Levine traded two Ferrari for the car, but claims that incorrect stampings later threw its provenance into question
February 23, 2023 at 19:01
by Sebastien Bell
Adam Levine, the famed Maroon 5 singer, thought he was acquiring a prized possession when he traded two classic Ferraris for a 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Liter Spyder SS in late 2020. However, he now claims that classic car dealer Rick Cole or his agents misrepresented the vehicle’s authenticity, leaving him with a car that is not what he thought he was getting. Levine is suing for at least $850,000 in damages or to undo the $950,000 deal and rectify the situation.
The complaint alleges that the 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Liter Spyder SS, valued at $850,000, was one of a few convertible models with a higher-power 4.9-liter engine. In December 2020, the Adam Levine Living Trust agreed to trade a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 and a 1968 Ferrari 365 GTC, valued at $950,000 combined, in exchange for $100,000 and the Maserati, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The vehicle was represented by Cole as bearing the VIN AM115.492.1241, according to the lawsuit. The problem is that another vehicle with that exact same VIN number exists, and has been in Europe for years.
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The suit alleges that the car that came into the Maroon 5 frontman’s possession was pulled from an auction in 2015 after questions about its authenticity were raised, particularly related to stamping numbers in styles that were not used by Maserati in 1971. Levine’s lawyers claim that attempts have been made to make those incongruities less apparent.
“Someone tried to make the Vehicle appear authentic by reproducing or stamping a new chassis plate to make the writing seem more like that used by Maserati at the time, in an obvious attempt to convince a potential buyer that the Vehicle was the #1241,” lawyers for Levine’s trust claim in the complaint.
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Levine’s lawyers claim that the car’s identity is “in serious doubt.” Whether or not the car is the real deal, its value is materially diminished by the uncertainty. In addition, Levine’s lawyers claim that The Voice star was repeatedly discouraged by Cole from selling the car.
Indeed, it was only upon attempting to put it up for sale that questions about its authenticity were raised. Levine’s lawyers state that, as someone who is not a classic vehicle dealer, he depended on the advice of Cole, whose website claims he sold vehicles to Frank Sinatra, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, and Adam Levine.
Levine’s trust is suing Cole for misrepresentation, breach of contract, and fraudulent concealment. It seeks a court order to rescind the sale of the vehicle or damages of at least $850,000.