We can imagine that just like every other Porsche 911 enthusiast, Kevin Hughes knew exactly what the limited edition GT3 RS 4.0 was all about. Biggest displacement and last of the Mezgers, five hundred horsepower, lighter than the run-of-the-mill GT3 RS, and ultimately the finest of the 997s to ever leave Zuffenhausen, at least in the opinion of this humble writer. Indeed, for those right reasons, in March 2011 Hughes put a £10,000 deposit down for a GT3 RS 4.0 allocation at his Manchester (UK) area Porsche dealer, Porsche Centre Bolton.
Since the four litre’s introduction, I’ve put extensive kilometres on a pair of them. The first was a pre-production unit that I enjoyed in the Black Forest and on the Autobahn at over 300 km/h. The second was a production model that I used to disturb the peace around Sydney, Australia, and fully explore its performance on a private circuit about an hour outside of town.
To me, the four litre is a remarkable machine and one that gave me the purest, most direct, and visceral driving experience of any modern 911. The sound of that four litre. The precise steering. The perfectly engineered chassis. Yes, this is one of the cars that haunts my dreams.
But what about Mr. Hughes? It turns out that despite payment of his deposit and an agreement with Porsche Centre Bolton that he’d receive the first four litre, the dealer instead sold the single car it was allocated to someone else, according to the Manchester Evening News. Smooth move, gents.
Like any reasonable 911 enthusiast who’d been patiently waiting for delivery of the ultimate GT3 RS, we’d be more than a little upset and Hughes didn’t think that was a fair deal, so he said, “See you in court, mother truckers!” We’re paraphrasing, but, yes, Hughes took Porsche Centre Bolton’s parent company, Pendragon Sabre Ltd, to court.
After a previous decision in favour of the dealer, earlier this week an appeal court quickly found in favour of Hughes, determining that there was an enforceable contract in place between the two parties. The appeal court decision awarded Hughes damages of £35,000 plus Hughes’ legal costs, which are noted to start at £50,000. Indeed, that’s a right victory for the little guy.
However, we might have another opinion which is that £35,000 in damages is only a modest award given current GT3 RS 4.0 values. A quick look around the Internet points to second hand four litre asking prices in the £250,000+ range in Europe and well over $400,000 US.
Based on Hughes’ contract price of £135,000 and current four litre market pricing, one could say his real damages are well over £100,000. Regardless, we’re glad the court made the right decision in favour of Hughes, but we suspect he’d much rather have a GT3 RS 4.0 in his garage than another £35,000 in his bank account.
As for the two GT3 RS 4.0s that I drove, well, those are great stories, but we’ll save them for another time.
All images © the author.