December 10, 2007
Carroll Shelby withdraws licensing contract with Shelby American Automobile Club
Gardena, California – Carroll Shelby Licensing Inc. has withdrawn its licensing agreement with the 33-year-old Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC). The Connecticut-base SAAC oversees regional clubs dedicated to Shelby automobiles, including one in Surrey, British Columbia, and has a reported 5,000 members.
In a statement, Shelby said he “wanted to explain my concerns to the members of the Shelby American Automobile Club directly, but couldn’t because SAAC has refused to give me a list of its members, even though the licensee agreement with SAAC requires them to allow me access to their books and records.” Shelby said the reasons for the license withdrawal include a disregard of reporting requirements of the agreement, lack of proof of liability insurance, lack of approval for product designs sold by the club under license, and non-payment of the US$1 per year licensing fee for nine years.
Shelby said that memorabilia and production records lent to the club for its registry were not returned when requested, and that “I’m told they have sold many of the items, like cancelled Shelby American cheques, over the Internet and the like.” He also said that a promised registry was last published ten years ago, and that “I have received many calls from people who have paid hundreds of dollars for a Registry; they have threatened lawsuits against me and my companies because they have not received their book.”
A statement by SAAC said that its comprehensive database of information on each Shelby vehicle is published every ten years “and contains information gathered since the previous edition was printed.” The statement acknowledges that Shelby will not be renewing SAAC’s licensing agreement but that “SAAC has never been given a reason for this termination.” The club says that “initial indications from SAAC’s legal counsel are that Shelby’s many demands are without legal merit. As a result, SAAC has no choice other than to vigorously defend the clubs’ and its members’ proprietary information, property and rights.” It has established a legal defense fund, with a request for donations from members.
Carroll Shelby stated that he has extended an offer to local clubs to contact his office and arrange for a license to use the Shelby and Cobra name for the US$1 fee offered to SAAC.