The lawn decoration seems to be the MCL32 show car from the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Think festive lawn decorations to bring some yuletide cheer to your neighborhood and lawn decor like lights, angels, reindeer, and perhaps a Nativity scene come to mind.
But for at least one Crazy Rich Californian in Southern California, something entirely different comes to mind.
SoCal resident and Redditor /u/dt_sartre shared a photo to the /r/formula1 subreddit showing a literal one-of-a-kind Christmas decoration on someone’s house on Balboa Island, Newport Beach, California, an actual, modern McLaren F1 Formula 1 car.
Check out his photo and thread below.
There is a house near me using a Mclaren F1 car as a Christmas decoration. Balboa Island, CA
And here’s where Balboa Island is if you’re wondering.
You can’t simply put a whole F1 car on your lawn and not have the internet figure out who you are, as F1 Redditors in the thread did some sleuthing and sussed out the owner.
“Owner of the house is Jeff Moorad,” /u/BoulderBoulder16 commented.
According to Moorad’s wiki, he’s most notably the former “General Partner and CEO of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, and Vice-Chairman and CEO of MLB’s San Diego Padres.”
Among his multitude of sports business ventures, including starting his own investment management company and sports investment company, Moorad’s dropped a lot of money into Formula 1.
In 2020, Moorad, along with the Phoenix Suns co-owner Jahm Najafi, invested $300 million into McLaren racing for a minority stake and a seat on the board.
I guess a perk of his investment included getting first dibs on retired F1 show cars.
As mentioned, his now lawn ornament appears to be a McLaren MCL32, its racing variant used to compete in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship.
This one’s updated with the 2023 livery.
Here’s Fernando Alonso’s car from that season for reference.
You’d think an actual F1 car is priceless, and it is, but if you’d like to buy one, you’d be surprised how relatively affordable certain ones are.
Browsing F1 Authentics, a reseller of bona fide F1 show cars, and reading up on the most expensive F1 cars ever sold and cars from winning teams with notable drivers are the ones that fetch the most money.
F1 show cars, as the name suggests, are meant for car shows and promotional purposes and have no racing history and more importantly, have no engine or powertrain related components.
Newer F1 show cars can be had for as little as $147,000.
Keeping in mind that McLaren-Honda finished 9th out of 10 teams in 2017 with a handful of “Did not starts” and over a dozen “Retired(s) (Failed to finish the race)” between the two team cars, and it’s safe to say this particular MCL32 (that’s probably a show car) is worth less than a $500,000.
Regardless, having an actual Formula 1 car as Christmas decor is insane, showcases how rich that part of California is and how safe they feel leaving something like that out there accessible to the public.
Then again, Balboa Island is literally that, an island.