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STARS & CARS AT THE PLAYBOY MANSION

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Aug 25, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

STARS AND CARS AT THE PLAYBOY MANSION By Reed Berry Hey, I'm at the Playboy Mansion. I want to say that I'm here to hang out with Hef and the girls frequently, but truthfully I'm making my first visit. I find myself staring at the front entrance at a distance of about 150 feet. It's not that I am afraid to move closer, but merely because I'm now standing in front of one of the most famous houses in the world - a building I have seen on TV and in magazines for decades.

What's the big deal? It's just your average house. Hardly - a 30-room gothic and tudor mansion on six acres of land makes this one impressive piece of real estate. Built in 1927, Playboy acquired the property in 1971 for $1.05 million. The mansion, located in L.A.'s Holmby Hills, has an aviary, a waterfall and a private grotto. The only thing missing here is a Starbucks. Today's event is the Beverly Hills Concours d'Elegance, so obviously there is an impressive collection of perfectly maintained classic cars neatly arranged on Hef's front lawn. Among them I see a 1946 Morgan 3-Wheel F-Super, a 1937 Packard Convertible Coupe 120 and an eye-catching 1956 356 Porsche Speedster. There is even a unique 1915 AutoCar Motor Truck which, after being parked for two decades, underwent a three-year ground-up restoration after being purchased by its current owners in the late 1980s. In addition to the classic cars on display, there are some brand new high-end cars you expect to see making their way up the driveway of the Playboy mansion, such as those produced by Jaguar and Aston Martin. In my opinion, nothing makes a shiny new Aston Martin look even better than a beautiful Playboy Bunny.

According to one of the press releases, among the stars expected to attend are Jay Leno, Nicolas Cage and Eva Longoria. Unfortunately, they are not here. Other familiar faces are, including Mad Mike from MTV's "Pimp My Ride", Olympic swimmer and July 2007 Playboy model Amanda Beard, and retired basketball star turned talk show host John Salley. At 6 feet, 11 inches, Salley is undoubtedly the tallest celebrity at this event. Attendees are now making their way from the Concours in the front of the house to the grotto in the back to socialize, as well as to enjoy the tasty hors d'oeuvres (my favorite is the chicken sate with a zesty chutney-curry sauce) and alcoholic beverages from an inviting poolside bar. Nearby, a large tent has seating for guests and a runway for a fashion show featuring models from the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. There is also a selection of unique silent auction items, including celebrity and sports memorabilia, as well as guitars autographed by legendary rock bands. Hef is inside the mansion (reportedly upstairs watching a movie) but has not made an appearance at this event. Kendra, the youngest of his three live-in girlfriends, has come out to browse the auction items. A live auction will also take place, followed by live entertainment provided by the band Lawa from the island of Maui.

The people attending this event are dropping more than a couple of nickels for the privilege. The basic ticket price is $750. Add another $750 (yes, that's $1,500) and you will receive a VIP ticket with valet parking, VIP seating for the fashion show, private cocktail service and a gift bag. If you want to bring nine friends along, you can reserve a VIP Luxury Private Table for 10 for just $10,000. It may seem like a lot of money, but it's for a good cause. Proceeds from the event benefit the Playing For Good Foundation, an organization that makes contributions to such worthwhile charities as Millennium Promise, Spread The Net, and Keep A Child Alive. This event kicks off the 2007-2008 National Tour d'Elegance, a series of weekend automotive festivals in cities across America designed to combine the best in automobiles, gourmet food, wine and fashion.

For more information, visit: www.elegantcars.com.

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