Haute Properties: Bueller?…Bueller?

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No one disputes that Los Angeles is a city that loves its cars. Heck, we practically live in them or in the case of 43-year-old Holger Schubert, the car lives in his Brentwood living room—although it’s hard to categorize his pristine Ferrari 512 BBi “Boxer” as a mere “car.” Somehow, that demeans it, don’t you think?

Parking our automobiles inside our homes where we can snuggle up to them in front of a cozy fire may make us look odd to the rest of the sane world. But Schubert is hardly alone in his quest to keep his Ferrari right by his side. Car collectors spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep their babies warm at night, making extreme garaging a lucrative business. Besides, if a man’s home is his castle, shouldn’t his toybox—the garage—be protected by the moat as well?

But Los Angeles officials, humorless bunch that they are, are about to “slam shut the overhead door”—as one pundit put it—that leads to the city’s most over-the-top garage. City planners are reneging their permission for Mr. I Love My Ferrari to use a 10-foot-long, 15-foot high bridge he constructed that connects the hillside home’s third story with North Tigertail Road. It’s kind of a shame since this very same showpiece garage won last year’s Architectural Digest magazine’s Design Driven contest.

Blame it on the neighbors who complained, likely a jealous lot of recalled Prius drivers. Personally speaking, doesn’t every Ferrari deserve its own flat-screen TV and a resting place with an ocean view? This one, sadly, appears headed back to the regular old garage on the first floor. Perhaps a Save-the-Ferrari movement will be launched.

Extreme garaging is nothing new of course. Remember the 1986 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off film, where the dad of Bueller’s best friend shared his glass living space with a hot red 1961 Ferrari 250 temptress that the boys took for a joyride through the streets of Chicago? I’m sure Schubert suffers nightmares from that scene.

But it does give me an idea! The Highland Park, Illinois, home used in the movie was designed by famed architects A. James Speyer and David Haid for Ben Rose in 1953. Rose used it as an auto museum until his death in 2004 and his wife Frances lived there with a caregiver until her death last year. And it’s now for sale! Listed originally at $2.3 million and just reduced to $1.8 million, the 5,300-square-foot home obviously has room for a Ferrari to stretch out in. There is a separate two-car garage for lesser vehicles driven on a more regular basis. The property is being sold as is with no disclosures. Hmmmm—something says “oil stains on the carpet” to me. Best to speak with listing agent Meladee Hughes of Sudley Sotheby’s International Realty about that.

Haute Living Online Real Estate Editor Ann Brenoff writes for AOL on WalletPop.com and Luxist.com. She also writes the Chief Dwellings column for the Los Angeles Business Journal and manages her own public relations and marketing firm out of Los Angeles. She formerly wrote the Hot Property column for the Los Angeles Times.

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