This is a huge mess…
While you could argue all day long about why the Ferrari F40 is better than the Ferrari F50, the fact is owning either supercar is a dream for many. After all, production of the F50 was capped at a mere 349 back in the 90s, so they’re not exactly plentiful. One of those F50s is now at the center of a legal battle in Buffalo, New York of all places and it’s quite the mess.
Learn about an allegedly stolen Ferrari F40 discovered in Japan here.
The Ferrari F50 is currently in the possession of the federal government and has been since December of 2019 while the US Attorney’s Office figures out which of two parties who claim ownership should get the supercar. Things are entirely cut and dry, but ultimately the courts will have to give it to someone.
One party in this case is Mohammed Alsaloussi, who lives in Miami, Florida. He purchased the supercar for his collection and paid $1.435 million for it in September of 2019. Things went sideways when the Ferrari was inspected by US Customs and Border Protection at the Peace Bridge, which connects Canada to the United States, after it was brought into the country on a commercial car carrier.
When the Ferrari F50 was imported into the United States it had an Alberta license plate which was registered to Ikonick Collection Ltd., which is located in Edmonton. However, things took a turn when Customs and Border Protection officers noticed a black tar-like substance on some of the dashboard VIN plate rivets, sparking an investigation into the supercar’s origins.
That’s when the National Insurance Crime Bureau conducted a physical examination of the Ferrari. After taking photos of the vehicle and serial numbers for various components, it concurred the dash VIN plate was reason for suspicion. Contacting Ferrari in Italy, the NICB requested help with properly identifying the vehicle. With the automaker’s help, the conclusion was that it was stolen in 2003 from a hotel parking garage just over a month after Paolo Provenzi had purchased it along with his father and brother.
Theft of extremely valuable supercars isn’t unheard of, like an allegedly stolen Ferrari F40 we covered not too long ago, this F50 reportedly spent some time in Japan before being imported into Canada. In fact, Porvenzi claims a Japanese man approached him a couple of years ago and requested he drop the original police report of the supercar being stolen. That’s enough to raise anyone’s hackles.
Before you think this is a simple case of a stolen car which needs to be returned to its rightful owner, an attorney representing Ikonic Collection and Alsaloussi stated he believes his client “has a very strong claim of ownership of the vehicle” but declined to elaborate.
After conducting its own investigation, the US Attorney’s Office replied in a court filing it has “great doubt” as to who rightfully owns the Ferrari F50. That’s why it has deferred the decision to the courts. Both parties will be able to lay out all the evidence as they know it, then a judge can try to make sense of what sounds like a complicated situation. Ultimately, someone is going to walk away empty-handed and frustrated.
Source: The Buffalo News