People like to collect all sorts of things. Some go with collecting stamps while others collect coins. Still, there are some people who have more expensive tastes and don't usually have an issue with collecting automobiles. When talking about collecting cars, the first name that pops up is that of Jay Leno. He started out as a comedian and the highlight of his career was as host of the Tonight Show, something that he did for 20 straight years. He then focused his attention on a web series by the name of Jay Leno's Garage which was started in collaboration with NBC. It ended up becoming so popular that CNBC brought Leno in again on TV in 2015 with a show that kept the name of the web series.
Very few people in the world have something similar to the size of Leno's collection and this was pretty evident when he was invited over on Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson was listing down the cars that Leno owned, saying in the end that the list was three pages long. Leno owns some really amazing cars in his collection and some of them are his favorites, however, not all of the cars in his collection are the best and this makes sense. He bought all those vehicles either because he liked them or because they were unique in one way or the other. So, we did some research and came up with a list of 10 cars that Jay Leno loves in his collection and 10 which no one ever drove because of a number of issues.
20 Leno Loves: 1963 Jaguar XK-E
The Jaguar XK-E is the complete package having top performance, great looks and was fairly priced. Enzo Ferrari said that the XK-E was the most beautiful car he had ever seen when it first hit the road.
It was manufactured between the years 1961 and 1975 and in those days it could achieve a top speed of 150, mph which is considered a massive statistic back in the day.
Jay Leno did not have to restore this car and he has said that the paint is about 90 percent original. The car is one of his favorite cars, one that he bought from a woman who owned it for 50 years until the year 2013 when Jay Leno bought it for himself.
19 Leno Loves: 1994 Mclaren F1
The Mclaren F1 was produced between 1992 and 1998, and Jay Leno owns one of these, even though only one hundred and six units were produced. What’s unique about this car apart from it being really fast is that it has 3 seats instead of 2, with the driver seat being in the center for a better viewing angle.
The car was super fast in its time, it had set a Guinness world record of attaining a top speed of 240.1 mph taking over the previous record of 217.1 mph. It is one of the most valuable cars owned by Jay Leno, and he himself finds it really precious as he has said himself that it would be the first car he would save from his collection in case of a disaster.
18 Leno Loves: 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Coupe
Initially, it was built as a racing car during 1953, and it stayed into production until 1963 from the year 1954. The one Jay Leno owns is valued round about a staggering $1.8 million. Jay Leno found his Gullwing Coupe in the desert; he had to have it restored as it did not have an engine or transmission when he found it rusting in the desert.
The car has a classic sporty look, and it has the unique upward swinging doors which set it apart from the other cars. Jay Leno put in a lot of money to get this car restored and running, so now it is not only one of the best showpieces parked in his garage, but also one that he can take on a drive and show off outside the garage.
17 Leno Loves: 2006 EcoJet
Jay Leno created this car by forming a collaboration with GM, which says a lot about his love for automobiles. Eco jet used Bio-diesel instead of fuel like standard engines do, which was a concept based upon the Chrysler Turbine, another revolutionary car concept from 1963.
The EcoJet uses a Honeywell LTS 101 gas turbine, which is mostly used for helicopters.
The special thing about this car from the collection is that there is only one EcoJet in the world, and it is owned by Jay Leno himself. The engine used is not only futuristic, but the car design is too, it looks like something straight out of the future making it one of the best cars Jay Leno owns.
16 Leno Loves: Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
The Trevita may be the biggest success of Koenigsegg’s CCX line. CCXR Trevita has remained as the fastest cars from the year 2005 to 2010 as it achieved a top speed of 241 mph thanks to the twin turbo 4.8 liter V8 engine installed in it.
Jay Leno owns one of the only two of these built in the world, and he got it directly from the builder of this masterpiece.
The car’s body is made up of carbon fiber making it really lightweight, and the process used makes the carbon fiber shine and stand out. Jay Leno is really fond of the more environment-friendly E100 fuel, and so he had his unit altered to run on this fuel. Needless to say, it is a work of art and Jay Leno is really lucky to have one sitting in his garage.
