Stars and Cars
Our Favourite Cars in Jay Leno's Garage
posted on Oct 24 2014 by Gabe Grover
Jay Leno is perhaps the most famous, most renowned and definitely the funniest car collector in the world.
With a growing collection of over 130 cars. Ranging from steam cars, hatches, race cars to supercars, Leno has it all, and he keeps every motor he owns in exquisite condition.
Here’re 9 of our favourites in chronological order of manufacturing; just a fragment of his fantastic fleet.
Doble E-20 Steam Car (1925):
Beginning with one of Leno’s oldest automobiles, the Doble E-20 Steam car was built by Abner Doble in 1925, When released in 1925, it cost £15,000, which was a small fortune, in fact, the modern day equivalent taking inflation into consideration exceeds £300,000.
Leno believes that it’s ‘the best steam car ever built’. Leno’s model’s previous owner happened to have been famous aviator and business tycoon Howard Hughes, who was a huge fan of Doble and steam cars in general. In 1925, Hughes managed to get this steam powered machine to just over 130mph. This was an incredible feat both in terms of the cars era, its technology and its hefty weight of 2.5 tonnes.
Bentley GJ400 27L (1930):
Leno’s 1940 Bentley could be described in one word, gargantuan, in terms of both physical size and power. The engine is not 1 litre, not 2 nor 5; the thing powering this behemoth is a 27 litre Merlin aircraft engine, the same engine that was used in the legendary ‘Supermarine Spitfire’ during WW2. This beast’s engine alone weighs 1.5 tonnes, and its curb weight is 3 tonnes. But that incredible weight doesn’t even matter, it produces 700Bhp, and Leno believes it could easily get pushed to well over 1000.
The relief is that this piece of machinery doesn’t just sit in Leno’s garage all year gathering dust, he makes sure the cars driven a lot, either he or one of his friends.
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (1952):
The Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is perhaps one of the most legendary cars ever made. Having won several competitions, it won overall at Le Mans in 1952, Known for its distinctive ‘Gull Wing’ doors, it was innovative for countless reasons; it was the first fuel injected consumer car, at the time, it was the fastest car in the world. Its 3L engine produces 212Bhp making this beautiful car capable of a top speed of 161mph. And it’s ‘Gull Wing’ doors are simply magnificent. This model has fetched up to £2,200,000 at auction, making it one of the most valuable automobiles in the world.
Jaguar XK-E (1961):
The Jaguar XK-E is perhaps the most memorable cars Jaguar produced in the 20th century,
Jay bought his in the 1980’s and although it appears to be stock, it’s been heavily upgraded and restored over the two decades of Leno’s ownership. The car’s 5.2L engine was upgraded to a 5.7 litre V12 Weber motor that produces 275Bhp that gives the car enough power to reach 60mph in 7 seconds and a top speed of 149mph; it was also fitted with high performance suspension, and was upgraded from a 4 to a 5 speed gearbox.
Maserati 3500 (1962):
The 3500 was Maserati’s attempt to make a mass production vehicle, well, the closest they wanted to get to a mass produced car.
Jay’s model took over 2 years to restore, it was the first Italian car with fuel injection and cost an expensive £13,000 at the time, the modern day equivalent of £100,000.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (1963):
The 1963 Corvette Stingray is special for many reasons, first of which is the fact that the majority of its pieces were replaced in the 1964 model, meaning that replacements are extremely difficult to get hold of if not, nonexistent. But Leno’s model is pretty much stock, making it one of his most valued automobiles.
Lamborghini Countach (1980):
Leno’s Countach was his everyday car for over 5 years when he bought it in 1986; it has around 70,000 miles on the meter and is covered with scratches and dents, which truly shows how much the car was used. The wall behind the car in his garage is covered with every single magazine cover that features the Countach; It was one of the very last carburetted cars, it weighs 1.8 tonnes, has a 5.2L engine and can reach 183mph, making it Jay’s fast flashback to the 80’s. Jay jokingly mocks Lamborghini's inclusion of a hammer in the dashboard, there in case the car rolls over and leaves the driver trapped, you can smash the £2,500 windows.
Mercedes SLR McLaren (2003):
Jay is a lucky man, not only does how own over 130 cars, he owns the first ever USA SLR McLaren, designed by Gordon Murray, the same man who designed McLaren F1. It’s an extremely powerful car, capable of reaching 60mph in 3.4 seconds due to its massive 617Bhp all aluminium 5.4 supercharged V8 engine, and reasonably light 1.6 tonne curb weight.
Ariel Atom (2013):
You may or may not have seen Top Gear’s spot on the Atom, if you haven’t, here’s a picture of Jeremy Clarkson’s face when driving it on their test track:
The atom is simply ridiculous, it weighs just 600kg, so if Paul Anderson were still alive, he could’ve back lifted it.
It has 300Bhp, but with its weight, it’s got 636Bhp per tonne, which makes it the second fastest accelerating road car, reaching 60mph in just 2.8 seconds, just a fraction behind the Bugatti Veyron, which costs 20 times more than the Atom. Jay owns the very first Atom produced in America.
It’s clear to say that Jay’s collection is mouth watering, if you want to look at more of his cars, Here’s a link to the ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ YouTube Page: http://goo.gl/z6xBqa