According to a recent post on Instagram, renowned Porsche collector and comedian Jerry Seinfeld has recently picked up a new air-cooled and turbocharged toy. This bright orange 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo RSR is one of just 31 ever built, and represents the transition period for Porsche between the naturally-aspirated 911 RSR and the 934. The photo posted two days ago shows the car as it was, fresh-off-the-boat from Europe to Canepa Motorsports in Scotts Valley, California. Seinfeld, who lives in New York, presumably flew out to California just to meet his new baby.
We've reached out to some of the folks intimately familiar with this new addition to Mr. Seinfeld's garage, and we've been thus far unable to confirm exactly which chassis it is. We were initially led to believe this to be from the collection of the late Matt Drendel. Recently this has become a bit shrouded, with one source claiming it is, and another saying the opposite. As it stands currently, there are at least two chassis Seinfeld's car could be.
This RSR once belonged to the Matt Drendel Porsche collection, and was auctioned off during Gooding & Co's Amelia Island sale back in 2012. This is a Porsche that has been entered in, and victorious at, some of the most competitive and historic races in the world. Delivered to Sepp Greger in late 1975, this 911 made its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona before being shipped back to Europe where Leo Kinnunen and Egon Evertz campaigned the RSR with a 935-style rear wing for the remainder of 1976. The Porsche wouldn't find major success until 1980 when it was entered in a number of races with Texaco backing and Autofarm Racing support for Richard Cleare and Tony Dron. That year, this 911 RSR won its class in the Silverstone 6 hour race and the 1000km race at Dijon. In 1982, the pair teamed with Richard Jones to place 13th overall and win the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le mans. The car was already 8 seasons old, but finished out its career with a 1000km win at Brands Hatch later that same year. The 2012 auction saw the Porsche sell to Europe for a mega $891,000 sum.
That same year, in Monaco, RM Sotheby's sold a similar Turbo RSR for the princely sum of $556,730. This one came without the Le Mans-winning provenance, though it is said to be the most original example remaining. Through the course of racing, many of its Turbo RSR siblings were converted to 935 specification, or crashed and repaired, or fitted with endurance racing fuel tanks. This one is an original unrestored piece with only 16,133 original kilometers on the clock.
This 930 chassis was originally delivered to privateer racer Wolfgang Kauwertz. Herr Kauwertz was alleged to have raced this car off and on throughout the period from 1976 to 1979, though which races it completed are unknown, as Kauwertz raced a number of different 934-style cars in that time. From 1979 until 1991, Kauwertz stored the car away from prying eyes in Germany, and later Austria. In '91, the Porsche was sold to a group of collectors to be housed in their personal museum outside of Tokyo, where it sat unused for twenty years.
In 2011, this Turbo RSR was purchased after years of negotiating. The person consigning the car in 2012 had intended to vintage race this chassis, but upon arrival it was decidedly too nice for race track work. In order to present the Porsche in the best light possible, it was given a thorough going-through, and all of its soft goods were replaced. According to RM Sotheby's, the Porsche was given a clean bill of health, and was verified to be all matching numbers, which is incredibly rare for a period race car. It even wears much of its original Continental Orange paint.
So Which Is It?
In either case, the prior owner remains secret. As per usual, it's clear that Seinfeld is quite excited about the prospect of driving his new 3-liter turbocharged monster. This is a production-based racer with a 930 VIN, meaning it could technically be registered for street use in many states. Jerry seems like the kind of Porsche enthusiast that he'd at least try to drive this rear-drive 530 horsepower machine on the street. It certainly wouldn't be very comfortable, but it'd be a big old heaping helping of fun. Would you drive a Le Mans-winning Porsche on the street? Would you drive a museum-quality all-original example on the street? I might.
FLATSIXES.com has reached out to Canepa and the Seinfeld collection for comment, and will update this post with more information as it becomes available.