Fake car battle over Wodonga man's Ford Falcon XW GTHO continues

FAKE: The vehicle
FAKE: The vehicle

A LONG-running legal stoush over a fake car has made it all the way to the High Court of Australia.

But Lyle Walker’s latest bid to recoup the $110,000 he has lost in the bungled deal have again fallen flat, with the court dismissing his case.

It’s at least the third time he has been to court to try to recover the money, and has again come with extensive legal fees.

Car owner Glenn Sell had no reason to doubt the vehicle in his Wodonga garage was an original 1970 XW Ford GTHO Falcon worth $135,000.

A letter from the car maker and vehicle identification numbers appeared to confirm its identity as the rare and highly-sought version of the Falcon. 

The car maker built 662 GTHOs from July 1969 to October 1970. 

An examination by a so-called car expert from Melbourne had also confirmed the vehicle as a genuine GTHO.

He listed it for sale on Gumtree in August 2013.

Mr Walker travelled to Wodonga to inspect the car later that month and decided to buy it that day. 

He had checked it over for about half-an-hour and after making payments for a year, he took ownership of the vehicle.

But an inspection quickly found the car was instead a standard Ford Falcon worth only $25,000 and he sought a refund, which Mr Sell denied.

The cases have dealt with complex legal issues regarding the sale and its contract, but it has been noted that Mr Walker relied on his own inspection of the car when buying it.

He had failed to get an expert to check over the vehicle, and the court has previously heard he didn’t rely on the description or documents when choosing to buy it.

His lawyer argued the Gumtree advertisement was enough to prove there was misleading conduct. 

The three high court judges again knocked back Mr Walker’s recent legal moves after a hearing lasting only 17 minutes, with costs against him.

A judge in an earlier hearing had noted Mr Walker relied on his “own erroneous assessment” of the vehicle before buying it. He had intended to send someone down to Wodonga to look over the car, but never did. 

While it was unclear what the latest court action would have cost both men, the stoush has already run up tens-of-thousands of dollars in legal fees.