Jerry Seinfeld Sues California Car Dealer Over Allegedly Fake Porsche
Jerry Seinfeld is suing the company that sold him an ultra-rare 1958 Porsche 356 A 1500 Carrera after an earlier suit brought its authenticity into question. The comedian sold the car in 2016 for $1.5 million via a Gooding & Company auction only to see the buyer, Fica Frio Limited, claim it was fake.
(Jerry, just remember — it’s not a lie if you believe it.)
Seinfeld is now seeking unspecified damages in a Manhattan federal court from European Collectibles of Costa Mesa, California. However, the suit’s primary mission isn’t about hunting for a payday — Seinfeld appears more interested in clearing his name and forcing the dealership into settling things with Fria Fico directly.
According to the Associated Press, the document states that Seinfeld doesn’t actually know whether or not the Porsche is legitimate, but it places the onus on the dealer. “Mr. Steinfeld [sic], who is a very successful comedian, does not need to supplement his income by building and selling counterfeit sports cars,” the document reads.
With the exception of the spelling of Jerry’s name, that’s likely accurate. Seinfeld is just barely on the wrong side of being a billionaire thanks to having one of the most popular syndicated television shows of all time. He’s also bought and sold Porsches for years to enhance his incredibly robust vintage car collection, with nary a bad word against him.
“Jerry has no liability in this matter, but he wants to do the right thing, and is therefore bringing this action to hold European Collectibles accountable for its own certification of authenticity, and to allow the court to determine the just outcome,” said Seinfeld’s lawyer, Orin Snyder.
According to the lawsuit, Seinfeld purchased the car from European Collectibles for $1.2 million in February 2013, believing the credentials provided by the dealer to be genuine. While that still may be the case, the fact remains that its current owner — and at least one reputable Porsche expert (Maxted-Page) — think it’s phony.
Someone clearly screwed up. While European Collectibles seems above board, and the car managed to pass muster with Gooding & Company, the certification documents included in the sale have become suspect. In fact, the new lawsuit claims European Collectibles previously sold a restored Porsche that was later alleged by a disgruntled collector to be inauthentic. Another mistake, or something more sinister?
We’ve no clue, but one of the suit’s stated goals is to “reveal the extent to which European Collectibles deploys fraudulent practices in connection with its restoration and sale of classic cars.” It will probably be some time before the matter is settled. Getting to the truth of a matter is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push. You gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.
[Images: Gooding & Company]
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I would really love to know the specifics on why this car is not authentic. Or at least why they think it's not authentic.
Some time ago I bought a Gremlin in "NEW CONDITION" with less than 20K miles. Later my friends laughed at me saying, "How much did you have to drink and how dark was it when you handed over the money for that?". Turns out it was a Pacer, worth very little compared to a Gremlin.