Ferrari is threatening legal action against a British man who turned his 360 Modena into a limousine, claiming he has infringed on the Italian automaker’s trademark.

Dan Cawley, who turned the two-seat sports car into an eight-seater limo, says Ferrari has ordered him to remove all of the badges from the car and told him he can never modify one of its cars again. The company says Cawley’s addition of a three-metre section of carbon fibre to the middle of the car means it’s no longer a Ferrari.

But Cawley said he talked to Ferrari about the project before he started and got the green light from the exotic car maker.

The conversion from a compact coupe to a six-meter-long limo sounds like a real performance-killer, but the body extension adds just 160 kg to the car’s curb weight and doesn’t significantly dampen the car’s performance.

Since completing the project with the help of Chris Wright, a former carbon-fibre specialist with McLaren, Cawley said his company, Style Limousines, rents the car out for more than $1,100 an hour. He bought the car used for $89,000 and spent well over $200,000 on its conversion to a livery car.

So naturally, Cawley isn’t taking Ferrari’s demands sitting down.

“We built this as a supercar for the masses, so ordinary people could get the chance to have a ride in something they’d normally only dream of,” he said. “Now that opportunity could be snatched away from them. I’m not being bullied into this. We have to fight on behalf of all limo builders and car tuners out there.”

You’d think Ferrari would be pleased to see one of its cars set a Guinness record for the world’s fastest limo, at 267 km/h (166 mph), but it is instead ready to take “the required steps” to protect the brand’s heritage.

Cawley has received no such static from Hummer, Porsche, or Land Rover, despite his having turned versions of each of those automaker’s cars into limousines.

Cawley’s case reminds us of a spat between Ferrari and Canadian techno music producer Joel Zimmerman (aka Deadmau5) who treated his 458 Italia Spyder to a feline-inspired technicolour paintjob that the car maker took exception to.

(via The Daily Mail)