Comedy legend and “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno might just be the most famous car guy in Hollywood. And that’s a tough distinction to get, with so many auto aficionados residing in California.
He’s got in a series of airplane hangars at Burbank Airport a collection of more than 200 cars and motorcycles – from 1920’s Bentley’s to McLaren’s P1 supercar. And among them are many unique collectibles, like the street-legal 2001 Chrysler Tank Car that uses an actual engine taken from an M47 Patton Tank! Yes, he’s a car guru and yes; most of us around the world actually utterly envy him. So, in the spirit of reconciliation, here are some car wisdom quotes he churned out during a Business Insider interview.
“I like cars that are ahead of their times, and that were noble failures because they were built to a higher standard than the consumer needed. Cars like the Wills Sainte Claire or the Duesenberg,” he said of cars that tick his boxes.
Both Wills Sainte Claire and Duesenberg where two upstart car companies – much like Tesla Motors is today – that in the 1920s and 1930s had technologically advanced cars.
“Corporations complain about [safety] regulations, but let’s face it, people walk away from accidents now that would have killed them when I was a kid,” says Leno about today’s automotive safety.
“When you work with your hands, you learn to appreciate how easy it is to earn money talking,” he says in regards to the fact that he works on his cars. “When you fix something with your hands it gives you a sense of accomplishment and a sense of self worth.”
Besides driving all his cars and being an accomplished mechanic alongside his team of engineers that help him restore and maintain in pristine condition his priceless collection, Leno is also a walking encyclopedia when it comes to automobiles and their history.
Photo courtesy of NBC Universal