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The Good Oil: Has Seinfeld reached ‘peak Porsche’?
Fulltime Porsche collector and some-time funnyman Jerry Seinfeld has surprised Porsche-ists around the world by readying a large swathe of his mouth-watering car collection for auction.
The selection of Porsches up for grabs is astonishing and includes history-rich marvels such as a 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder, a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera IROC RSR, 2000 Porsche Carrera GT Prototype, 1963 Porsche 356 B 2000 GS Carrera 2 Coupe.
The list goes on and on, and would probably only be comprehended in full by Porsche fanatics.
More than 15 vehicles are up for grabs, most exhibiting a rare quality, whether it be race pedigree or “best of its kind”.
A couple of Volkswagens make up the numbers too: a 1960 Beetle and a 64 Kombi camper.
The cars will be auctioned at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island classic car auction in Florida on March 11.
Resisting the opportunity to quip about owning a car that “Jerry Seinfeld once owned” (Seinfeld fans will remember one amusing narrative thread in which Jason Alexander’s character George Costanza was enamoured with a particularly boring Chrysler Le Baron he believed was once owned by the actor Jon Voight), the comedian said in a press release that each one of the cars up for sale is “a pinnacle of mechanical culture to me”.
“Many are the best examples that exist in the world.
“I've loved being entrusted with their care, and I'm proud of the level to which we have brought each and every one of these wonderful machines.
“Honestly, if I had unlimited time, space and attention span I would never sell one of them,” he said.
So why is he selling?
The Good Oil wonders if all that time spent in other classic cars while making his brilliant web series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (which sees him in all manner of old machinery, from a Corvette Stingray and Lamborghini Muira to oddball models like the Citroen 2CV) has seen him cast his collecting net wider than the output of the famous Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart.
‘Most expensive ever’ bragging rights
If you’ve ever walked away from a car auction with a pocket full of notes and a smug smile on your face (“Finally that Rover 80 is someone else’s problem! What was I ever thinking?”), the results of a recent classic car auction in Paris might burst your balloon somewhat.
Although your latex ball of helium and halitosis might not necessarily be the only one going pop, judging by the controversy that has arisen in the wake of the hammer going down.
Last week, a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti (that’s Italian for “extremely important racing car”) sold at French auction house Artcurial’s automobile auction for €32.075 million ($54.4 million). Which is almost enough to buy a garage in Freemans Bay to store it in.
But, despite Artcurial having crowed about this amazing record-breaking sale across every available media platform, it would appear changes in currency values mean another car – another Ferrari in fact – is vying with the 335 Sport Scaglietti for the “most expensive ever” tag. Artcurial listed the winning bid on the 1957 Ferrari in euros, although CNBC quickly pointed out that the value of the US dollar has gone up in comparison with the euro since the car sold.
When converted to US dollars, the Ferrari 335 sold for $35.7 million. That’s actually slightly less than a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta sold for in 2014, which someone took home after forking out US$38.1 million.
But then again, when it sold, that 250 GTO auction price of US$38.1 million only equated to €28.5 million. Hmm.
Tow-may-tow, tow-mar-tow; it’s still an eye-wateringly expensive car, so we’ll wait and see what bragging rights the wealthy owners of each machine attribute to their respective Fezzas. And in which currency.
Incidentally, the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti was driven by Sir Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn, was fielded in a Le Mans endurance race and won the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix (because there was such a thing back then).
Musk cancels Tesla customer order
If you’re after the latest must have motor for your collection, or even your ordinary suburban garage, here’s a lesson in why you shouldn’t throw your weight around with the manufacturer. Especially if the manufacturer is controlled by a James Bond villain-esque maverick.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk (below) has just cancelled a customer order for the carmaker’s highly anticipated Model X SUV, after the would-be owner harangued Musk on social media when the Tesla wunderkind showed up late to the car’s launch party.
High-flying venture capitalist Stewart Alsop was miffed that Musk left his audience waiting for two hours before taking to the stage to throw air punches and shout marketing-approved slogans at them.
Alsop took to medium.com afterwards to publically admonish Musk, writing, “It probably won’t matter that you screwed up this event completely. It would still be nice if you showed some class and apologized [sic] to the people who believe in this product.”
Musk’s response? He personally — and wordlessly — cancelled Alsop’s Model X order. Possibly while listening to The Boss by James Brown on his office hi-fi.
This amusing, if somewhat petty, move naturally got Alsop back on social media fuming about his treatment.