Driving Home $4.25M Bargain


LEE IACOCCA and his wife, DARRIEN, have purchased a home on the Westside for $4.25 million, sources say.

The 69-year-old former executive who brought Chrysler Corp. back from the brink of bankruptcy in 1979 and went on to write a national bestseller about it is still a consultant to the nation’s third largest automaker, and he joined the boards of MGM Grand Inc. and Spacehab Inc. since he stepped down as Chrysler’s chairman at the end of last year.

He was also an active supporter of President Clinton in selling the North American Free Trade Agreement.


The Iacoccas bought a 10,000-square-foot, Tuscan-style home on slightly more than an acre, with a tennis court.

The gated estate was built three years ago, but the Iacoccas are the first buyers. The builders originally listed the home at $11.9 million, and it was in escrow in 1990 at $8 million, before the buyer, a resident of Hong Kong, changed his mind.

Since then, the builders defaulted on their loan, the lender went into federal receivership, and the FDIC repossessed the home, sources say. There reportedly have been 30 offers to buy the residence during the past seven months.

The home is valued at a bit more than $6.7 million, according to public records.

The Iacoccas also have homes in Indian Wells, Aspen, Detroit and Tuscany. Their farmhouse in Italy has vineyards and 5,000 olive trees. The Extra Virgin oil made from the olives is sold in the U.S. under the label Villa Nicola, named for Lee Iacocca’s father.

Natalie Janger of Mike Silverman Estates, a Jon Douglas Co., represented the Iacoccas, and Joe Babajian and Michael Healy of Fred Sands Estates shared the listing.

Actress FAYE DUNAWAY has put her Cape Cod-style house in Beverly Hills on the market at $2.2 million.


The Oscar-winner (as Best Actress for “Network” in 1976) is selling the house, because her teen-aged son is in boarding school in the metropolitan New York area, and she wants to become more bi-coastal, said listing broker Stephen Shapiro of Stan Herman/Stephen Shapiro & Associates, Beverly Hills.

Dunaway, who co-starred this fall in the new CBS comedy “It Had to Be You” (before it was taken off the air in October) and appeared earlier this year in the film “The Temp,” has owned the home for about three years.

Built in 1937, the home was remodeled about five years ago. It has a 4,000-square-foot main house with three bedrooms plus maid’s quarters and three fireplaces. The home also has a guest house with 18-foot high ceilings, bookshelves from floor to ceiling, and a sleeping loft.

“We’ll miss her, but we still have Esther Williams, Brandon Tartikoff, Bette Midler, George Peppard, Tina Sinatra and others in the immediate neighborhood,” said a longtime Hollywood publicist who lives a few doors away.

“Faye threw out a perfectly good vacuum cleaner, which my secretary snatched up,” he added.

The former home of Thomas Spiegel, the deposed thrift executive charged with looting millions of dollars from failed Columbia Savings & Loan in Beverly Hills, has come on the market at $4.1 million, with sealed bids due by Jan. 12.


Spiegel, who defaulted on his mortgage last May, moved from the house Nov. 1, a source said. The house, which was on the market in 1991 at $9.5 million, is owned by the Resolution Trust Corp., the federal agency charged with disposing of failed thrifts’ assets. (The RTC prefers sealed bids to conventional offers, a source explained.)

Built eight years ago, the 9,400-square-foot home has six bedrooms, including two staff quarters, and a separate guest house with two baths. The gated estate also has a sunken tennis court and a three-car garage, with space for a limo.

Mark Vera and Brad Kimball shares the listing at Fred Sands’ Brentwood office, other sources said.

A Holmby Hills home that has been on the market since 1990, originally at $14 million, has been sold to a Florida businessman for $6.1, including $2 million in furnishings, sources say.

The home was built in 1987 by Marie Keck, of the Keck family, who founded Superior Oil. She died, in her 80s, before moving in to the house. Escrow closed last week.

Joyce Flaherty had the listing, and Margie Oswald Sherman and Leah Steuer represented the buyer. All of the realtors are with Prudential Rodeo Realty.


Producer and writer STEVE SLAVKIN, whose children’s programming credits include the NBC series “Running the Halls” and Nickelodeon’s Ace-nominated series “Salute Your Shorts,” has sold his North Hollywood home and is temporarily leasing in Bel-Air, sources say.

Slavkin sold his three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot house to graphic designer Michele Ingram and Roger De Long, drummer with the band Pet Piranha, for close to the $200,000 asking price. Richard Stearns and Andrew Manning, both of Fred Sands Realty in Brentwood, represented Slavkin, and Lauri Cohen, Sands’ Studio City, represented the buyers.