“I’d do anything for it.” “I’d buy it a steak dinner and whisper sweet nothings into it.” “You are 50 times hotter in person” “That body of yours is absurd.”
These are the things I imagine Adam Levine said about his uber rare 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9-Liter Spyder, a classic car of which only 25 or so were ever made, before he bought it in 2020. In reality, these are some of the embarrassing DMs the married Maroon 5 frontman reportedly sent various women on Instagram, which were revealed last fall. But in an act of what can only be deemed cosmic karma for said DMs, Levine’s million-dollar automotive collectible is reportedly a fake.
Turns out what the 43-year-old should have said was “I may need to see the booty.” “Booty,” in this case, being better documentation.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Levine recently filed a lawsuit “[alleging] that classic car dealer Rick Cole or his agents faked documentation and chassis and engine authentication marks” on the Maserati, which the singer took ownership of after trading a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4, 1968 Ferrari 365 GTC and $100,000. The suit was officially filed by the Adam Levine Living Trust in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Two Ferraris and $100,000 for one car? If that sounds like Cole ripped off Adam Levine even if this thing is authentic, a similar Maserati went for $1.5 million at auction in 2016. So if it was real, it would have been an equitable trade in monetary terms.
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Now I’ve had my fun at the expense of this Chipotle-bag-looking multi-millionaire, but in fairness, the lengths to which this dealer allegedly went to mislead Levine about the authenticity of this car are ludicrous.
According to the lawsuit, not only was the former host of The Voice presented with “documentation signed by Maserati expert Fabio Collina as to the authenticity of the car,” documentation which was in fact tied to a separate car in a collection in Switzerland, but the vehicle itself was stamped with fraudulent chassis and engine numbers which corresponded to a real-deal 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9-Liter Spyder.
“The identity of the Vehicle is, at the very least, in serious doubt,” the lawsuit reads. “It may be an original Ghibli Spyder in which…someone got a hold of the engine and then stamped the Vehicle to try to match the engine. Or, it could just be a converted Ghibli Coupe, in which the original chassis plate was removed and replaced with plate number AM11549S*1241* in an attempt to make the Vehicle more attractive.”
The suit also says Levine is “not in the classic car business at all,” a point made to emphasize he was relying on the expertise of others. But authenticity issues for highly scrutinized, exorbitantly expensive vintage cars like this arise even among buyers who proclaim to be well versed in the subject. Jerry Seinfeld, for instance, was recently embroiled in dual lawsuits over the provenance of a 1958 Porsche 356 that were settled last summer.
Levine’s lawsuit is seeking to undo the deal (or commensurate damages). But he’ll never be able to undo a DM like “I may need to see the booty.”
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