When it comes to automotive heavyweights, Jay Leno and Floyd Mayweather Jr. can trade punches all day. Jay has a broader array of cars that stretch back to the dawn of the automobile, while Floyd Jr. counters with an awesome collection of modern-day supercars. Jay has rarely ever sold one of his cars, while Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a big fan of flipping a car for a profit or to upgrade to something even faster.
Jay may have the older collection, but he's a big fan of newer cars, too. He's also not averse to upgrading his older classics to improve their drivability either. These two automotive heavyweights may have a very different approach when it comes to selecting and collecting cars, but one thing is for sure: they both have a mad, unquenchable passion for cars.
We take a look at some of the best cars from each collector and let you decide who delivers the knockout blow. We also promise to keep the boxing references to the bare minimum from here on out. So, let’s get on with round one…
20 Jay Leno
Jay has by far the larger collection of cars in this comparison. This is partly due to the fact that he doesn’t like to let go of a car once he's bought it, and he's also been in the car collection business for the best part of three decades. An extremely successful career has given him the means to fulfill his wildest automotive dreams, and we start with a car that's a rare find in a multi-millionaire’s garage.
This tiny little car is the Fiat 500, the smallest and least powerful in our entire lineup, yet it's secured a spot in Jay’s garage, thanks to its historical significance and fun-to-drive character. While few people would see this little Italian car as an aspirational vehicle, it was superbly popular back in its day. Selling over 3.8 million units between 1957 and 1975, the Fiat 500 became the Italian equivalent of the Volkswagen Beetle.
Jay also owned a modern-day version of the car, a Fiat 500 Prima Edizione that was the second U.S. car produced. It sold at auction for $350,000 back in 2012 with most of the proceeds going to a charity. It was a rare case of Jay letting go of one of his cars, but it was for a good cause. He's also reviewed the pint-sized performance Abarth version and loved its fun character and surprising turn of speed. Now on to some spicier stuff.
19 1936 Cord 812 Sedan
To those unfamiliar with older classics, the Cord was one of America’s most advanced designs of the ‘30s. Aimed at the well-heeled buyer who was looking for a smaller luxury car that still provided the performance of larger alternatives.
The 4.7-liter V8 produced a very impressive 125 bhp and came with aluminum heads and a four-speed transmission. Later on in production, an optional supercharger raised power levels to 195 bhp.
Front-wheel drive and an independent front suspension added to the technological complexity; sadly, the timing of its release (post-great depression) and the lack of proper development meant that the Cord 812 was a commercial flop. The hefty price tag didn’t help either. Of course, these sorts of issues don't matter 80 years on, as collectors call them ‘quirks’. And even standing still, this old sedan is a stunning work of automotive art.
18 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
The argument about which car was the first true supercar is a contentious one, as there are many worthy contenders out there. The 1954 300SL is as deserving of this title as any. At a time when maintaining 100 mph on a level road was a noteworthy achievement, this German missile could top 160 mph. The engine was a 218 bhp 3.0-liter inline-six, and it featured fuel-injection, which was a production car first.
The gullwing doors were its most arresting exterior feature and a mere 1,400 were built. The roadster version made do with conventionally opening doors but had an uprated rear suspension design that tamed the sometimes wayward handling of the coupe. Jay’s car is a coupe, an old racecar that he painstakingly restored—not to concourse conditions, though, as Jay likes to drive his cars. Back in 2010, when he was interviewed by Popular Mechanics about his car, he said, "We're restoring the mechanicals and the instruments on my Gullwing, but we'll leave the worn interior and exterior alone. I like not having to worry about a freshly sprayed, pristine paint job. It's very liberating if a screwdriver falls on the fender and makes a mark. You don't go, 'Aaarrrggghhh! The first chip!’" Refreshingly practical thinking.
17 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi
So, about that claim for the world’s first supercar, another very strong contender is the Maserati 3500 GT. While not quite the ‘racer for the road’ as the 300SL was claimed to be, the 3500GT offered similar performance with a stronger focus on luxury. It was sold from between 1957 to 1964, and Jay’s example is a pristine 1962 car.
You may notice that little "i" at the end of the name. That's because from 1960 on, fuel injection became available on the 3.5-liter inline-six.
