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Gooding & Co.'s Amelia Island auction sells seventeen of Seinfeld's finest for $22,244,500

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On: Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 1:07PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Gooding & Co.'s Amelia Island auction sells seventeen of Seinfeld's finest for $22,244,500

I've never understood the fascination people have with Porsches, and I'm apparently not alone. Hell, the world is filled with idiots that don't even know it's pronounced poor-SHA. (And that's everywhere, every time, jerks. No exceptions.)

It's not an elitist thing—like when people dismiss them as “overpriced VW Beetles”—nor a lack of appreciation for the engineering sophistication and stuff that goes into making them competitive against cars with bigger, well, everything.

It's just that, dollar-for-dollar, there is a long and distinguished list of cars I'd rather have instead, in nearly every category of vehicle. (I say “nearly” because I've never felt more alive—nor closer to death—than when God blessed me with a handful of laps at Laguna Seca behind the wheel of a real-deal 917.)

And that's fine. I couldn't afford one even if I thought they were the greatest cars on Earth. But luckily for Gooding & Co.—and Jerry Seinfeld—the people that COULD afford them apparently don't have my kind of list...

Mr. Seinfeld and Bruce Canepa aside, there aren't all that many car collectors I could name who are as famous for their focus on Porsches. But considering the sales-fest Gooding & Co. had during their March 11 Amelia Island sale, I'm likely going to have to add at least one new name to that list.

Out of 81 cars of all makes and models for sale, 30 of them were Porsches. And of those, only two—a pair of near-identical, bright white 1989 911 Carrera Speedsters—were the same. (Well, one sold for $363k—Seinfeld's—while the other went for $209k, so there had to be SOME difference((s)), even if it was just a McQueen-style “star-power bump” alone...)

Want to know just how different from each other they are? Well, we're talking Porsche products with build dates ranging from 1955 to 2012 and sale prices between $66k (a non-Seinfeld 1966 912) and $5,335,000 (for Jerry's crown jewel 1955 550 Spyder).

And like those two, not only did the Porsches span decades, they spanneduses as well. For every street-legal(-ish) model they had on offer there's a track-only terror there to balance things out.

Heck, they had variants of cars I knew that I'd never even heard of, including some that have appellations that nearly sent me scrambling for a German-English dictionary despite my actually being able to speak pretty good German.

And speaking of names, Gooding had some machinery with titles almost as impressive as their bearers' performance, and for Porsche people, it seems the more complicated the car—and/or name—the more they want it. I mean, really; If you show up to a Porsche gathering in a modern-day *cough* "mass-production" *sputter* Carrera GT—a car any neophyte knows—do you really expect to be belle of the ball? (Unless it's Seinfeld's still-up-for-grabs 2000 Porsche Carrera GT Prototype. Sale estimate for that, BTW, was/is $1.5M - $2.25M vs. the (also unsold) "usual" car's ask of $750k - $1.1M.)

No. When you hit the scene and want to be instantly pegged as a true connoisseur, you're going to need a classic speed machine with a name as overcomplicated as the engine it bears in its backside, like a “356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster” or “356 B 2000 GS/GT Carrera 2 Coupe”.

Those are the kind of Porsches that will get you the respect of the apex predators of that world, and it just so happened that Gooding had dozens of them—both cars AND predators, I'm sure—last Friday in Florida.

And if cars like that weren't costly enough, the fact that 16 of them were best-of-the-best, rarest-of-the-rare Porsche royalty straight from the hallowed menagerie of “Mr. Porsche Collector” himself—the aforementioned Jerry Seinfeld—meant you weren't buying A Porsche, you were buying HIS Porsche.

Speaking of which, it would seem that as focused as he was on Porsches, Mr. Seinfeld's interests didn't adhere to any specific model. Heck, he didn't even restrict himself to cars he could hang plates on. He very nearly offered as many street cars (9) as race cars (7). And because I like you so much, that's how I've sorted them all—yes,all—out for you here.

[And since I know you'll appreciate the hours it took to do so, I'm even putting each car in both categories in order of their production date, earliest to latest, along with their sale prices (save one).]

You are welcome.

Street cars: 1957 356 A Speedster ($682k); 1958 597 “Jagdwagen” ($330k); 1958 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster ($1,540,000); 1963 356 B 2000 GS/GT Carrera 2 Coupe ($825k); 1966 911 ($275k); 1994 964 Turbo 3.6 S Flachbau ($1,017,500); 1989 911 Speedster ($363k); 2000 Carrera GT Prototype [not (yet) sold] and a 2011 997 Speedster ($440k).

Racecars: 1955 550 Spyder ($5,335,000); 1959 718 RSK ($2,860,000); 1973 917/30 Can-Am Spyder ($3M); 1974 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR ($2,310,000); 1990 962C ($1,650,000); 1997 993 Cup 3.8 RSR ($935k) and a 2012 997 GT3 4.0 Cup “Brumos Commemorative Edition” ($462k).

So even with that solo no-sale, his street cars still racked up $5,472,500 while his race cars added another $16,552,000 to his kitty. That's $22,024,500, people, or an average of $1,468,300 per car sold.

For his Porsches, anyway.

Yeah, remember when I said that thing about people disparaging Porsches by comparing them to Volkswagens? Well, I can't tell you if Seinfeld's one of them, but he brought two VeeDubs to sell here, too, for an all-in total of 18 up-for-auction cars.

But while both his 1960 VW Beetle ($121k) and a '64 VW Camper ($99k) sold for ridiculously-high prices and added another $220k to his total—for an all-in figure of $22,244,500—they actually lowered the per-car bar to “just” $1,308,500.

But before you start to feel sorry for the guy, even though he technically hasn't been earning anything for quite a while—considering the scarcity of major film or television gigs he's been in since he ended his eponymous show—consider this: According to the folks that keep track of this stuff, the dude is earning $400M—A YEAR—in syndication royalties alone.

So basically he's earning a blistering fortune doing nothing thanks to his having been on a show aboutnothing, which in turn lets him buy and sell whatever the hell he wants, be it Porsches, pickles or Pacific islands.

Not that there's anything wrong with that…

[Sorry. Couldn't help myself.]




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