It’s been 13 years since the last episode of “Seinfeld,” the immensely popular sitcom created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David that aired on NBC from 1989 to 1998. Since then, both creators have moved on to other successful projects, including David’s HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary “Comedian,” about the more cerebral and challenging aspects of stand-up comedy.
Like “Tonight Show” comic host Jay Leno, Seinfeld has spent a portion of his immense wealth -- estimated to be as much a $800 million, according to celebritynetworth.com -- on his car-collecting hobby. The infatuation is so strong that in 2001 the comic built a high-tech 20-car garage in Manhattan’s West 83rd St., complete with climate control for his Porsche collection, which includes the first 911 ever made. (Leno is still probably the world's Car Fanatic No. 1. He has his own massive machine shop to fabricate metal and 3-D printed plastic parts for his huge collection of old classics, and he also maintains an auto blog.)
Last year, Seinfeld took his love of cars, comedy and coffee to the Internet with the first season of the appropriately named “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” As the title suggests, each episode features Seinfeld taking one or another of his famous comedians-in-arms out for coffee in one or another of history’s quirkiest, sexiest and rustiest cars.
Along the way, Seinfeld has added another bullet-point to his long résumé: car critic.
Taking a little bit of rebel chef Anthony Bourdain’s recipe for funny, unassuming and sometimes scathing criticisms, Seinfeld offers a glimpse into his own car knowledge.
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The second season of the program kicked off recently with comic Sarah Silverman. The next episode, featuring David Letterman, will premiere Thursday.
Here are the cars Seinfeld has driven in every episode (in reverse order) of his online program so far, and what he said about them:
Season Two, Episode One
Jerry takes comedian Sarah Silverman to Millie’s Café in Silver Lake, Calif., in a 1969 Jaguar Series II E-Type convertible with 266 horsepower.
“When the E Type was introduced Enzo Ferrari said that this was the most beautiful car ever designed. In the 1960s if you wanted to project power, grace and style this was the car you drove.”
Season One, Episode 10
Jerry takes Michael Richards – the actor who played the wacky neighbor in “Seinfeld” – to The Malibu Kitchen in a rusty, beat-up 1962 split window Volkswagen Type II double-cab bus with duct tape on the vinyl seats, sporting a 60 horsepower four-cylinder engine.
“What’s cool about this bus to me is that it was used as a service truck for a VW-Porsche repair shop in Campbell, California. It has a flat bed, two rows of seats and an extra door on one side."
Season One, Episode 9
Jerry takes actor, film director, producer and comedian Carl Reiner to Norm’s in Los Angeles in a 1960 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II.
“It has a very elegant turning radius of 42 feet … As a car it’s horrible, but it’s a nice living room with wheels.”
Season One, Episode 8
Jerry takes standup comic Colin Quinn to Fort Defiance Café in Brooklyn, in a blue, six cylinder 150 horsepower 1976 Triumph TR6.
“Another great squared-jawed bulldog British sportscar. The color is Tahiti Blue – in the 70s people just always tried to work the word ‘Tahiti’ into anything. I’m sure English people in the 70s thought if they could somehow get to Tahiti this is the blue they would see.”
Season One, Episode 7
Jerry takes comedic writer Barry “Ted L. Nancy” Marder to Berndix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., in a cream-colored 1966 356 Porsche SC Cabriolet Dutch Police car, with an attached blue siren and a 94 hp flat four-cylinder engine.
“Why the Dutch police in the 1960s felt that they needed Porsche convertibles to do their job I don’t know, but I love this thing."
Season One, Episode 6
Jerry takes Bob Einstein, the actor and comic writer famous for his fictional stuntman character, Super Dave Osborn, to Nate & Al’s in Beverly Hills, in a dark blue 1970 Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3.
“It was invented by a Mercedes engineer, [Erich] Waxenberger. He was the first guy who took a really big engine and stuffed it into a regular four-door sedan to make a gentleman’s supercar . . . It’s special. It’s like you [gesturing to Bob Einstein]. You look normal, but there’s something weird going on inside.”
Season One, Episode 5
Jerry takes Joel Hodgson, creator of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” to Skylark Diner in Edison, N.J., in a blue 1963 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, with its four-cylinder Porsche 912 engine, suspension and brakes.
“This was a sports car for guys who wanted a sports car but also wanted a VW. So you had to have a sense of humor. I love ‘em.”
Season One, Episode 4
Jerry takes “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin to Fairway Market Café in Manhattan, in a red 1970 Mercedes 280 SL, 170 hp straight 6, 2.8 liter.
“This was a car for guys want a sports car but don’t really want to be inconvenienced. It’s an ‘I get what young people are doing and I’m part of it, but I will not be putting my mattress on the floor.’”
Season One, Episode 3
Jerry takes Brian Regan to Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif., in a blue-and-black 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A (340 hp V-8).
“This was the pony car of dreams of the 70s because of Barry Newman and ‘Vanishing Point.’”
Season One, Episode 2
Jerry takes Ricky Gervais to City Island Diner in City Island, NY, in a blue 1967 Austin Healey 3000, straight 6 150 hp.
“This is a car if you wanna say ‘I really love British sports cars and dammit I will go down with that ship if I have to.’”
Season One, Episode 1
Jerry takes Larry David to John O’Groats in Los Angeles in a blue 1952 Volkswagen Beetle, V-4 25 hp (with its wacky semaphore turn signals).
“If like me you feel like true humility is always in short supply, this is the car for you.”