When Kevin Hughes put down a £10,000 deposit on a last-of-the-line Porsche 911 GT3 RS, he believed he was the first in the queue.
Unfortunately for Mr Hughes, the Porsche Centre in Bolton sold the hardcore Porsche to a customer further down the waiting list, shattering his dreams of owning one of the 30 cars allocated to the UK.
Porsche ceased production of the 997 GT3 RS in 2011, building a total of 600 units, each one costing just shy of £130,000. Mr Hughes – the owner of a classic car restoration business – used part of his pension to secure the super-rare Porsche and was told he would be “first in the queue” if the dealer was chosen to receive one of the 30 UK cars.
Porsche Centre Bolton was chosen to receive a car, but rather than contacting Mr Hughes with the good news, it chose to inform him no cars had been allocated, and his deposit was returned.
[bctt tweet=”It was ‘as plain as pikestaff’ that the two parties had a legally-binding contract.”]
Mr Hughes later discovered the act of dishonesty and took the dealership to court. At first, his claim was rejected, with the judge at the Preston County Court arguing Mr Hughes had made merely an “expression of interest” and that by having his deposit returned he had suffered no financial loss.
Undeterred, Mr Hughes took the matter to the Court of Appeal, where the judge ruled in his favour, awarding him £35,000 in damages. This figure is based on an estimate between the price he would have paid for the GT3 RS and the value of the car today.
The Porsche dealer’s parent company, Pendragon Sabre Ltd, has also been ordered to pay £50,000 towards Mr Hughes’ legal costs, but the final bill is likely to run into six figures. In summing up, the judge said it was “as plain as pikestaff” that the two parties had a legally-binding contract and that Mr Hughes had done more than “express an interest” in the highly sought-after Porsche.
It remains to be seen whether or not Mr Hughes will manage to secure a secondhand Porsche 911 GT3 RS. He could, of course, spend upwards of £131,296 on a 991 GT3 RS, but we doubt he’ll be visiting the Porsche Centre in Bolton any time soon.