UNITED STATES—Jay Leno. Tim Allen. Jerry Seinfeld. What do they all have in common. They’re comedians? Well, yes, but they also have, some would say, an unhealthy obsession with cars. But that’s not uncommon, is it? Lots of people are into cars. There are competitive sports devoted to America’s love affair with the automobile. One form of motorsport was even inspired by criminal activity.
We wouldn’t have NASCAR without the best efforts of organized crime to circumvent Depression era prohibition laws. Bootleggers and, later, Moonshiners can be thought of as the predecessors of Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, and Rusty Wallace. So why, then, should three famous comedians be singled out? Well, most car fanatics would have a few select dream cars parked in their garages, finances permitting. However, Leno, Allen, and Seinfeld have amassed collections of cars that would put most automotive museums to shame.
Leno’s collection rivals the most elite automotive museums. To say that Leno is a car fanatic would be an insult. He is THE car fanatic. His collection consists of vehicles that would suggest Leno is just looking for “things” in which he can dump the heavy loads of Tonight Show cash from his pockets. He has steam powered cars, a car powered by the engine of a WWII fighter plane, a car powered by the engine out of a Patton Tank, more than one car powered by a jet turbine engine, eccentric Eastern Bloc cars, and the usual assortment of exotics and classics. He has so many cars, he requires the services of a dedicated team of curators and mechanics to attend the warehouse he calls a garage.
Allen’s focus is on classic American muscle cars and while his collection is far less publicized than Leno’s, it features some impressive pieces and some interesting one-offs. The most interesting facet of Allen’s collection, however, is that he now owns full-size versions of all the cars he once owned in “Matchbox” size as a kid. Fans of Home Improvement will be happy to know that Allen eventually finished the hot rod often featured on the show and still owns it to this day.
Seinfeld’s obsession focusses on one particular make and model: The Porsche 911. How many does he own? Well, actually, he recently sold most of his collection for over $22 million. The top earners included a 1955 550 Spyder that pulled in over $5 million, a 917/30 Can-Am that broke $3 million, a 718 RSK that reached over $2.8 million, and 12 others that only die-hard Porsche fans would care to read about. The only one that didn’t sell was Seinfeld’s 2000 Carrera GT Prototype. I guess that’s a great one with which to start the next collection. The question is, which desirable models has Seinfeld not yet checked off his bucket list?
Sure, to the average reader, the idea that anyone would spend millions on a basic form of transportation, is pure lunacy. To many car fanatics, the only thing preventing fanaticism from becoming obsession is the limit of your pocketbook.