Power output was a commendable 235 bhp, but the triple Weber carburetors used in the standard cars were actually less finicky and actually made more power. Jay didn't want to revert to the carbs, so his powder-blue example had a complete injector rebuild.
The 3500GT may not have been quite as technologically advanced as the 300SL, but it sure looked, sounded, and went like an Italian thoroughbred, and it's a beautiful reminder of Maserati’s golden age.
16 1963 Chrysler Turbine
There are a grand total of three Chrysler Turbines around today that are still in running condition. Jay’s is one of them. 55 cars were originally built, 50 of which were sent out to pre-selected families for real-world testing. Imagine the excitement of being able to experience something as groundbreaking as a turbine-powered car back in the ‘60s. The looks were straight out of the future too, it would still be amazing to see today. Despite a positive reception by its testers and huge media coverage, the project was ultimately disbanded.
High costs, the need to run on low-grade diesel fuel (later models could run on just about anything combustible, including tequila), and massive fuel consumption were the main reasons for its demise. Yet, the idea of a super-smooth powerplant with practically no moving parts and very little maintenance was very tempting, and Jay finally managed to get one of these rare cars from the Chrysler Museum in 2008. And, no, it won’t melt the bumper of the car behind it; Chrysler designed a regenerative exhaust cooler that lowered exhaust gases from 1,400 to 140 degrees. Ingenious stuff.
15 Lamborghini Miura
Right. So, the ‘world’s first supercar’ argument continues with many citing the Miura as the true heir to the throne. It definitely has the power to back its claims. The 3.9-liter V12 mounted in the middle of the chassis made 350 bhp, serious stuff for the time, and it could top 170 mph. Early cars were rather scary at far lower speeds, though, thanks to some aerodynamics issues, but this was mostly sorted out in later versions.
Jay’s 1967 yellow P400 is one of the earlier cars. He concedes that the later 370 bhp 400S and 385 bhp 400SV were better, but he appreciates the purity of his first-gen model. The lines of the Miura were designed by a very young Marcello Gandini, and it's undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cars to have ever graced the roads.
14 Lamborghini Countach
Moving on to the next generation of supercars, we have the Countach, which was featured in motoring magazines since the very first model wowed visitors at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. The first production models in 1974 didn’t have the crazy aero add-ons that most people associate with this model, but those angular lines were another superb Gandini design.
Jay’s car is an updated 1986 Quattrovalvole model, replete with wide side arches and an aggressive front spoiler. It doesn’t have the massive rear spoiler attached, though. His version was one of the very last carburetor-fed 5.2-liter models, and its 455 bhp outshone those of any contemporary Ferrari or Porsche. Modern sports sedans can easily eclipse that figure, but none will ever look or sound quite as amazing as this jet fighter for the road.
13 McLaren F1
Jay has posted a number of videos on his YouTube channel featuring his prized McLaren F1. He's expressed his appreciation for it on numerous occasions. Values for this amazing car have been going stratospheric of late, and it's quite likely one of the most valuable cars in Jay’s collection.
The naturally aspirated 6.1-liter V12 was designed by BMW specifically for the F1, and while its 627 bhp power output may easily be eclipsed by modern machinery, its performance figures are still astounding today.
Weighing in at not much more than 2,500 pounds, it rockets to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and tops out at 241 mph. That's still a record for naturally aspirated production cars, but the F1 contains many more amazing automotive firsts that make it a true supercar icon.
Most people have heard of the carbon-fiber body construction, the three-seater central driving configuration, and the gold leaf-covered trunk, but the F1 also had active aerodynamics and an aircraft-style windscreen heating element, too. The racing car-inspired suspension setup gave it impressive handling, and even today, a well-driven F1 will keep many supercars firmly in its rearview mirrors. With a mere 106 cars built and only 64 being road-legal, the F1 is going to keep rising in value, and most will end up locked away in private collections. Thankfully, Jay is a man who likes to drive his priceless supercars.
