At this past weekend’s Barrett-Jackson auction, a Shelby GT500 decked out in American flag livery sold — twice, for a combined total of $950,000, with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Family Support charity (WWFS).
The car was purchased first by Ronnie Rains, a Vietnam veteran, for $500,000. Rains immediately donated the car back to the auction to be sold again, saying that he wanted to show his strong personal support for the WWFS charity. The car was then sold again, this time fetching $450,000 from a Florida man.
The auctioned GT500 participated in a cross-country drive to tour 48 states and be covered in signatures from veterans and others who have been affected by war.
Heartwarming as this may sound, controversy surrounding the WWFS might sully both the event and donations. The charity was sued by the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP), which said the WWFS was accepting donations meant for the WWP.
In fact, the WWFS was ordered in court to pay $1.7 million back to the WWP after a ruling that said it accepted misdirected donations and damaged the WWP’s reputation in doing so.
Still, it seems the WWFS will retain the cash collected after selling (and re-selling) the GT500 despite questionable previous practices.