15 Leno Loves: Mclaren P1
The P1 is the highest point supercar production has ever reached. The electric car goes from 0-60 mph in just 3 seconds, which is amazing knowing it runs on an electric engine. The design sets it apart too, and so it is one of the most expensive cars in Jay Leno’s garage, being worth $1.35 million when he first bought it.
Jay Leno likes to drive this supercar around town instead of keeping it as a showpiece in his garage, and rightly so since it is one of the best ever creations from the industry. Being the first hybrid supercar anyone would understand why Jay Leno would want to own this one and consider it one of his most favorite cars.
14 Leno Loves: 1963 Corvette Stingray Split-Window
The Split-Window is one of the versions of the Corvette produced by Chevrolet which may have been the pinnacle of Corvettes. This model was famous for the split in the rear view mirror, and of course, it being shaped as a stingray having a spine-like design going through the middle.
The Corvette had a 360 hp at a time when cars could only produce 160 hp, which made it one of the fastest cars of those times. Mike McCloskey was the restorer and he had to do a lot to restore it back to exactly how it was, as Jay Leno did not want it to be modified. The Stringray can be owned for $100,000 and Jay Leno purchased this car because it is one of the most iconic classics out there.
13 Leno Loves: 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLR Mclaren
The SLR Mclaren was a beast of a car produced by both top manufacturers Mercedes Benz and Mclaren. Produced by Mclaren jointly it was going to be a really great supercar, and it did not disappoint.
The SLR Mclaren went from 0-60 mph in just 4 seconds and it could reach a top speed of 200 mph, as it has a 617 horsepower engine.
The build quality according to Jay Leno is inch perfect, the interior has everything sewed up to perfection, and each and every line is perfectly placed on the exterior. The body is made up of carbon fiber, and it has that sleek classy silver Mercedes look keeping it beautiful to look.
12 Leno Loves: 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400
The Miura was produced between 1967 and 1973, and it is considered one of the best sports cars of those days. What makes it special is that it was one of the first cars having a layout of two seats car with a rear mid engine.
This layout is more of a standard for sports cars nowadays, which was indeed inspired by this classic. Being one of the rarest cars Jay Leno owns, it is also one of the priciest ones being valued close to $880,000. The Miura has a V12 engine which produces 350 horsepower giving it all it needs to be fast and powerful.
11 Leno Loves: 2017 Ford GT
The 2017 Ford GT is a redesigned version of the original Ford GT produced in 2005. It is a mid engine two seat sports car. Ford had only produced 500 units of this car, and Jay Leno was lucky enough to get the first unit out of those 500 units.
The unit he owns is a black painted one with orange stripes down the middle which complements the already sporty design. The 2017 Ford GT is one of the most recent additions to his garage and it came for a huge price tag of $453,750. The Ford GT is a tag which is one of the most famous in Americas History, and so Jay Leno opted to bring it into his garage.
10 Don't Drive: Zimmer Golden Spirit
The Golden Spirit was specifically made for Valentino Liberace, who a famous American pianist. The design of this car is downright strange. It has candle ornaments all over the hood for starters, and a huge candelabra ornament in the center of the hood like they have on dinner tables in Hogwarts.
Secondly, there are trumpets coming out of the engine grill which is again really weird for a car. The most outrageous thing though is that it has a 22-karat gold steering wheel.
Jay Leno said that it is the worst car he has ever driven himself, and it has a lot of useless plastic on the interior and exterior, and it is pretty clear even he regrets buying the car.
9 Don't Drive: 1937 Fiat Topolino
This specific car from Jay Leno has a strange story of ownership behind it. The previous owner had the Topolino stored in his living room, and Jay Leno purchased it after the owner had passed away.
Nevertheless, Jay Leno got the car in excellent condition, and so he says that he did not have to restore it and has kept it in original condition. Produced between 1936 and 1955, the Topolino is a pretty simple car. It is not the most spacious cars, as its name literally translates to “tiny mouse” and it can only go to an underwhelming top speed of 53 mph. It may be a really valuable possession to Jay Leno, but in reality, it is just a classic not comfortable enough to drive, no is it practical with its below-parr engine.
8 Don't Drive: 1957 Fiat 500
Fiat produced the 500 just two years after they ended production of their 1937 Topolino in the year 1955. The Italians made another really small car, even though it had space for four passengers. Jay Leno had already auctioned this car, and he must not have felt bad letting this one go as it is merely a classic.
