millionaires decorate their mansions with rare paintings.
Richard Moriarty bolted a 1974 Lamborghini to the wall of
his Newport Beach estate in California early on Friday -
Roy Rivenburg in the LA Times. Because Home Depot
doesn't sell kits to hang cars as artwork, Moriarty hired a
70-ton crane to lower the Italian sports car through a
skylight in his living room. Earlier, the car's engine was
removed and transformed into a "200-mph coffee table" for
guests who prefer their drinks "shaken not stirred," said
Moriarty, an heir to the family that developed South Coast
Getting the Lamborghini into the house took about an hour,
but the project was conceived months ago, when architect
Fleetwood Joiner began designing Moriarty's new home,
US$2-million worth of steel-and-concrete that will overlook
Newport's Back Bay when construction finishes later this
year. "This was one of the original ideas for the house,"
Joiner said. "The skylight was designed to fit the car."
Joiner has installed offbeat elements in previous mansion
projects — including indoor rifle ranges, bowling alleys and
a 28-foot-high interior waterfall — but the Lamborghini is
"one of a kind," he said. The car will hang over a solid
glass staircase leading to Moriarty's wine cellar. The car
will also plug into the home's electrical system so its
inside lights can be switched on.
Has gasoline gotten so expensive that it's cheaper to turn a
Lamborghini into a wall sconce than to drive it? Not quite.
Moriarty, 58, is known for his irreverent tastes. In the
1980s, he organized exotic costume parties, such as his
"Pimps, Hookers, Drug Dealers and Lawyers Ball," that drew
about 3,000 revellers.
As onlookers snapped photos with cellphones and
cameras, the car was hoisted 60 feet in the air by
the crane. Then a five-man crew manoeuvred the
1,000-pound, engineless vehicle through the skylight
and hung it from a steel-reinforced wall with loops
of half-inch-thick steel cable. Photos: Rick
Some millionaires decorate their mansions with rare
paintings. Richard Moriarty however bolted a 1974
Lamborghini to the wall of his Newport Beach estate
early Friday. Photos: Rick Loomis/LAT.
As a teen, he toiled in the lima bean fields that his uncle,
Henry Segerstrom, transformed into South Coast Plaza. More
recently, he planted a small vineyard on his 3.5-acre estate
and began bottling prize-winning wines under such labels as
"Wretched Excess" and "The Idle Rich." The fermented grapes
are aged in a 75-foot-long cave locked with a former KGB
prison key. Outside the cave, catfish and koi swim in a
lagoon fed by a 200-foot stream built by Moriarty, who owns
an orchid nursery and landscaping business. A pirate flag
flaps nearby and chickens strut around a coop. The
automotive addition to Moriarty's cache of curiosities
seemed only logical.
"I have a Lamborghini and I've got a big wall," he said.
Moriarty bought the car 10 years ago, paying a collector
US$60,000. But the upkeep was a nightmare. The gas tank had
rust damage, and the engine kept stalling. "I got tired of
having it towed," he said. On Friday, the sleek black
Countach — license plate "FAASST" — was officially retired.
As Moriarty's fiancée, auto mechanic, architect and several
friends snapped photos with cellphones and cameras, the car
was hoisted 60 feet in the air by the crane. Then a five-man
crew manoeuvred the 1,000-pound, engineless vehicle through
the skylight and hung it from a steel-reinforced wall with
loops of half-inch-thick steel cable. "It's a beautiful
piece of art," Joiner said. But Moriarty, in flip-flops,
shorts and a T-shirt, wasn't quite satisfied. "I want to
stencil some tire marks on the wall," he said. "Seriously."