Jay Leno, the Car Collector

Jay Leno’s car collection contains around 136 cars and 90 motorcycles. Altogether the collection was once valued at approximately $50-million, about 14% of Leno’s $350-million net worth. There are plenty of rare, vintage cars in his collection, but you’ll also find some newer sports cars and supercars. Fans were lucky enough to see some of his vehicles on the popular CNBC show Jay Leno’s Garage (JLG) that began airing in October 2015. In the series, he shows off the many hand-picked cars that make up his carefully curated car collection. With millions spent on cars, Jay Leno is the ultimate car enthusiast. So what will we find in his garage? Here’s a list of our six favorites.

 

1906 Stanley Steamer
Estimated value: $185,000

 

The 1906 Stanley Steamer Vanderbilt Cup Racer is steam-powered and made of wood. The 100+-year-old car Leno acquired had a lot of problems. Together with his team of mechanics, they started fixing it up by upgrading the boiler to 30-inches and adding a bigger burner. Other modifications made to increase the power included two electric pumps to maintain pressure, and XK120 Jag drums, giving it hydraulic brakes. When the steam car is fired up it can maintain 65 mph at 500 pounds of speed. This car caught on fire once while Leno was driving. Luckily, he didn’t suffer any injuries, but he did get a speeding ticket since the vehicle required a certain speed to extinguish the fire.

 

2006 EcoJet
Estimated value: Unknown

 

The 2006 EcoJet is a one-of-a-kind concept car built in Leno’s garage. It was created as the result of a collaboration between Jay Leno and General Motors, Honeywell, Alcoa, and BASF. This car is unlike any of his other cars. It was meant to be driven on the road regularly. With a body made entirely of carbon fiber, paired with an aluminum chassis, the eco-jet is ultra-light, weighing in at about 2,400 lbs. The car runs on whatever it can burn, but Leno uses biodiesel, a fuel made from soybean, that makes it as green as possible. Even the paint is environmentally-friendly. Based on the C6 Corvette with an automatic transmission, Leno’s crew also built a custom stepdown gear transfer case that takes the power to the transmission for proper functionality.

 

Blastolene Special
Estimated value: $355,000

 

The Blastolene Special, aka the Tank Car, was designed and built by the Blastolene brothers, Randy Grubb and Mike Leads in 2001. Constructed from an American military tank engine and a custom-made aluminum body it weighs about 9,500 lbs. and is about 20 ft. long. During one of the first freeway test drives, an unsuitable oil line ruptured and dumped the entire 17 gallons of oil onto the road. It currently gets 5 miles per gallon, up from the original performance of 2-3 miles per gallon with a new transmission. And yes, Leno drives this car regularly around L.A. and also displays it at Coffee and Cars meetings. Before modified by Leno, the car wasn’t street-legal.

 

1963 Chrysler Turbine Car
Estimated value: $415,000

 

The Chrysler Turbine Car is an auto powered by a turbine engine, produced by Chrysler from 1963 to 1964. Its body was made by the Italian design studio Ghia, and Chrysler completed its assembly in Detroit. A total of 55 cars were built: five prototypes and a limited run of 50 cars for a public user program. The program was live between October 1963 and January 1966. It involved 203 individual drivers in 133 different cities across the U.S., cumulatively driving more than one million miles. The program helped the company determine a variety of problems with the car, notably with the complicated starting procedure, relatively unimpressive acceleration, and subpar fuel economy and noise level. The experience also revealed key advantages of the turbine engines, including their remarkable durability, smooth operation, and relatively modest maintenance requirements. After the conclusion of the user program in 1966, Chrysler reclaimed the cars and destroyed all but nine; Chrysler kept two cars, five are displayed at museums, and two are in private collections. Leno’s car is one of these two and was purchased in 2009 directly from Chrysler. And yes, this car is operational today.

 

2017 Ford GT
Estimated value: $453,750

 

The Ford GT is one of America’s finest supercars. It only gets 11 miles per gallon and hits a top speed of 216 mph. The race car smoked the competition at 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the race in 1966 and 2016. Ever since Leno saw the prototype for the road version back in 2015, he couldn’t stop thinking about calling the ride his own, so he decided to pursue the purchase. With a lengthy application process and $505,000 original price tag, it’s the holy grail of American wheels. Leno was one of the 500 chosen few to drive one home. Lucky guy.

 

2014 McLaren P1
Estimated value: $1,100,000 

 

Yes, there are that many zeros in the price tag. Leno loves to drive – how else would you explain putting just under 1,000 miles on his Pl during the first week he owned it? Before he went to Pebble Beach for a test drive when it first arrived on American soil, only 80 were spoken for. But after people saw Leno in it, all 375 units were sold. In the Jay Leno Garage episode, McLaren thanked Leno for the success of the P1. Leno explained the reason why the McLaren P1 is so different is that it’s a road car that doubles as a race car, as opposed to automotive manufacturers turning race cars into road cars. The duality is flawless. No surprise its top speed is 217 mph. If that doesn’t get your heart racing…

 

There are 130 more cars in Leno’s garage. So far, which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear what you think!

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