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Um, so this is a funny through the looking glass moment. My uncle is the man who put this car in the apartment and I lived in that building for three years.

I can corroborate 100% of this story.

My uncle, and that apartment, have a very interesting history. My grandfather purchased the building as an investment but it turned into a sort of crash pad for members of my family. My uncle ended up managing it after years of rebuilding jet engines in the Navy as a mechanic. He could rebuild anything by eyeballing a reference part, which was awesome when the ancient pluming failed, but misery when the ancient window treatments failed (ugly as sin and cheap/poor quality even for the 1960s).

One of the units was owned by a writer that used it as his personal library for an elaborate book and magazine collection. He lived there after retiring but prior to that would fly back and forth between LA and NY because it was cheaper and easier than relocating them and the associated increase in storage fees.

The apartment building is a block away from Hollywood Blvd and many of the street performers/costume wearers lived in the adjacent buildings. I would wake up and say hello to Captain Jack Sparrow and Spiderman on my way to grabbing a cup of coffee. In the late 70s through early 90s it was extremely sketchy and somewhat dangerous. I was a kid when they started cleaning it up so I don't have first hand knowledge of it but the neighborhood certainly still talks about it. The park that used to be next to the apartment was where drug dealers and prostitutes would market their wares. Eventually they bulldozed it and put in a fenced, well lit, park and daycare center as part of the Hollywood Revitalization and Redevelopment program.

My uncle decided to retire so he sold the building, split the proceeds with my aunt and grandmother, and moved out of Hollywood.

AMA!

Edit: Street View for those who want to walk the Neighborhood https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1031929,-118.335439,3a,75y,1...




Hi there, I'm the gear-head and story lover who spotted this and felt it might touch a nerve with this audience.

I'd like to ask you, as a real participant in your Uncle's world, if you'd be interested in turning such an experience into a "poetic license" type historical screenplay. As a Dallas resident who has seen a few ups-n-downs with Deep Ellum, I think what you describe could be really compelling not just from the "car in an apartment" storyline but for the people who inhabited that sphere. Just a thought, thanks for chiming in by the way, was great to read!

Edit: Forgot to add my Dad's family was up 'n down California for a long time and I had some fun hanging out in Malibu with a Tio who was a Hollywood stunt man for many years. History is quite a trip.


Former Deep Ellum resident here (by way of southern CA) and I have to say thanks for submitting this, it's an interesting story!

Perhaps you already know this but Musso & Frank's is right around the corner from the 'Ferrari apartment' and is often mentioned in crime novelist Michael Connelly's stories. It's a favorite of a main character. If you enjoy reading about the history of this part of California, plus some unsavory and colorful characters, you should check out his books. 'Angel's Flight' is a particularly good earlier work by him. The book series is what Amazon's 'Bosch' series is based on as well.


Awesome story! I was hoping that the original article would have included some of your uncle's sketches of the parts he was replacing. Would you happen to have any drawings of his you could share? He sounds like a tremendously talented individual.


I don't unfortunately. I only got to see him in action when he was doing building maintenance and when installing some hardwood flooring and never thought I'd need to hold onto a sketch.

He's extremely old school (i.e. a cassette tape answering machine) so I wouldn't be able to get a sample in any timely manner.


But he's still with us! :-). You could please start documenting him? Ask him if you can record your conversations or something? :)


Since he was a draftsman I bet they'd look something like this: http://www.ardigitech.com/images/mech2.jpg. No point in making them look like actual photos, with shading, when you could just take an actual photograph instead.


Fucking awesome. Agree with others that more pictures would be very welcome, particularly the hinged wall and ramps setup. Crazy stuff.


This is awesome! I'd love to do a story on it if possible. Can we connect and chat. I work at CBS. Thanks, Craig


> My uncle is the man who put this car in the apartment and I lived in that building for three year

As in your uncle owned the car?

Anyway, what an excellent story and made all the more interesting by your comment.


Yes. Sorry if I wasn't clear :).


Appreciated.


So how come your Uncle never took the Car out again? Surely if restored it's worth a fortune.


Probably not. This is not one of the more desirable 250 variants (Which is not to say it isn't valuable - well restored it's probably about a $750,000 car), but it's not one of the insanely valuable ones (The Spiders and Berlinettas have sold for north of $10M).


His interests changed. At some point he enjoying working on model trains and gardening more than cars.

My uncle is not particularly motivated by money or business ventures. He's lived a fairly quiet and private life and trying to restore and flip this car isn't really in his makeup.


von Neumann died in 1957. Was he really first registered owner?


Different Von Neumann. Commenters below linked to a bio.


Ah! thank you. I was going to yell: "THE J.V.N.!" wow! I read somewhere that he (the math/cs JVN) had a lead foot, the Ferrari makes sense. Still good/strange story.


HN is amazing.


The internet is amazing.


The world is amazing


You are amazing.


Please stop.


Obligatory XKCD-ish reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHoDsZDMH_Y




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