This 1958 Porsche 356 is Jerry Seinfeld’s favourite.
Jerry Seinfeld is a legendary comedian, famous for the cult-classic, and self-titled show, Seinfeld. There were no cars ever memorably featured in the show, but cars nonetheless, are an everyday part of Jerry’s life as he owns over 150 of them, where he stores them in a $1.6 garage.
It might be safe to say that the comedian is as enamoured with Porsche as he is with jokes. At the height of his collection before he sold a few of them, Jerry owned 46 Porsche’s and owns some of the rarest cars in the world. In 2016, he sold 22 different Porsches for over $22 million. The most valued one, a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, sold for $5.3 million. His favourite though, is the 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster, a classic in car loving circles.
“I just thought it was very pretty and interesting looking. If there was any car in the world to drive, it would be this one. James Dean had one, Steve McQueen raced one. It was the cheapest car you could get and win a race.”
What is it about that particular Porsche that he likes? “I just thought it was very pretty and interesting looking. If there was any car in the world to drive, it would be this one. James Dean had one, Steve McQueen raced one. It was the cheapest car you could get and win a race.”
The 356 had quite the cult-following and celebrity. The car played a big role in putting Porsche on the map in America as it became popular with drivers in Hollywood. The 356 is, as Jerry said, a car about minimalism. The overall design is clean and straight to the point as the profile exudes simplicity. When asked about the 356, “There aren’t any stupid and unnecessary lines on the car that don’t make any sense”. Even the interior reflects that, with it’s modest cabin area. The bucket seats are the same colour as the cabin and there aren’t any special or interesting stitching.
The whole interior is rather cheap looking in honesty and comparison to newer cars, but it is 60 year old. Nonetheless, the 356 was a wildly popular car for its looks, comfort and drive. “This is the essence of sports car perfection”, were the word’s of Seinfeld, describing his favourite car.
In addition to it’s charming looks, the driving was central to the ’58’ Speedster experience. The handling was light and sharp. The driver felt in true control as the Speedster turns with obedience. In Jerry Seinfeld’s hit Netflix show, Comedians in cars, he points to how the Speedsters ability can make you feel. “This car just knows how to put you in the mood for driving”. The Speedster was 60 horsepower and featured a 1.6 litre flat-four engine, not power to thrill you but that was not the 356’s intention. This car, in it’s day, was the ultimate cruiser, perfect for a Sunday drive down country roads.
In todays market, like many old classic’s, the ’58’ Speedster can fetch up some serous cash. Jerry Seinfeld sold one of 56 Speedsters made with alloy panels for an incredible $1.5 million. Amazingly, the buyer later sued Seinfeld for allegedly selling him a fake model, which was later settled out of court. This was clearly supposed to be a special car but most ’58’ Speedsters will sell up to $400,000.
The 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster is a true car classic and its easy to see why Jerry is so drawn to this model. The car embodies the intention of great car driving, an experience that Seinfeld says, “puts you in a good mood”. The 356 does that and it doesn’t need the thrill and speed like other cars do, it does it with its Porsche like nature of simplicity and minimalism.