If you ignored Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the Acura NSX Commercial, or the many, many interviews where he talks about them, know this: Jerry Seinfeld is a huge car guy. Go back over old episodes of Seinfeld, and you’ll see the fingerprints of a gearhead all over it. The Skip Barber Racing School magnet on the fridge, right next to the Porsche postcard. And on the wall there’s a vintage Porsche poster. In the series, Jerry is a dedicated Saab driver (with the exception of memorable episodes where he has a BMW that stinks, or buys his parents a Cadillac.) But in real life, Seinfeld is a Porsche man through and through. He’s owns so many of them, in fact, that in the 1990s he rented out an entire hangar at the Santa Monica Airport to house his collection.
But now, he’s thinning the heard, and putting three of the most coveted vintage Porsches in the world up for sale at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island, Fla., auction in March. With each of these cars making a good candidate for any blue-chip collector’s show piece, we’re wondering what he’s keeping for himself (we know he also owns a 959 and the last air-cooled 911 ever built).
We’ll start with the least exciting car here and work our way up, but please keep in mind that “least exciting” is a very, very relative term here. The car is a 1974 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR, and it spent much of the mid-’70s being raced at Daytona and Riverside as part of the legendary Penske race team. Even without racing provenance, early 911 Carreras were some of the hottest performance cars of the era, and with its Penske competition history and Seinfeld’s years of ownership, this car is expected to fetch over $1.2 million. Compared to the other two cars, this one’s likely to be the bargain of the group.
This 1958 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster may sound like a mouthful to the average gearhead, but if you’re a Porschephile, it’s music to your ears. Celebrity connection aside, this car should tick all the right boxes to collectors; it’s a 356, the car that put Porsche on the map. As a Carrera Speedster, it’s not only an example of the first car to wear the Carrera name, it’s only one of 151 lightweight Carrera Speedsters ever made. Plus, historic 356 models have gotten a lot of ink lately; last month, Janis Joplin’s 1964 356 C sold at RM Sotheby’s Driven by Disruption auction for a whopping $1.76 million. Seinfeld’s earlier, faster car is expected to fetch at least $2 million in March.
Finally, the jewel in the crown, the “it’s so insane, I can’t believe he’s selling it” car is this all-original 550 Spyder, one of the rarest and most desirable Porsches ever built. For the American public, its likely introduction to the German brand came on September 30, 1955 when James Dean was killed behind the wheel of his Spyder. But despite its ghoulish brush with history, the 550 is one of the most iconic cars ever built by the brand. A mere 90 cars were produced during the 550’s three-year production run, yet the low-slung all-aluminum racers seemingly popped up everywhere in the ’50s, and were considered to be some of the most formidable competition cars of the decade. To sweeten the deal, Seinfeld’s car has traveled just 10,300 miles in its 61 years. This holy grail Porsche is expected to fetch somewhere between $5 and $6 million.
We don’t know what would would possess someone to get rid of these incredible machines – except for the money, that is. But that can’t be Seinfeld’s reasoning. In fact, he’s given very little reason as to why he’s letting these cars go now. According to Gooding & Company’s press release:
“‘I’ve never bought a car as an investment,” states Jerry Seinfeld. “I don’t really even think of myself as a collector. I just love cars. And I still love these cars. But it’s time to send some of them back into the world, for someone else to enjoy, as I have.'”
We can only think of two reasons: First, he’s done a lot of business with Gooding & Company, selling a 1958 356A Speedster through them at its 2012 Pebble Beach Auction, according to the Los Angeles Times. He made $330,000 on the car. Last year, he bought a 1958 356A Speedster at its Pebble beach auction for $583,000. Maybe he needs just to make room. Or maybe as these cars skyrocket toward becoming priceless with every passing week, real car guys – even car guys as impossibly rich as Jerry Seinfeld – just can’t justify hopping behind the wheel on a whim, pulling out into L.A. traffic, and braving freeway gridlock in hopes of finding a few moments of miles of bliss somewhere. Who would insure it? The risks have just become too high. It’s nice to know that these cars are getting put back out there. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a chance they’ll be seeing any serious wheel time ever again.