suit and opened his own place in Denton County. but he only works on new Mustangs.

      Grubbs is a small shop that does resto work.

      Shelby is all over this trying to get things straight and at the same time completely severing ties with UP.

      theres still an 80 car Eleanor deal in the works and a couple Dallas area shops are in talks with Shelby on this deal.

      Amy Boyland, Shelby autos head honcho and their chief test driver visited a shop in Plano Texas whos name escapes me at this time. they also visited Bells Conversions. Bells was building cars with Sanderson before he opened his own shop.

      currently they are painting MRAP truck parts for International Military and Government, a division of International Truck and Engine company.

      Shelby is also in the development stages to build a MXT shelby edition truck. an MXT is a Hummer looking military derived truck from International Truck and Engine. Bells is up for the MXT contract as well. they are also up for a deal to build Shelby Mustangs as well.



        • 7 Years Ago
        Frankenberry,
        In respose to your comment. I would not sign anything with Shelby right now. Has anyone read the complaint filed right now against them?

        cut and paste this into your browser.
        http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/1025_nick_cage_wm.pdf

        • 7 Years Ago
        Bells is painting military truck parts. the gravel lot in the back is 3 acres leased by IMG to store new trucks. the building is 20,000 sq feet with a 40x16x14 tall downdraft paint booth. the truck parts are for the MRAP truck program.

        the mustang program will be done at another building as well as the Shelby MXT program and the Shelby F-150 program.

        restoring cars is not a lucrative business, but if the cars are eleanors, then the money is close enough to profitable for many to try and make a go at it.

        small shops without the funds, equipment, and the backing of a name like Shelby are not likely to survive a long term contract build. UP put too much into buildings, showing off and employee pay. the result is obvious.

        its at least nice to have so many offers on the table. I hope your eleanor gets the attention a car like that deserves.

        as far as Grubbs goes, I wasnt knocking them. I dont know them very well. I have been there and I doubt that there is room for 20 cars in the building and the entire lot.

        they do very nice work in that small building. Im sure that that eventually they will move to a larger facility and really get down to building lots of major projects.

        Ive been a part of many projects that culminated with magazine covers and many trophies. its the vehicles that are different that everyone remembers.


        • 7 Years Ago
        Frankenjerry,

        As I read your comments, I have to add to former employee's list of inaccuracies.

        I am not sure if you had Bells build a car for you or exactly what degree you know that shop but I can tell you are somewhat of a fan.

        I am familiar with that shop too and know that putting Cervini kits on mustangs is the extent of their custom work and, far the most part, are just painting military truck parts. They used to do some custom paint/flames but it appears that they let all of their talent go because the last time I was there it looked like a high school shop class with mostly young employees.

        Everyone on this blog is finding out what type of people Doug Hasty and the UP Gang are but you may want to do some research on the owner of Bells before you send your business there. He was in some "hot water" himself approximately a year ago while on trial for some illegal and most definitely immoral allegations in the town of Sachse, TX.

        I did some thorough research a few years ago on some shops around Dallas including Unique Performance before I decided to let Grubbs Motorsports build a restomod for me. They do have the customer service and attention to detail of a small shop but that is their only parallel. You were correct in saying that they would probably outgrow their building because they did that and have expanded into a second building. They build those high quality, one-off custom creations you mentioned that grab attention and make people remember. I was so pleased with the first car they built me that I have placed an order for a second car which is in production now. If anyone here can get their car or money back from UP, I would stongly advise giving Grubbs a call. In my opinion they are the Troy Trepanier of Dallas......
      • 7 Years Ago
      its crazyfastmustangs@gmail.com sorry for the error
        • 7 Years Ago
        GN60...I am just a car nut who lives in the area. I stumbled across all of this due to a garage sale UP had a few weeks ago. They were basically selling off R&D cars, lots of parts, crate motors, etc. I bought a few items for my car - I am building a slightly different version of an Eleanor convertible. A few days ago, a guy that helped us out at UP called me up and said he (and the other guys up there) had not been paid in a few weeks and that UP was shutting down. He offered to sell me some parts for cash. He was basically trying to recoupe some pay, but that was his words. I have no evidence to back that up. Anyway, I showed up at one of their faciltiies on Th (11/1) to see what kind of parts he was selling and noticed that all the cars and parts were being loaded into trailers. I first thought somebody bought it all with a lump sum offer, then I noticed that all the people there had guns and badges. They questioned me and when they finally realized that I was a customer (a very small one at that), they informed me what was going on. I received a message from the employee later that he had moved out of state! I then contacted the guy in FTW who basically founded UP years ago and he informed me of the rest. I know a lot about the UP operation and where they keep most of their stuff, where the faciltiies are, what takes place at each facility, and other useless information. One of the agents there that day gave me his card and told me to have anybody who bought a car from UP to contact him. That is how I got the FBPD detectives name and number. From what I was told, all customers who LEGALLY own a car that was taken will be contacted and the car returned. Those cars that are not legal will probably be held and the owners are basically screwed. This includes all builds in progress and warranty cars. It is a really bad deal.
        As far as the original founder of UP, he and the current owner/crook (Doug Hasty) went their seperate ways a while back (2003 or 2004). He set up shop in FTW, but does not sell Eleanors. He is striclty a job shop. He works on customer cars and does a great job. He cannot honor UP deals because he is not part of UP and any of the deals. If he did that, he would be out of business. I have seen his work and he builds a GREAT Eleanor-styled car out of customer-owned vehicles. Again, he does not license or sell cars. He builds them for customers out of their cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You guys may want to check out an up and coming shop that specializes in Mustangs and Eleanors. Grubbs Motorsports has been building one off Mustangs that surpass the quality of other builders. Check them out at www.grubbsmotorsports.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      GT500.eleanor you are exactly right. The ownerof Bells Custom Conversions was definately in some "HOT WATER" i did some searching on DALLAS COUNTY. org, and also found a news clip on FOX 4 news and a front page news article in the SACHSE NEWS PAPER where MR. BELL was on trial for being a CHILD MOLESTER. He apparently on some sort of technicality was able to plea bargin down to reckless endangerment of a child and did some jail time and got 10 years probation. This guy makes doug hasty look like a chior boy, i had much rather loose 100,000 dollars than the sanctity of my young daughter. They "say" they are building SHELBY somethings, i cant believe anyone would do business with these people especially a mojor corp. like international, they must not know who they are dealing with and if they do they are just as dispicable. good luck with your next new project you are building.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Trump - You are getting incorrect information. Who gave you this information? Kerry Keating? Doug Hasty?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Frank of Frank143 reports UP filed bankruptcy. We are checking to be sure. If this is the case, my attorney tells me we get nothing and just stand in line with rest that UP owes money to. So what did you do for UP? Accounting?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Has ayone heard about a group of cars (UP) in Las Vegas at the prison? May be a rumor
      Just wondering if this has been addressed
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where is it being reported that the law showed up at UP?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like problems getting a little worse for UP. It is being reported that the local law enforcement authorities along with TxDOT and possibly the FBI showed up on the premises earlier this week.
        • 7 Years Ago
        When law officials from 3 different agencies (local, state & federal) show up on your premises unannounced, you can probably guess what is going to happen next. If you had ordered a car or had sent a car back for repairs, you should probably be trying to get in touch with the local police department in Farmers Branch, Tx for starters.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I bought a Shelby Mustang and by god, I am going to have a Shelby Mustang. If UP can't finish it, then I have no problem adding two more names to my lawsuit, Carrol Shelby and Shelby Licensing. Shelby will finish my car!
        • 7 Years Ago
        email me please at crazyfastmustangs@gmail.com

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