It’s no secret Jerry Seinfeld has a big car collection. (“How big is it?”) Big enough that he occasionally calls up auction houses to sell off his superfluous sports cars. But at least one shopper isn’t satisfied.
The buyer, listed as Fica Frio Ltd., is suing Seinfeld for allegedly auctioning off a fake Porsche … for $1.54 million.
The car in question is a 1958 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster, which was sold in March 2016 at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction. Now, two years later, the buyer is alleging not only that “the authentication of the vehicle was bogus,” but that “Jerry intentionally misrepresented the authenticity of the whip,” as reported by TMZ, where the story broke. The listing, which is still live, touts the ‘58 Porsche as “one of approximately 56 GS/GT Carrera Speedsters built with alloy panels.”
A couple red flags pop up immediately. This was not the only car Seinfeld put up for auction that day. A total of 16 Porsches (as well as a 1964 Volkswagen Camper and 1960 Beetle) were auctioned off under the banner of “The Jerry Seinfeld Collection,” and no faceless lawsuits have arisen from those (though, admittedly, not all were as rare). Secondly, this story broke on TMZ, which potentially means the people suing Seinfeld are trying to leverage the negative press to coerce Seinfeld into shelling out.
Jalopnik’s Porsche restoration expert makes a couple other important points:
- The respected shop European Collectibles completed an “award-winning restoration” on the Porsche before the auction.
- The vehicle was accompanied by “a copy of the Porsche certificate of authenticity, a copy of the original Kardex build-card for the car, and more documentation.”
- “According to the tome dedicated to the subject of Porsche Carrera 4-cam engines, Carrera by Rolf Sprenger and Steve Heinrichs, the engine was originally delivered in chassis 84912 before being transferred to the auctioned car, chassis 84908. Things like this happened all the time in racing, as it’s possible the original chassis was destroyed and the racer simply purchased another one and kept racing with their known quantity engine.”
All this, plus the fact that an esteemed auction house like Gooding & Company wouldn’t risk its reputation on a counterfeit vehicle, make this whole lawsuit smell fishy. But Fica Frio must believe they have a good case, because they’re suing not only for their money back, but for punitive damages as well.
In an update, Seinfeld’s attorney Orin Snyder told TMZ, “He has asked Fica Frio for evidence to substantiate the allegations. Fica Frio ignored Jerry and instead filed this frivolous lawsuit … 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."
Image via Gooding & Company