And his family certainly seems to have a case.
Steve McQueen loved fast cars and motorcycles. Not surprisingly, he owned several Ferraris, so having some sort of special edition present day Ferrari would make sense, right? According to a report from Car and Driver via Courthouse News Service, the family of actor Steve McQueen has sued Ferrari for several million dollars over a trademark violation, claiming the automaker sold an “extremely limited edition” vehicle called “The McQueen” at a significantly higher price than a regular Ferrari. Actor Chad McQueen, son of Steve, filed suit against Ferrari on July 30 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Apparently, the trouble unknowingly began back in 2011 when the younger McQueen toured Ferrari’s factory with its then president and chairman. The two discussed working together on a special McQueen edition Ferrari (possibly an F12berlinetta), but only if McQueen “and his family would maintain approval rights and involvement in the project.” Sounds reasonable enough.
However, last year the family discovered that Ferrari had begun marketing and selling a special edition Ferrari called ‘The McQueen’. Chad McQueen claims this was done in order to help promote the company’s 70th anniversary, and even advertised it on its official website, social media, and even brochure that featured a photo of the deceased actor.
Turns out ‘The McQueen’ is one of just four special edition Ferraris displayed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show that announced the 70th anniversary collection. Naturally, the McQueen family did not like this and immediately complained to Ferrari. So what did Ferrari do? Renamed ‘The McQueen’ ‘The Actor’, while still using ad copy stating that Steve McQueen owned a Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta. The McQueen family is now specifically seeking $2 million per violation of registered trademark, plus additional punitive damages.