Steve McQueen’s family sues Ferrari over special-edition 70th anniversary cars

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 70th anniversary edition inspired by Steve McQueen’s 1963 Ferrari 250 GT

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Last year, Ferrari celebrated 70 years since the unveiling of its first sports car and part of the celebration included 350 special edition cars in various liveries to mark significant moments for the company. Allegedly, the “Steve McQueen” livery never had the McQueen family’s blessing.

According to Courthouse News Service, the heirs of Steve McQueen filed a lawsuit against Ferrari on July 30 after learning of the “Steve McQueen” livery offered on the 2017 F12 Berlinetta, the California T, and three other Ferrari cars. Per Chadwick McQueen, son of Steve McQueen, he toured the Ferrari factory in 2011 and began discussing the possibility of a McQueen special-edition Ferrari “provided he and his family would maintain approval rights and involvement in the project.”

Last year, the family learned of the Steve McQueen livery offered on Ferrari models to celebrate the Italian sports car maker’s 70th anniversary. The lawsuit alleges that “Ferrari had, without notice or authorization, begun marketing and selling a special edition Ferrari that Ferrari entitled ‘The McQueen,’ and that Ferrari marketed through use of Steve McQueen’s persona.”

McQueen’s heirs seek statutory damages of $2 million per violation of registered trademark, plus punitive damages after Ferrari marketed the cars on its website, on social media, and in a brochure featuring a photo of Steve McQueen. The family also claims they complained to Ferrari, which then changed the “McQueen” livery’s name to “the actor,” but still promoted the special-edition cars by associating them with McQueen.

Ferrari also rolled out the Schumacher, the Stirling, the Green Jewel, and a special livery inspired by the 1953 375 MM bodied by Pinin Farina. Ferrari’s in-house Tailor Made personalization department was responsible for the special-edition cars. The McQueen livery was inspired by a 1963 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso that McQueen’s first wife gifted him. When applied to one of the Ferrari models, the livery included a brown exterior paint color and a camel leather interior.

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