The ex-Jerry Seinfeld
1957 PORSCHE 356A SPEEDSTER
Chassis No. 84115
Engine No. 676754
Light blue with red leather interior
Engine: horizontally opposed, overhead-valve, four cylinder, air cooled, twin Zenith carburetors, 1,582cc., 60bhp at 4,500rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: independent front and rear; Brakes: four wheel drums. Left hand drive.
When the Porsche 356A was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the Autumn of 1955, the motoring press responded to it with a positive and strong reaction. In a 1955 article on the sporty new cars published in Autocar the writers raved, ...to drive a Porsche is to experience a new form of motoring, so refreshingly different is it from the usual run of vehicles. The reaction was consistent across the board and the little cars gained themselves a loyal crowd of their own. Over the course of the next several years Porsche altered the body designs only minimally and rather than implement drastic body changes, they offered a variety of powerplant choices instead. Additionally, minor styling improvements like the one-piece windshield and deluxe wheel caps were also adopted and smoothed the car's overall look. The braking and suspension systems were also improved and gave the car a much smoother ride. The Speedster had Reutter built bodywork that was wind-cheating and aerodynamic. It featured a short chrome-brass windscreen, spartan interior and a range of engine options.
This stunning Speedster has an intriguing provenance. For many years the car was owned by a gentleman in Southern California. The Speedster was well cared for, suffered no accident damage and also avoided any rust owing to the fine California weather. During this long period of ownership the car was well known to the 356 specialists and restorers Don and Gary Emory of Costa Mesa. Eventually after many years of trying Gary was able to buy the Speedster. In the early 1990s this vehicle underwent a full nut and bolt restoration under the supervision of Don Emory. The car was stripped to bare metal and the entire chassis, mechanics, electrics and upholstery and trim were attended to using mostly New Old Stock parts rather than reproduction parts. The Speedster was completed to full concours standards but was not used.
By 1994 Don Emory was in the process of moving his business out of state and fully intended to take his prized Porsche with him. Owing to a last minute hiccup with the move, finances suddenly became very tight and Don quickly sold the car to a friend in Seattle. In the Summer of 1995, Porsche enthusiast and well known actor/comedian Jerry Seinfeld was able to add this beautiful car to his growing stable of collectible Porsches.
Mr. Seinfeld very much likes to drive his cars and ensure they are fully sorted and in perfect running condition. Having been a show car it was soon discovered that there were a number of areas that needed attending to. This work was carried out under the supervison of Mr. Sam Cabiglio, himself a Porsche expert and long time curator of Mr. Seinfeld's Porsche collection. Items requiring work included the brakes, front spindles, minor oil leaks, rear wheel cylinder, horn relay, accelerator linkage, New Old Stock door cylinder locks, fixing the canceling of the turn signal indicator and some attention to the gearbox. To enhance the appearance, Speedster grilles were fitted to the headlamps and European tail lights were also sourced. Since this work was completed the car has been driven 1,522 miles, being used at least every other week.
While some road miles have been covered, this Speedster would still challenge strongly in Porsche and other Concours d'Elegance events. Rare features include the factory option of Rudge knock-off wheels and a period Nardi wooden steering wheel. It is worth noting that to professionally restore a Speedster to this standard today can easily cost in the region of $60,000-80,000. A set of original Rudge knock-off wheels alone can cost up to $20,000.
Jerry Seinfeld sold this beautiful light blue Speedster this past January to the current owner. This is a really exceptional example of a 356A Speedster and would be a welcome addition to any car collection.