If you’re a fan of Jay Leno or his car show, Jay Leno’s Garage, you probably know about some of the cars in his collection. But what don’t you know?
Jay Leno is a gearhead at heart and has collected some of the coolest cars on the planet during his career. His success as a stand-up comic and late-night television host allowed him to pursue his dream of owning some of the rarest, most interesting, and best restored classic and modern cars in the world.
Here are ten things you might not know about Jay Leno’s car collection.
The garage is 122,000 square feet in size
Forget a two-car garage; Leno has an entire warehouse-sized location where he keeps all of his cars. He bought the property in 1991 as a 17,000-square-foot location in Burbank, CA, but it has grown to the 122,000 square feet that it is today. This massive footprint allows Leno and his team of mechanics to work on these cars with lots of room and incredible lighting. This location is massive, but so is his car collection.
Most cars in the collection are bought by word-of-mouth
Instead of spending time behind a computer searching for cars, Leno is active in the car community and loves to talk to people about their cars. This means he hears about several incredible cars through this network and buys them before they ever get posted online. It might not be as fruitful at times, but considering the size and variety of Jay Leno’s car collection, it’s certainly been a good approach for him. Plus, he gets to go out in public and talk to his fellow car collectors.
Leno does have the EcoJet, and he helped engineer it
You might not expect a car company to turn to a comedian to build a car, but Jay Leno isn’t your ordinary comedian. He’s a car guy through and through and helped developed a concept car with GM called the EcoJet. This car runs on biodiesel fuel, making it a green car. The EcoJet uses a turbine engine which makes it an extremely unique car in his collection. The design and performance numbers make us wonder if this could be the future of driving.
McLaren is Jay’s favorite brand
Leno doesn’t seem to play favorites when it comes to his collection. He’s got some of the rarest and most interesting cars in the world. Still, he does have a favorite brand, and that is McLaren. He loves their commitment to innovation and vehicles that make them stand out. Jay Leno’s car collection includes a McLaren F1 and McLaren P1, both of which are sought after by many as two of the most incredible exotic cars in the world.
The car collection is worth between $50 and $100 million
You might think the car collection is the most valuable part of Jay Leno’s overall net worth, but that’s not the case. The car collection is worth between $50 and $100 million, but Leno is worth $450 million. This puts the car collection in the category of being a seriously expensive hobby compared to the rest of his net worth. Of course, anyone would be thrilled to suddenly have such an extensive and impressive car collection of their own.
Every car in the collection runs
Some of the vehicles in Jay Leno’s car collection are extremely old and rare. It seems that it might be impossible to keep them all in running order, and some might end up as nothing more than museum show pieces, but that’s not the case. Every vehicle is in running, road-worthy condition, and Leno himself drives all of them. The functionality of the collection is achieved with the massive workshop next to the garage that’s used for maintenance, repairs, special projects, and restorations.
The collection shows Leno’s appreciation for the entire automotive world
Some car collectors lean toward one brand or another, with very few other cars mixed in. Not Jay Leno. This massive collection of vehicles includes models from manufacturers from all over the world. Every era of automotive history is represented in this shop. You’ll find fast supercars, everyday drivers, electric vehicles, vintage cars, and modified cars are all part of Jay Leno’s car collection. When it comes to cars, this man doesn’t discriminate.
The most valuable car in the collection is a 1934 Duesenberg Walker Coupe
When it was new, the 1934 Duesenberg Walker Coupe sold for about $25,000, which would equate to $475,000 in today’s money. This particular car was built for Josiah Lilly, the president of Lilly Pharmaceuticals. It’s the most valuable car in the collection, with an estimated value of more than $20 million. Like all of the other cars in the collection, the Duesenberg is road-worthy and has been driven and featured on Jay Leno’s Garage.
The collection is extensive
Some collectors might think they’ve got something going when they have five cars or ten, but Jay Leno has them beat by miles. Although Jay actively adds to his car collection regularly, the total numbers right now stand at more than 180 cars and 160 motorcycles. This is an incredible collection and worthy of its own museum, but it’s a private collection. Another interesting tidbit is that Leno has ever only sold one car. He sold a Tesla Model S P90D at a Bring a Trailer auction in 2021. Otherwise, his collection simply continues to grow and never shrink.
Leno has owned a 1955 Buick Roadmaster longer than any other car
The 1955 Buick Roadmaster wasn’t Leno’s first car, but it was a car he bought early in life. He purchased the Buick in 1972 for $350 and still has that car. This was the first car he owned when he moved to California, and he still keeps it and drives it sometimes. The cherry that could be added to Jay Leno’s car collection would be the 1934 Ford pickup he bought when he was 14 but traded for a Datsun. That’s the truck he would love to have in his massive garage.
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