Here’s How Seinfeld’s Porsches Stacked Up At The Amelia Island Auctions
Photography courtesy of Gooding & Company
What’s the deal with…Seinfeld selling 16 Porsches and two Volkswagens? The noted actor, comedian, and coffee advocate decided earlier this year to shrink his collection by about a quarter or so, and on Friday they went under the block at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island Auction. “Honestly, if I had unlimited time, space, and attention span I would never sell one of them,” Seinfeld said in an earlier press release released by Gooding.
Bidding for the comedian’s collection was expected to be especially spirited, with perhaps as much as $32 million combined realized from the sale of the 18 cars offered up, with many observers also looking to see if the Seinfeld provenance would add a certain intangible value or premium. So, how did things go?
A few of Seinfeld’s marquee Porsche’s underperformed or failed to sell, including a 1973 917/30 Porsche Can-Am Spyder which was thought to be the crown jewel of the cars offered. Estimated to sell for between $5,000,000–$7,000,000 by the auction house, the top bid fell short of the low estimate, and sold in a late sale for $3,000,000. A 2000 Porsche Carrera GT Prototype that the funnyman purchased directly from the Porsche factory similarly failed to get much traction, stalling with a $1,000,000 high bid against a $1,500,000–$2,250,000 estimate. Perhaps enthusiasm was tempered as this particular prototype was meant for static display only, and could not be used on the road. A 1959 Porsche 718 RSK mustered only $2,860,000 against a $3,800,000–$4,200,000, but went home with a new owner despite the sale price being well below low-estimate, and a 1963 Porsche 356B 2000 GS Carrera 2 Coupe could muster only $825,000 against $1,100,000–$1,400,000.
There were some brighter spots, though. Seinfeld’s exceptionally original 1955 550 Spyder sold for $5,335,000, well within the expected $5,000,000–$6,000,000 estimate range, while his 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR far outperformed expectations by making $2,310,000 against a $1,500,000 high estimate. Well done, with similar kudos to the Seinfeld family Volkswagen Camper, which the comedian said was used as his family’s mobile lemonade stand before being busted by Hamptons police last year. That sold for $99,000, towards the top estimate.
Seinfeld offered up some real, and spectacular cars at Amelia Island, and while the sale of his collection is a very solid performance by almost any metric, the end result may have fallen a little below the very high expectations. The results speak to the bidders managing to keep their wits about them, and with the auction dust now settled, they seemed to have paid mostly market correct prices for the cars, while not adding too much premium for the Seinfeld connection. The sale also comes at a time when the collector car market is undergoing some flux, with some volatility from the world economy. In the end, and to paraphrase George Constanza in a classic episode of Seinfeld’s eponymous television show, “there was shrinkage”.
Final sale prices, including auction fees, courtesy of Gooding & Company:
1955 Porsche 550 Spyder–$5,335,000
1957 Porsche 356A Speedster–$682,000
1958 Porsche 356A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster–$1,540,000
1958 Porsche 597 Jagdwagen–$330,000
1959 Porsche 718RSK–$2,860,000
1963 Porsche 356B 2000 GS Carrera 2 Coupe–$650,000
1966 Porsche 911–$275,000
1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder–$3,000,000
1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR–$2,310,000
1989 Porsche 911 Speedster–$363,000
1990 Porsche 962C–$1,650,000
1994 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6 S Flachbau–$1,017,500
1997 Porsche 993 3.8 Cup RSR–$935,000
2000 Porsche Carrera GT Prototype–NO SALE
2011 Porsche 997 Speedster–$440,000
2012 Porsche 997 GT3 4.0 Cup “Brumos Commemorative Edition”–$462,000
1960 Volkswagen Beetle–$121,000
1964 Volkswagen Camper – $99,000