These upgrades included raised suspension and new 17-inch wheels with BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, new shock absorbers, Fitech fuel injection, a fresh Optima battery and cut-off switch, a new steering column and steering wheel, a new audio system, a new paintjob with personalized touches, and period-correct cream leather interior.
A vintage Bronco in good condition is always an appealing option, but this one had more than just celebrity pedigree: it came from the personal fleet of an F1 legend and known car collector, so it was several times more desirable. The hammer dropped at $166,000, with Leo Eccles, the director of a British company, placing the winning bid.
The reason for that is that he's suing Button for fraud on the claims that Button deliberately lied about owning the vehicle. It was never his and wasn't registered in his name; his then-girlfriend was the owner, and they both posted about it online at the time. She deleted those posts, but one of Button's is still available. Button also confirmed this in a podcast when talking about the fleet he had at his L.A. home.
According to legal documents filed in Los Angeles, Eccles says he contacted Button when he found out that the car wasn't his, asking for a refund. A similar Bronco would sell for $32,000, and Eccles' argument is that he overpaid believing this one belonged to Button. That Button drove it occasionally didn't amount to ownership, so Eccles wanted a full refund.
For his part, Button's lawyer accuses Eccles of having a bad case of buyer's remorse and just throwing around allegations to see what sticks. He says Button performed all repairs Eccles demanded and paid for them out of pocket, just like he paid for storage as Eccles asked. Eccles, on the other hand, has since been refusing delivery because he can't register the car in South Africa, where he's currently residing.
Eccles is accusing Button and his now-wife of fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and breach of contract and business code. He wants his money back and is probably seeking some kind of damages, too.