Jay Leno’s Classic Car Collection
Leno has been described as “one of the entertainment world's most notorious petrolheads”.
Estimates for the size of his collection vary, ranging from 80 cars and 80 motorcycles, up to a “200+ vehicle headcount, of which about 100 are cars”.
These include a 1906 Stanley Steamer, a McLaren F1, Dodge Viper GTS, Audi R8, Lamborghini Miura and “the scary, skeletal, Ariel Atom.”
Leno has a custom built garage named the Big Dog Garage. The garage, covering 17,000 square feet and spread across two low-slung buildings, houses his enormous collection and is one of the world's best-equipped garages.
His collection spans 100 years of automotive history. The oldest vehicles in the collection are a 1906 Baker electric car and a 1906 Stanley Steamer; the newest is a 2006 Corvette. Leno also owns a number of rare cars, such as a Monteverde, a Bugatti Atlantic, and a turbine motorcycle.
The 1906 Baker electric car, described by Leno as looking “like a telephone booth", runs on batteries designed by Thomas Edison.
Leno likes powerful cars and is “particularly gushing" about his 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II with its Merlin V-12 engine, which generates over 1,000 horse power.6
Arguably, the most unique and special car in the collection is a 1955 Buick. It was the first car Leno purchased and the first car he came to California in.
During Leno’s time as a struggling comedian in Los Angeles, Leno “often slept in the car in alleyways next to comedy clubs.”
Leno regularly drives cars in his collection rather than simply housing them.
Leno has not formally valued his collection; however, his McLaren Supercar is valued at more than $1 million.
Additionally, some of the collection’s Duesenbergs, which originally sold for $20,000-$25,000, are now worth about $1 million.
Leno’s Y2K Turbine Superbike (powered by a 320-horsepower engine with a top speed of around 260 mph) was purchased for around $150,000 at the time. They are regarded as being valued much higher now.
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