Noted car enthusiast Jerry Seinfeld is being sued over an allegedly fake Porsche 356. Seinfeld’s 1958 Porsche 356A 1500 GS/GT Carerra Speedster was sold at Amielia Island Auction in 2016. The company that bought it, Fica Frio Limited has filed a law suit against him claiming the car is not authentic.
In early 2016, Jerry Seinfeld decided to put three cars from his extensive car collection up for auction. One of those models was a 1958 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster, and it is kind of a big deal. The car you’re looking at in the pictures is Chassis No. 84908 with Coachwork done by Reutter.
It was a late production model and was one of just 151 examples built. Making it even rarer, is that it is one of only 13 Speedsters – and the only Carrera Speedster – to be finished in Auratium Green. This example was restored to its original specifications and, in turn, has won itself a few Concours wins including the Best in Class honors at the Quail Motorsports Gathering and the Annual 356 Club Dana Point Concours d’Elegance.
If legitimate, this is the purest of purist’s Porsche 356s, authentically restored. The 356 was the first factory production Porsche. The rough idea was to make a Beetle lighter and more powerful. The 356A was a more refined version that debuted in 1956. The Speedster, available from 1954 to 1958, is a pared down, open top, racier version coveted by collectors. The Carrera includes the four-cam engine Porsche used for racing.
There were 151 Carerra Speedsters built. Of those, 56 had the GS/GT trim with lightweight aluminium panels. This is also the only Carrera Speedster from the factory in Auratium Green. That rarity is why this one sold for $1.54 million while Seinfeld’s 1957 356 A Speedster ($687,000) and the 1963 B 2000 GS Carerra 2 ($825,000) sold for less. That $1.54 million was below the pre-auction estimate of $2-$2.5 million.
Keep that emphasis on “if legitimate.” This car was bought from the Porsche factory. Following that, the provenance is basically non-existent. It ended up in the U.S. somehow at some point. A California company called European Collectibles purchased the car unrestored from a broker representing an anonymous seller. Here is a description of that transaction from the car’s history file.
“Unfortunately we do not have a lot of information on the 1958 Porsche 356 A 1500 Carrera GT Speedster VIN 84908. We purchased the car from a broker who would not take me to the cars original location to meet the family that owned it originally. I tried very hard to find out more but never could.”
This particular 356 A went under the hammer at the 2016 Amelia Island $1,54 million, making it one of the most expensive 356s in history. Keep reading to find out more about it.
When trying to authenticate the car for resale, the near absent historical record and the “lack of photographical evidence” of the restoration drew scrutiny from Fica Frio’s Porsche expert. Per the lawsuit, “subsequent inspection and investigation revealed that the vehicle is not authentic.” They did not expound on that assessment.
The lawsuit also claims Seinfeld offered to rescind the sale and refund the money in a voicemail before coming to reason and requesting an independent assessment of the authenticity claim. Hence the lawsuit.