SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Want to be a big wheel? Here's the auction for you.
A 10-day eBay auction began Tuesday for a nine-story-tall Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier.
The great wheel overlooking the ocean has provided some 3 million rides since it was installed at Pacific Park in 1996 and has been seen in hundreds of movies, TV shows, photographs and commercials.
In 1998, it was modified to become the world's first solar-powered Ferris wheel.
Next month, however, the Pacific Wheel will be dismantled and replaced by a $1.5 million modern model.
The old wheel is still in "great" shape and is operational, said Cameron Andrews, a spokesman for the amusement park.
The wheel has 20 gondolas, is outlined in 5,392 light bulbs and cost $800,000 when it was built. The minimum auction price is $50,000 and half the winning bid — minus fees — will be donated to the Special Olympics.
No bids had been made by late Tuesday afternoon.
The wheel doesn't come with a supporting base but the manufacturer will toss one in for another $135,000, Andrews said.
The buyer must handle shipping costs for the 122,000-pound wheel.