Jerry Seinfeld Is the World’s Best “Previous Owner”

If you’ve got the cash, buy one of Jerry Seinfeld’s million-dollar vintage Porsches. Because, really, who’s going to have taken better care of a vintage Porsche than the world’s foremost Porschephile, who tends to his shining flock with a care that only an $800 million fortune can furnish? Who better from whom to buy an investment-grade German sportscar than the man with feathered hair and a Porsche 959 and a Porsche 918 Spyder and a “Gmund” Porsche 356, made in the original factory where they hammered the body panels out by hand? This man, it seems, would rather kiss Newman than let any harm befall any Porsche in his famous collection, housed in an anonymous warehouse on 83rd street.

Jerry Seinfeld has consigned several of his cars to Gooding and Co. for what is sure to be a monumental auction for fans of the brand. The cars will go up at Amelia Island on March 11 and are estimated to fetch around $10 million total. The lead asset, so to speak, is an ultra-rare 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, valued at around $6 million; the others, a 1958 Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster and a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR, are worth well over $1 million each.

In a statement, Jerry Seinfeld wrote, “I've never bought a car as an investment. I don't really even think of myself as a collector. I just love cars. And I still love these cars. But it's time to send some of them back into the world for someone else to enjoy.” That reads 75% true to us—no one with such an interest in and eye on the market purchases without some heed to value—though regardless, it’s honorable for Jerry to allow another millionaire to sample some of Porsche’s greatest hits. What does seven figures buy? The assurance that your ostensible “used car” is in better condition than that in which it left the factory. And probably a couple hairs from the famous Seinfeld coif in the upholstery.

<em>(Estimate: $5,000,000-$6,000,000)</em>rChassis 550-0060rCoachwork by Wendler <em>(Estimate: $2,000,000-$2,500,000)</em>rChassis 84908rCoachwork by Reutter <em>(Estimate: $1,200,000-$1,500,000)</em>rChassis 911 460 0016

The Complex Meaning of Craigslist Ads

Craigslist is about the most interesting website on the Internet. Like the local classifieds that preceded it, the site is a (sometimes gross) soup of human emotion: Missed connections, sentimental goodbyes to used chiffarobes, notices about lost pets, raunchy-but-heartfelt requests in the “personals” section. For every uncaptioned photo of a Vitamix among the Craiglist’s 80 million classified ads are two posts that allow a little insight into the soul of the writer.

Of course, some of the best posts come under the “Cars and Trucks” section, and why wouldn’t they? Cars are beloved family members, or projects, or relationship ruiners. Cars are sold to make rent, or given away at firesale prices just to clean out a garage. Many a project is abandoned once the owner uncovers the full scope the troubles. It’s right there, at the intersection of commerce, hopelessness and car fandom, that the best stuff emerges. Here are some of the best entries from the annals of Craiglist, our classifieds section and national personal diary.

Marital Strife - 1961 Chevy Biscayne

What first appears as an ad for a beat-to-heck 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne is actually the portrait of a marriage—a contentious one. Often, a seller will lead with the reason he’s forced to sell a beloved auto. This partner in marriage leads with: My wife is a Bitch making me get rid of my car!!!!! And then, in the classic sit-com one-two of Exasperated, Smart Wife dealing with Idiot Husband, comes the stunning line: my husband is stupid I post his ads.

Man of Few Words - “1988/$1000”

Anyone searching for a used car near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, will find this ad, for “1988/$1000.” A 1988 Elect Dukakis pin? A 1988 Yamaha Snowblower? The body copy reveals that the item for sale is a “truck.” Informationally, out of the frying pan and into the saucepan. Brevity is the soul of wit, but the death of a helpful Craigslist ad. This fellow is too reticent for the medium.

Helpful Man of Few Words - 1967 Mack Tri-Axle

In a similar vein is this ad for a Mack Dumptruck. The copy reads: Mack tri-axle, 6 cylinder diesel, standard, runs good, has some rust. Several quality pictures follow. While almost as laconic as the man selling the “1988,” this seller puts his few words to good use. Everything a prospective buyer needs to know is outlined in eleven words. Presumably, a man whose rhetoric is so sturdy and unornamented is exactly the kind from which to buy dumptrucks.

Immaculate! - 1983 Rolls-Royce

Vintage Rolls-Royces are famously well-built—solid, quiet, heavy—and infamously prone to electronic and hydraulic failures. Many cars that sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Eighties and Nineties now trade hands for Corolla money because of the high costs of maintenance and repair. This 1983 Rolls Silver Spur certainly looks “Immaculate!,” but any wise buyer would require much more information, and a tome of maintenance records, before taking the ghostly plunge. “Immaculate!” is all the verbiage we get. The concision, diction and location (Danbury, Connecticut) speak to a young scion selling dad’s beloved saloon. Listen here, Chadwick: Craigslist is a proletarian space, so give us the details we need. Money is an object.

Shout It Out - 1965 Barracuda

The pictures point to this ‘65 ‘Cuda being in pristine condition and the color, a limey yellow, is good fun. However, seventeen lines of ALL CAPS DESCRIPTION OF RUST BUBBLES AND CAR SHOWS AND PAINT JOBS makes a self-described “old vet” seem more like a crazy old man. You know what really draws attention and underscores details? Punctuation and white space.

Draggin’ Wagon - Hemi Flyer

The copy here has a regular voice and even-handed, helpful tone, but any person selling a V-8-powered children’s red wagon has to be insane in a deep, incurable way

Definitely Niche, Not Quite Nice - 1983 Chevy Malibu Wagon

As with any hobby, the automotive world has tribes. Mustang-, Camaro- and Miata-lovers are some of the bigger groups, but fandom goes all the way down the ladder. Pick what you might deem the world’s worst or least interesting car, and then marvel at its owner’s forum and fan club. Adore your ‘91 Chevy Cavalier? The J-Body owner’s club welcomes you. The seller of this ‘83 Malibu Station wagon is obviously head over heels. The rear window vents, he says, came only on ‘83 wagons. This is the last year, he notes, the Malibu came with rear-drive architecture. Then, he names this jalopy a “classic.” Who are we to yuck a yum? Here’s the obsessive love of every car.

Wagon With a Trunk Full of Heartbreak - 1993 Mercedes 300TE

Sometimes, an otherwise bone-dry Craigslist ad will reveal its author’s heart in the last line. After listing the problems with his 1992 Mercedes 300TE wagon—many due to a negligent former owner—the he ends with a simple request: Will consider trades for Vermont-inspected vehicle with no major mechanical issues. Somebody thought he could rescue an aging German car, fix ‘er up quick and love ‘er indefinitely. Looks like it was harder than that. No cars with major mechanical issues please, and no more heartache.