Lifestyle

No Jaywalking: Taking A Ride in the Top 15 Cars in Jay Leno’s Garage

Jay Leno is best known as the host of The Tonight Show since Johnny Carson’s retirement in 1992. However, Leno is also very well known for his extensive collection of fine cars. Jay Leno has over 70 cars in his garage. Let’s take a look at his best.

1. 1925 Doble Series E Steam Car

The Doble steam car was named after the four brothers that designed and built it: Abner, William, Warren, and John. This car has a 4-cylinder compound engine, which means that it’s actually comprised of 2 two-cylinder engines back to back.

This was the first steam car ever made that started up automatically without waiting for the engine to warm up. Its top speed is around 90 mph and it can go from 0 to 75 mph in about 10 seconds. There were only 1,100 of these made in 1925 and Jay owns number 18!

2. 1925 Ford Model T Roadster

By 1925, the model T Ford was almost at the end of its era, but back in the early 1900’s the Ford model T was the most popular car around. It ran on 4 cylinders with a top speed of between 45 and 50 mph and gas mileage that ranged from 13 to 21 mpg. These vehicles were in mass production by 1925.

Though the model T came in many different styles such as a two-door pickup, a 2- door convertible, a 2-doorcoupe, and even a 2 or 4-door wagon, the one that Leno own is a 2door roadster model.

3. 1955 Buick Roadmaster

The first generation Roadmaster could be purchased a 2- coupe, like Leno’s, a 2-door convertible or in the 4-door sedan or station wagon variety. Unlike most of Jay’s vehicles in his garage, Jay actually purchased this one as a functional piece instead of a collector’s item.

In 1972, he purchased this 1955 Buick Roadster for $350 as a means for transportation before he hit it big. Later on, he refurbished it and kept it as a collector’s item. Not a bad investment for $350!

4. 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic

Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore (founder of the Bugatti automobile line) designed the Bugatti Type 57 vehicles and was most famous for designing the Type 57 SC Atlantic version of the car specifically. This vehicle is primitive in its day as it was still contained cable operated brakes. However, it’s thought to be one of the most beautiful cars of its time. Jay Leno owns one of the four that were ever made.

The original prototype is no longer in existence and Ralph Loren and Peter Williamson own the other two. Leno’s Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic is what they call a “rebodied” car in that none of the body is part of the original car. However the 3.3-liter straight 8-cylinder super charged engine is the original as is the rest of the internal structure of the car.

5. 1930 Duesenberg LeBaron Barrelside

What interesting about the Duesenberg is that all of the chassis for every Duesenberg was built in 1929, but each body was built to order after the car was purchased. It took about 10 years to make them all because it was during the time of The Great Depression.

This particular Duesenberg had the body assembled in the LeBaron Bridgeport, Connecticut factory. The term “Barrelside” in the name of the car is in reference to its shape. Leno is only the third owner of this particular Duesenberg and says that it was stored in a barn until 1951 and only has 42,000 miles on it.

Check out the three headlights on the front. You can’t make it out too well in this picture, but this awesome car features wooden running boards and on the side of the exterior is a compartment complete with a tool kit specifically designed to repair the Duesenberg.

6. 1941 American LaFrance Fire Truck

This particular fire truck now owned by Leno was originally in service at Warner Brothers’ Studios in Burbank, California and was there for 20 years. In 1961, it was moved to the Burbank airport, where it sat on a runway as a wind blocker.

However, after the 9/11 attacks, new laws were passed and there were no longer allowed to be any objects blocking any runways. When this law was passed, the airport contacted Jay Leno. There were minor repairs that needed to be done and Leno had is customized so that it could be used to recover broken motorcycles.

7. 1951 Hudson Hornet

The 1951 Hudson Hornet has a 145-horsepower, 5-liter straight 6-cylinder engine and a two-barrel carburetor. In this time period, this was the largest 6-cylinder engine ever made. There were a total of 43,656 of these vehicles made in 1951. Jay Leno is only the second owner of this car. The first owner is a 93-year old woman that sold the car to Leno a couple of years ago.

They’d purchased the car when it was brand new and used it as their family car. When Leno purchased the vehicle, it had about 300,000 miles on it and needed a lot of work done! Now, you can see how gorgeous it looks. The original color of this vehicle was green, but he had the color changed because he already owns one green hornet. I think this color suits it better.

8. Tatra T87

Hans Ledwinka, who worked for Tatra, a Czechoslovakian carmaker and the thirdĀ oldest carmaker in the world, designed this car. It was designed for speed and was also the first air-cooled rear engine car ever made. The Tatra T87 was equipped with a 2.liter 85-horspower V8 engine and traditionally got about 20mpg. Its top speed was around 100mph, which for the time period (mid 1930s) was incredible.

9. 1924 Bentley Twin Turbo

Walter Owen Bentley designed the 1924 Bentley and actually, the one that Jay Leno owns is one that he had built, sot the car itself isn’t really from 1924, but the engine is and he had the car built around the engine in the same type of style. They did a beautiful job. This car is gorgeous. He was able to procure one of only 100 Bentley twin Turbo 8-liter engines made in 1924.