12 McLaren P1
Jay may be a fan of the older classics, but he's all for modern technology, too. The many restomods he reviews are a testament to that. The P1 may not be a direct replacement for the frankly irreplaceable F1, but then, it was never meant to be. It doesn't offer a central driving position or a gold-leaf trunk lining, but it moves the performance goalposts way beyond what even the F1 could manage.
A full carbon-fiber body, a 916 bhp hybrid powertrain, and the ability to get to 186 mph over 5 seconds faster than the F1 underline its stupendous acceleration capabilities. The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 is a development of the unit found in the mainstream McLarens, and here, it develops 727 bhp and is aided by an electric motor that adds a further 176 bhp to the total. Clever electronics can activate the electric motor to fill in any gaps in the gas motor's power delivery, and it can also power the car on its own for around 6 miles. It's no Tesla then, but that range is just enough to get you out of your neighborhood on an early-morning drive without waking everybody up in the process.
11 Ford GT
Jay Leno clearly has the inside track with numerous big names in the motor industry, and this sometimes means that he gets exclusive access to limited editions of upcoming supercars. So, when the latest Ford GT was announced, it wasn't surprising that he was on the list of the first 500 people who were offered the opportunity to own one.
The modern trend to downsize engines for increased efficiency means that the engine that sits behind your head is actually a V6, one that shares some of its components with the F-150 truck. Don’t worry, though; the 3.5-liter motor is still very special. The important bits like the turbochargers, the lubrication system, the intake manifold and camshaft are all bespoke items. That means you get a very un-truck-like 656 bhp and a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds.
Whereas the previous GT was more of a big bruiser with its 5.4-liter supercharged V8, this new version is lighter and has a chassis so good that it'll easily take on any European exotic around a race track. The quick-acting hydraulic system that raises the nose at the push of a button also makes it a lot more practical on the road than most similar cars.
10 Floyd Mayweather Jr
Josh Towbin of Towbin Motorcars claims to have sold Floyd Mayweather Jr. over 100 cars in the past 18 years. We're not talking about Toyota Camrys either; these have all been top-tier sports cars from major manufacturers around the globe. Now, Towbin Motorcars isn't the only place to have benefited from Mayweather Jr’s patronage; Obi Okeke of Fusion Luxury Motors has sold over 40 cars to the boxing legend over the same period as well.
Now, not all cars are destined to live out their days in Mayweather’s possession, as he's more than happy to flip a car if he gets tired of it. If he likes a car, however, he may buy a few of the same model with minor variations in trim and equipment. He also likes to color-code his cars, depending on which house he's going to store them in.
Mayweather Jr. also enjoys modifying some of his acquisitions. Many feature massive alloys and the script ‘Money Mayweather’ on the rear—not too subtle, but then, that's not what a boxing champ who retired with an undefeated 50-fight streak is all about. Let’s take a look at some of his more impressive choices over the years.
9 Ferrari 458
The 458 may be old news when it comes to the Mayweather collection, but it remains a true modern classic that still produces the goods from its 570 bhp 4.5-liter V8. The champ also bought the 458 Spider when it came out to complete the set. Of course, when Floyd is on to a good thing, he can't just stop at one or two, so he bought a few more examples for his other properties, too.
Being the last naturally aspirated mid-engined V8 in the range, the 458 will certainly hold a lot of affection among collectors in the future.
There's no word on whether the cars remain in Floyd’s collection today, but with so many cars and so many properties in his portfolio, there may well be one sitting in a corner somewhere, just waiting to be discovered.
8 LaFerrari Aperta
The LaFerrari was the next range-topper from Ferrari for the current decade. This hybrid-powered 963 bhp V12 coupe was so fast that the term ‘hypercar’ started to be used to describe it.
It was often compared to the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder, two hybrid hypercars that offered similar performance.
The LaFerrari was the only one to eschew turbocharging and use its electric motor purely for acceleration purposes, and in 2016, the open-topped Aperta version was made available. A mere 210 examples were built, as opposed to the 500 coupes, and Mayweather has one of these rare beasts in his collection.
7 McLaren 650S
McLaren has only really been in the modern supercar game since it introduced the MP4-12 C back in 2011. That car formed the template for the onslaught of models that have frequently upset the established players.