The car does not have anything very special. In fact, Jay Leno purchased it because it was the second unit off the assembly line, which is the only unique factor it has.
Jay Leno auctioned this one on its 50thanniversary in 2007 and would not look back at this one, as it was not even worth being a show piece in his garage.
7 Don't Drive: 1966 NSU Spider
The NSU Spider had really amazing looks for its time, but not as amazing as other cars in the industry. It was produced for just three years between 1964-1967 and only close to 2,400 units of the car were built. The unique selling point the car had was that it had a rotary engine; the rest of it was not that special.
The size was not ideal for someone the size of Jay Leno; it was really small. Jay Leno considered it sophisticated, however, most people would think otherwise. The other downside was that it was too expensive back in the day. All in all, the car only had a plus point of a rotary engine and a cool design, but nothing too special making it one of the most average cars in his collection.
6 Don't Drive: 1931 Shotwell
The Shotwell is another unique story. It was not built by a particular company, but actually by a 17 year old named Bob Shotwell.
Bob built the 1931 Shotwell because he failed to convince his father to buy him a car. His father would always tell him to build one, and so he did.
It has an Indian motorcycle engine, and the car is a three-wheeler. The look is uniquely weird, with the large headlights. Jay Leno found the car almost destroyed and he had to restore it to the bone, however it still does not seem right for a car.
5 Don't Drive: Chevrolet Vega
Jay Leno owns around 136 cars, and 90 motorbikes, but he has said that the Chevrolet Vega is the worst car he has owned. The Vega was one of the reasons that GM went bankrupt.
The Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega were two cars of their times which were considered the worst productions from domestic manufacturers. Jay Leno purchased the car for a mere $150. Mainly the car was not reliable at all, and the one Jay Leno owned had a piece of its bumper fall off when his wife drove it.
4 Don't Drive: 1962 Volga GAZ-21
During its time the 1962 Volga GAZ-21 had features such as reclining seats, rust proofing, radio and a heater which was a big deal back in the day. The Volga hit the right spot back in the day, but they realized the same features would not work in the 2000s as things had advanced so much.
The old features and the 4 cylinder engine which made the car incredibly slow in today’s world made it fit only for owning it in the olden days where the competition was similar. It is not much of a practical car, maybe just something to collect and so it is one of the most unimpressive cars from the collection.
3 Don't Drive: 1963 Chrysler Turbine
The 1963 Chrysler Turbine had only fifty five units built, and sadly none of them were sold to the public. Most of these were destroyed; the remaining ones were put on display and only 2 are privately owned, one of which Jay Leno has in his garage.
It is one of the most expensive cars he owns, having a value of a massive $415,000.
The Chrysler turbine gave the base concept to the EcoJet which Jay Leno owns; it was a revolutionary gas turbine engine concept. It could run on anything, however, the car seemed impractical and inefficient causing it to fail, and ending up being worth only as a collectible or a piece of history.
2 Don't Drive: 1936 Cord 812 Phaeton
This car was built to be a luxury car, and the looks were spot on. It had really classy looks and a great shine which appealed to customers looking for that luxurious and classy feel. It was the first American designed car which had front wheel drive and independent front suspension giving it the fame it achieved.
However, the Cord 812 sedan was only produced from 1936-1937 because of severe reliability problems.
One of the most worrying issues was that the gears slipped out of place causing distress. Although it was a beautiful car to look at, it was equally dangerous to drive and so it is one only worth collecting and not bringing on the road.
1 Don't Drive: Blastolene Special
The Blastolene special cost Jay Leno a massive $350,000 and it is one of the most expensive cars in his collection. It has an M47 Patton tank engine which weighs a massive 9,500 pounds and provides a horsepower of 810. The body is made up of aluminum which may have compensated for the heavy engine.
The huge engine looks ridiculous though, it gives it a long nose ahead of it making it 20 foot long. The car was not street legal at first, but Jay Leno made sure to make it that way. Not sure how driving this would be fun, maybe more troublesome with the length, but Jay Leno likes it very much and so he has it in his garage.