• Mar 22, 2010
Click above to watch the video after the jump

The 1963 Corvette Grand Sport is one rare roadster. General Motors only built five of the Cobra killers before production was halted, and the rarest of 'Vettes are worth millions at auction. If you don't have Ferrari GTO 250 money to spend, one option is to shell out $189,000 to Duntov Motor Co. in Texas. The company reportedly has full rights from GM to build the vehicles, and The General's badge is proudly displayed.

But that isn't the only way to get a replica Grand Sport. Mongoose Motorsports produces a near dead ringer of a roadster, but GM claims in a lawsuit that the company is violating trademark laws by building the vehicles without the automaker's permission. The Detroit News says The General is looking for the courts to bar Mongoose from building any more GS replicas, order the destruction of all labels and signs containing Corvette trademarks and let the automaker inspect the Ohio company's books. On top of that, GM is looking for unspecified damages. Mongoose operations manager Gary Krause Jr. reportedly told DetNews that he was unaware of the lawsuit until the newspaper called him.

Why is General Motors coming down hard on Mongoose Motorsports? Because there is a lot of money in licensing (ask any pro sports team), and any company seeking to profit from The General's designs, products or representations is taking money out of the company's coffers. But while the Mongoose Motorsports GS may (or may not) be illegal, it still does look pretty damn cool on the road. Hit the jump to watch video of the realistic replica as it trolls public roads in search of some street cred; or perhaps a speeding ticket. Thanks for the tip, Ismael!

[Source: The Detroit News]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mongoose is right around the corner from me. The lawsuit is pretty interesting because it is mostly baseless. Mongoose does not use any Corvette or GM badging on the replicars. There is not one Corvette or GM logo used to sell anything the company makes.

      They reference the history of the Grand Sport Corvette on their website and promotional material but do not call the car they build a Corvette. They just call it a Grand Sport which you can't trademark. GM would have to prove that they own the rights to the Grand Sport name and that enough people associate Grand Sport with GM to justify the trademark.

      Now GM does have a little bit of footing on the issue that Mongoose uses the story of the real '63 Grand Sport to help sell their cars.

      The Mongoose cars are based on readily available GM parts. If GM doesn't want people making replica cars then maybe they shouldn't offer crate engines and C4 suspension parts to public sources.

      It would be sad if Mongoose had to close because they build cars in a small town in Ohio and put a lot of effort into them. For $70k they will essentially build you a turnkey racecar.

        haddonfineart
        • 2 Years Ago
        It is a Shape Infringement Lawsuit. GM has a Trademark on the shape of the car . Look at all the Copies of things that are made in Japan and China that are Trademarked in the US. Our Goverment seised millions of dollars a year worth of these things that are illegal, because the Legitimate Companies that make them are loosing millions of dollars by people buying the cheap knock offs. Same Thing, Superformance pays GM for rights to build this car. and by
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, Duntov bought two cars from D & D (who sold out to Mongoose), copied their body, and sold it off to Superformance. I think that Mongoose should be suing Alan Sevadijian that bought the cars from Dean and then sold it off to Superformance. Or, maybe they should just pass off some of the blame. A lot of these cars use reproduction parts to assemble them. I own the LAST D&D built, and it is THE BOMB, and GM isn't getting their hands on it. Imagine that they want to use it at the Corvette Museum as a display.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too fugly to worry about.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How exactly do you build cars like this Mongoose and not think you will get your ass sued?

      This isn't China after all.

      It's not like they radically changed the design and can claim it as an original.

      BTW, I actually really like the exposed headlights.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So GM builds 5 of a car. Then orders them destroyed, only to have rogue employees sneak them out the back door. Now when someone else wants to make it they sue? Maybe GM should make the cars the customer wants. And these things probably have a nicer interior than a 2010 ZR1.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Exactly.

      A design can't be Trademarked, so unless these fools were using Trademarked names for their replica, they're in the clear. Sounds like they were dumb enough to use GM's name, so they're screwed.

      Anybody can make "'63 Turdnuggets" that look exactly like a '63 Grand Sport without getting into trouble with GM.

      Of course, if GM thinks that they can bankrupt you with an extended lawsuit, regardless of merit, they just might.
      haddonfineart
      • 2 Years Ago
      WHAT IS GENERAL MOTORS doing to the builders of replicas of a MILLION DOLLAR CAR . Isn't there a Trade Mark on the shape??? What was there five 5 originals? Hi-Tech Automotive is the only one with rights to build this car Mongoose Motor Sports needs to be made to cut up their molds and STOP building these cars before we are inindated with copies...
      • 4 Years Ago
      nice car, but the front looks a bit like an old man wearing spectacles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree did the headlights look like that on the real one. I thought they had pop ups?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can see the reason for the lawsuit, the family resemblance is just too strong. I hope they can resolve this with some king of licensing agreement because I like it a lot!

      PS- No problem here with the headlights.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That is exactly how the Grand Sports looked. They were pretty ugly overall with all the holes cut in the body for large tires, etc. You can google the images and see for yourself. No one who sees one of these things on the road will think it is a real one unless they know zip about the cars. Kind of like people who see Cobras and ask if they are real. To those that know the cars, the fakes look really fake with the exception of the Kirkham. Even those look fake to me as they are a little too well finished. I was at a little local car show this weekend and there was a real 289 car. There is no question of that when you see it in person - narrow tires and sitting at what appears to be a pretty high ride height. The fact that there were 2 275 GTB/4 's next to it didn't hurt the picture either.

      I can see that GM has learned from Shelby's mistake and is demanding restitution. I think that it is fair as these guys are in a commercial enterprise that they should pay for the design that they cribbed. I don't think GM would bother me if I cut up my own C2 and made it look like the GS as I am not trying to make money from the plan. The SuperFormance people paid a lot to push these cars as well so It would not be a surprise to find out that they ratted these guys out to GM...
        • 4 Years Ago
        The difference with the Cobras was that Shelby failed to trademark them originally; he basically walked away from the brand for awhile, and instead focused on things like packaged chili seasonings. His lack of interest in the cars and the owners was the reason the SAAC was formed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mongoose isn't the first company that GM has went after for the GS. They forced ERA Replicas to stop producing them too. The big issue is using trademarks like the name corvette or the crossed flag or Grand Sport badging. If they just sold the body, and named it something else, like some Cobra manufacturers have done, they would be in the clear for the most part.

      And if you really like the car, you can get it (licensed) legally from Duntov AND a few others like Superformance (http://www.superformance.com/corvette.aspx) famous for their MKIII Cobra replica. Also several hot rodders have been customizing second gen corvettes to make GS replicas for decades.

      Personally, I like them. I also like the Cobras that got their asses handed to them by these cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      it would look pretty cool with retrofitted projector headlights :o
      gofast59
      • 4 Years Ago
      Corporate mentality at its best, you would think that a company would enbrace people that love there product past or present. but no its a money thing even if it come from overseas (superperformance) , but what they are forgeting is all the gm parts used to make a car. Revenues with no warranty or recalls to worry about seems like a no brainer to me, but thats right am just 1 of the millions of americans to watch jobs go overseas for the betterment of the corporate coffers (what was i thinking). HOPE they don't put Built With Pride In AMERICA on the new one's or we'll have another lawsuit.Just another small business drowned out by the big business GM.It won't be long before they move out.
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