Comedian Jerry Seinfeld's love affair with German cars is no secret.
He's frequently seen driving the streets of New York and Los Angeles in a variety of classic Volkswagens -- a 1952 Beetle, 1962 Pickup and 1963 Karmann Ghia, for example -- as well as Porsches of all vintages.
The Stuttgart-based automaker whose legendary cult status has skyrocketed in recent years as consumers gravitate toward the brand is famously Seinfeld's automotive paramour.
Quality over quantity
From Porsche posters on his apartment wall in "Seinfeld" to public declarations of besottedness, Jerry Seinfeld is to Porsche even more than Steve McQueen was to Triumph.
The humorist who made his living making America laugh at "a show about nothing" is perhaps the marque's most prominent non-professional ambassador.
Not surprisingly, Seinfeld has accumulated one of the best private Porsche collections in the world. The exact number of cars has never been publicly disclosed, but rumors estimate he could own as many as 50 Porsches.
While that number may not seem large in comparison to other prominent car collectors whose inventories number in the hundreds, it's quality and not quantity that been Seinfeld's emphasis.
A surprising move
What is surprising, however, is that Seinfeld is selling 16 of his Porsches at auction next month in Florida.
Comprising some very important models, they range from an extremely rare 1955 550 Spyder (the model in which James Dean infamously met his demise) and iconic 1957 356A Speedster, to the racetrack-only 1973 917 Can-Am Spyder, and 1990 962C single-seat racers.
With just about every legendary model-range of Porsche represented within these 16 select consignments (think Carrera, Speedster, RSK, RSR, GT, GT3 and more), what may be the most unique is the 1958 597 Jagdwagen.
Roughly translated as the "hunting car," this light military vehicle is both four-wheel drive and amphibious. Although definitely soldierly, the small, roughshod convertible is truly a go-anywhere vehicle with tons of character. And with only 15 examples known to exist, it's also extremely rare.
While no specific reason has been given as to why Seinfeld is selling what is purported to be nearly a third of his collection, the entertainer admits in a statement that his time, space and attention span are limited and that he's selling them at auction so he can "see the look of excitement on the faces of the next owners who I know will be out of their minds with joy that they're going to get to experience them."
The recent rise in popularity of the Porsche brand has caused values to follow suit, and with the celebrity status of Seinfeld attached to these already significant cars -- some of which are considered the best examples in existence, hopeful bidders can expect interest and therefore prices to be very strong.
The price of rarity
With the least expensive Porsche from the Seinfeld collection -- a 1966 911 -- valued at an estimated $200,000--$300,000, to the most expensive -- the 1973 917/30 -- priced between $5-million--7-million, the opportunity to own a Seinfeld Porsche is extended to only a small group of well-off buyers.
At a estimated combined value of more than $32 million, these 16 motorcars represent what is to many the pinnacle of automotive design as well as the passion and serious devotion of one very funny man.
The Jerry Seinfeld Collection of Porsches will be offered at Gooding & Company's Amelia Island Auction scheduled for Friday, March 11th at the Amelia Island Plantation, Florida