10. 1965 Shelby Mustang 350 GT

Here’s a classic that’s sure to be one of everyone’s favorites. Who doesn’t love a Mustang? There were only 562 Shebly 350 GTs made in 1965 and Jay Leno has number 120. Here’s an interesting fact you may not have known.

A lot of people think that this car got the “350” potion of its name because of the amount of horsepower. That’s a misnomer. This car sports a 306-horsepower V8 engine, but the “350” refers to a distance. It was 350 paces from Carroll Shelby’s office to a particular building and that’s how he decided to name the car.

11. Bentley Speed Six

As you can tell by looking at it, the Bentley Speed Six was built for speed. The original Bentley was built in 1926 by Walter Owen Bentley and the Speed Six, an enhanced sportier version was introduced in 1928. This car had a 6.6-liter straight-6 engine, which produced 180-200 horsepower.

12. 1957 Buick Roadmaster

Check out this great Buick Roadmaster with a V8 engine. Leno kept this car as a 100 percent original. He hasn’t remodeled anything in it or on it. In fact, it’s still got the original paint job on it. Jay is the third owner of the vehicle and the original owner use to take it to the car wash every Sunday.

Over the course of decades of the brushes from the car wash going over the paint, you can see that some of the paint has been worn away. Since it’s never been painted, the car still wears the history of where it’s been and how it was cared for. The vehicles that are left alone are just as great and sometimes even better than the ones that you remodel.

13. 1932 Duesenberg SJ

As stated previously, the chassis on all Duesenberg models were built in 1929, but the bodies were custom built to order and it took several years to sell them all because of The Great Depression. So, what does the “SJ” mean on the end of this model? Well, the J is just a model letter that most likely went in succession (A, B, and so on), but the S stands for “supercharged”. Jay Leno has only one of 36 supercharged ever made.

14. 1913 Packard

The first Packard ever built was in 1899 and the last one was in 1958. This was all a line of luxury vehicles for the wealthy. The 1913 Packard shown here is a Model 38 with a 6-cylinder engine. This was an interesting year because it was the first year that cars were being made with the H pattern gearshift.

This 1913 Packard could go from 0 to 60 mph in about 30 seconds. By today’s standards, that sucks, but this was about a hundred years ago. The top speed of the 1913 model was about 65 mph. Not bad, huh? When Leno got this particular vehicle, it looked horrible, so he restored it, but miraculously, it still ran.

15. 1948 Jaguar 120

The 120 in the name refers to the top speed of the vehicle. Though he bought the Buick Roadmaster for transportation purposes in 1972 and later restored it, this 1948 Jaguar was the first vehicle that he bought for his collection of fine cars.

These are only the best of Leno’s collection, but he has so many impressive vehicles in his collection. They’re all in this huge garage and are categorized by sections such as is “Bugatti section” of his garage. It’s amazing to me, especially since a lot of people don’t even have a garage. Though a lot of us dream of owning all these fine cars, Jay Leno is living out his dream. Though I’d love to own all of these cars, I’d just be thrilled to take a stroll in his garage.

Leave a Comment

  1. PraetoR says:

    The Tatra among other uniques (like cetral backbone tube with half-axels) was first company to put aerodynamic car into serial production. The drag coefficient of T77 is unmatched even by standards of today.

  2. i like the 1955 Buick Roadmaster, looks pretty cool.

  3. greenlanding says:

    You would think that Leno would be against alternative fuels given his collection but I have seen interviews where he has stated that he'd like to see the internal combustion engine become a thing of the past. You'd have your hydrogen powered car for the daily commute and a cool classic for cruising around on the weekends. BTW, the Bugatti Atlantic has the strangest roof line of any car ever built but, man, is it cool.

  4. Pete says:

    Snore. Pre-War cars don't interest me in the least. And how could you leave out his twin-turbo tank car?

  5. Jason Carpp says:

    Awesome website. I've watched much of Jay Leno's videos of the cars above on his website. While it's too bad we can't see the cars in person (unless you actually visit the warehouse where the cars are collected), I'm glad he has it videotaped so that we can watch him drive the cars. My favourite cars are the Tatra T87, the Mazda Cosmo, the NSU Wankel, and the 1970 Dodge Challenger. I also liked the Chrysler Airflow, the 1967 Chrysler Imperial and the Dodge Viper.

  6. Galen V. Govier says:

    Jay said it best at Barrett-Jackson last year when he proclaimed "I am the President of the MORE MONEY THAN BRAINS CLUB",
    I for one like his taste in cars.
    Galen

  7. Rick says:

    Hey Jay,

    ………..wheres the Mopars?

  8. Dan Putney says:

    My Dad had a 54' roadmaster four door . I remember the duel exhaust he had someone put on , boy did they sound good ! And , it had a button on the floor ( like a dimmer switch ) to change the radio station ! How cool was that , in 1954 !

  9. Peter Mould says:

    Those are some gorgeous looking cars! I wonder how much he spends on average in maintaining each one.

    Regards,
    Peter http://www.pmwltd.co.uk/