The successor to the MP4-12C (by then, renamed the "12C") was the 650S. Both shared the same twin-turbo 3.8-liter powerplant, but the 650S produced 650 bhp as opposed to 592 bhp.
This and the much-improved exterior styling gave the 650S that much-needed combination to take on and beat its contemporary Ferrari and Lamborghini rivals out there.
6 Mercedes-McLaren SLR
Before McLaren decided to go it alone and before Mercedes-AMG started building junior supercars themselves, there was the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. This unusual collaboration gave us a supercar that could perform both on track and on the road despite being luxurious and equipped with a conventional automatic transmission. The Mercedes-sourced 5.4-liter V8 used a supercharger to pump out 626 bhp, and it gave the heavy car acceleration to match that of a contemporary Porsche Carrera GT.
The car pictured here is the special-edition 722. Introduced in 2006, it featured a power hike to 650 bhp, as well as modifications to the suspension to enhance handling.
While it proved to be a competent super GT, it was clear that both manufacturers had different ideas of what a car of this type should be like. McLaren even went as far as offering a 25-unit limited McLaren Edition version, which included upgrades to the suspension and the exhaust to sharpen up the package. Production ended in 2009 with a total of 2,157 SLRs built.
4 Pagani Huayra
The Huayra followed on from the superb Zonda, which remained in production for an impressive 18 years. Whereas the Zonda made use of a naturally aspirated AMG-fettled V12 in various capacities, the Huayra added two turbochargers into the mix to produce a ferocious 730 bhp.
It also featured active aerodynamic flaps on both the front and the rear of the car to help keep it firmly glued to the road when traveling at speed.
The interior follows the Pagani tradition of highlighting aspects of the mechanical linkages and is a true work of art. The one you see in the image above is the even rarer track-focused Pagani BC, a limited-edition version named after the first Pagani customer, Benny Caiola.
3 Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
Koenigsegg builds some of the most insane limited-volume supercars on the planet. Christian Von Koenigsegg has been in the business since 2012, and the 4.8-liter twin-supercharged V8 CCXR Trevita is one of his most extreme models yet. The name "Trevita" means "three whites" in Swedish, and it refers to the carbon-fiber bodywork that has a special white-hued diamond weave.
If you value exclusivity, then you may be interested to note that a mere two cars were built, and Floyd’s is the only one that's street legal in the U.S.
Its 1,018 bhp and accompanying 796 lb-ft of torque should make short work of the morning commute. Having purchased this car for the princely sum of $4.8 million, Floyd auctioned his CCXR Trevita off back in 2017. There's no official word on whether the new owner paid a premium for the Trevita, but it's quite likely that Mayweather Jr. made a decent profit on the sale.
2 Bugatti Veyron + Chiron
For the man who's undefeated in the ring, it's only right to have a car that's undefeated on the road. The original Veyron was a proper sports-car game changer and offered the kind of power and performance figures that would've been considered ludicrous a few years earlier. Even now, the 1,000 bhp output from its quad-turbo 16-cylinder powerplant is impressive.
Its ability to blast to 60-mph in 2.5 seconds and then on to over 260 mph is still matched by only a handful of specialist cars. Floyd liked his so much that he bought two: one in white and a red and black one. Not satisfied with that, he then went and bought the open-topped version when it became available. No news for what he did when the 1,500 bhp Chiron came out.
1 Rolls-Royce Phantom + Wraith
Now, even a man who spends most of his time in life’s fast lane will want to take it easy once in a while. For our boxing legend, that means cruising around in a fleet of the latest Rolls-Royces. Floyd has owned over a dozen of these British luxury barges over the years, and they've included the latest Phantom and Wraith models.
The Phantom is heralded as the world’s quietest car for when the noise of the crowds needs to be quelled. The Wraith, on the other hand, offers a massive punch from its BMW-derived twin-turbo 632 bhp 6.6-liter V12. Having a Rolls-Royce for every occasion, Floyd Mayweather Jr. knows no limits when it comes to his luxury cars.
Mayweather Vs. Leno: The Final verdict
So, which of these impressive collections takes the win? Well, with such a varied list of cars to choose from and so many tastes to cater for, it really is up for each individual to choose a winner. After consulting the cards, the judges rule a Technical Draw.