What's the Deal With Jerry Seinfeld Being Accused of Selling Fake Porsches?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
whats the deal with jerry seinfeld being accused of selling fake porsches

In addition to being one of America’s most-famous comedians, Jerry Seinfeld also happens to be a car snob of the highest order. His collection of vintage automobiles is so vast that he got the itch to sell a large portion a few years ago. As his fleet is already heavy with Porsches, his favorite brand, Seinfeld worked with Gooding & Company to get over a dozen under the gavel and make room for newcomers. Among these was an extremely rare 1958 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster. It sold in 2016 and, yada yada yada, eventually resulted in a big lawsuit.

Estimated to move at over $2 million, the model went for $1.54 million to Fica Frio Ltd. with the suit surfacing just a few days ago. According to details outlined in the lawsuit, it was brought to the United Kingdom after being purchased. Then, in March of 2017, Fica Frio asked Lee Maxted-Page, the Managing Director of Maxted-Page Limited (which knows its Porsches), to evaluate and prep the vehicle for resale. However, the appraiser expressed concerns that the Porsche might not be authentic.

From there, Fica Frio began talks with Gooding between February and April 2018 and eventually got into contact with Mr. Seinfeld. The lawsuit claims the comedian agreed (via voicemail) to return to Fica Frio the purchase price of the rare Porsche, plus all costs incurred, in exchange for Fica Frio returning the vehicle. Apparently, that deal never went down and a lawsuit was filed on February 2nd, 2019.

The plaintiff’s legal representation, Brown Rudnick LLP, are now seeking a full reimbursement of sale and “damages for the losses it has suffered in connection with the purchase.”

While the suit hinges on Maxted-Page’s expert assessment, it spends quite a bit of time dwelling on Seinfeld’s personal appearance at the auction and light accusations that the sale was an elaborate hoax. However, deciding if that’s accurate will be a tall order.

European Collectibles, the company that undertook the Speedster’s restoration, seems beyond reputable. The Better Business Bureau saw fit to give them an A rating and most customer reviews appear to be glowingly positive. The company also specializes in restoring European sports cars, with an emphasis on Porsche, and refuses to agree to the consignment of any car without a clean title — branded, rebuilt or salvage title vehicles are not accepted, according to the website.

Meanwhile, Gooding & Company requests that all sellers have their vehicles appropriately appraised by an expert and encourages as much authentication as possible. The auction description of the Seinfeld GS/GT, which is still available on on Gooding & Co’s website, indicates that the vehicle was accompanied by a Porsche Kardex and a certificate of authenticity from the manufacturer, in addition a tool roll and some model-specific reading material. Sadly, this did not include a coffee table book about coffee tables.

It seems like a pretty tight ship but we suppose that it’s possible the Porsche was phony. In addition to subsequent expert examinations, one of Fica Frio’s biggest complains revolved on a lack of photographic evidence of the Carrera’s restoration work and an inability to acquire much information form the person who sold the car to Mr. Seinfeld. Furthermore, the engine doesn’t match the chassis. While not abnormal for vintage sports cars produced in extremely limited numbers, that could indicate it was raced early in its life — a likely scenario, which makes pinning down its full history that much harder.

“Jerry has been working in good faith to get to the bottom of this matter. He has asked Fica Frio for evidence to substantiate the allegations. Fica Frio ignored Jerry and instead filed this frivolous lawsuit,” Seinfeld’s lawyers said in a statement to TMZ this weekend. “Jerry consigned the car to Gooding and Company, an auction house, which is responsible for the sale. Nevertheless, Jerry is willing to do what’s right and fair, and we are confident the court will support the need for an outside evaluator to examine the provenance of the car.”

Considering our continued use of Seinfeld references, it’s probably unwise for us to weigh in on the matter. But we’re under the assumption that the car is just too rare to accurately authenticate 100 percent of the time. Someone probably made a mistake and we’re keen to find out which party messed up.

[Images: Gooding & Company]

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2 of 47 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Feb 04, 2019

    Holy crap, it's a four-cam car. And that mirror on the fender, I've seen that on some other 356, but I can't remember where, whether it was in the Hemmings Daily blog, or on Chasing Classic Cars. It was a mirror that some celebrity original owner liked and wanted, back in the day. If Porsche and the restorer signed off on it, then it's probably genuine. And a four-cam car (Hirth roller bearing crank) with a non-original engine isn't exactly unheard-of. And more digging might dig up a racing history.

  • Walleyeman57 Walleyeman57 on Feb 04, 2019

    I hear the car had a horrible BO smell that could not be expunged. BBO if you will.

  • ScarecrowRepair Most drivers in city traffic pass thousands of cars every day. We don't notice the many who drive sanely, only the few screwups. How many times a year are we the screwup? Call it 5 times. That means that 1 out of 73 drivers on the road are going to screw up sometime today. I'd say that comes to seeing one screwup a day, and we sure do remember them.
  • Arthur Dailey This car is also in my all time favourite colour combination for 1970s' Town Cars. The black exterior with the deep red (burgundy) interior. Even took my driving test in one. The minute that the driving examiner saw the car I knew that I had passed. He got in and let out a long sigh and started asking about the car. My Old Man always had a Town Car in that black/burgundy colour combination for 'business meetings' that required the use of a back seat for passengers. No way that his full sized associates could fit in the back of a Mark IV or V. So I also have quite a bit of driving time behind the wheel of Town Cars. Just add in the 450 cid engine and the 'optional' continetal hump and I would love to have one of these in my driveway.
  • Art Vandelay 15k for some old rusty 80s junk that is slower to 60 than the Exxon Valdez? Pass. Plus no TikTok on the old Mercedes
  • JMII I know people behind me get POed when I refuse to turn (right or left) depending on traffic. Even my wife will scream "just go already" but I tend err on the side of waiting for a gap that gives me some cushion. It's the better safe then sorry approach which can be annoying for those behind. Oh well.
  • Bobbysirhan Next thing you know, EV drivers will be missing the freedom to travel on their own schedules instead of their cars'.