EXCLUSIVE: Inside Jay Leno's impressive multi-million dollar 357-vehicle collection

 

Jay Leno gave Daily Mail an exclusive tour earlier this year of his impressive collection of 189 cars and 168 motorcycles – some worth millions of dollars apiece. The 70-year-old comedian and renowned car collector now hosts his own car TV show, Jay Leno's Garage, but he started out in Andover, Massachusetts with a humble 1934 Ford. Scroll through to see more...

Jay Leno gave Daily Mail an exclusive tour earlier this year of his impressive collection of 189 cars and 168 motorcycles – some worth millions of dollars apiece. The 70-year-old comedian and renowned car collector now hosts his own car TV show, Jay Leno's Garage, but he started out in Andover, Massachusetts with a humble 1934 Ford. Scroll through to see more...

On an exclusive tour of the comedian's Los Angeles garage filled with hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles, Leno said that living as a teenager in rural Massachusetts,  driving a car was his only way to experience freedom and get his kicks.

On an exclusive tour of the comedian's Los Angeles garage filled with hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles, Leno said that living as a teenager in rural Massachusetts,  driving a car was his only way to experience freedom and get his kicks.

Leno explained he got his first car as a teen living in rural Andover, Massachusetts, because he wanted to spend private time with his girlfriend. Pictured: Leno's Mercer Type 35J 'Raceabout' that was the first mass dual purpose sports/race car produced in the pre-WW1 era. It's worth nearly $1 million.

Leno explained he got his first car as a teen living in rural Andover, Massachusetts, because he wanted to spend private time with his girlfriend. Pictured: Leno's Mercer Type 35J 'Raceabout' that was the first mass dual purpose sports/race car produced in the pre-WW1 era. It's worth nearly $1 million.

Working through college in Boston at a Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz dealer, Leno began hunting down bargains on classic cars and renovating them to their former glory.

Working through college in Boston at a Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz dealer, Leno began hunting down bargains on classic cars and renovating them to their former glory.

Leno is now the proud owner of 189 cars and 168 motorcycles – some worth millions of dollars apiece. His most valuable, and coincidentally his favorite modern car, a 1994 McLaren F1, is now worth around $17 million, though previous auctions of the model have topped $24 million.

Leno is now the proud owner of 189 cars and 168 motorcycles – some worth millions of dollars apiece. His most valuable, and coincidentally his favorite modern car, a 1994 McLaren F1, is now worth around $17 million, though previous auctions of the model have topped $24 million.

Among the comedian's scores of vintage bikes is the world's largest collection of British Brough Superior motorcycles, popularized by Colonel Thomas Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Pictured: Leno posing with a Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle.

Among the comedian's scores of vintage bikes is the world's largest collection of British Brough Superior motorcycles, popularized by Colonel Thomas Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Pictured: Leno posing with a Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle.

'These were the pinnacle of motorcycle engineering back in the day,' Leno explained. 'Lawrence of Arabia was famous for owning Brough Superiors. ' Lawrence of Arabia owned eight of the machines and was subsequently killed while riding one.

'These were the pinnacle of motorcycle engineering back in the day,' Leno explained. 'Lawrence of Arabia was famous for owning Brough Superiors. ' Lawrence of Arabia owned eight of the machines and was subsequently killed while riding one.

Leno said of the bikes: 'These cost as much as a house back in the 1920s. Back then most motorcycles barely went 60 mph - these went over 100 mph. They were a thing of legend in books and stories'.

Leno said of the bikes: 'These cost as much as a house back in the 1920s. Back then most motorcycles barely went 60 mph - these went over 100 mph. They were a thing of legend in books and stories'.

Pictured: A British Army Ferret armored reconnaissance vehicle sitting alongside a 1930's Hispano Suiza.

Pictured: A British Army Ferret armored reconnaissance vehicle sitting alongside a 1930's Hispano Suiza.

A pair of Buick Roadsters — one on the left being a 1955 convertible and the other Leno's first car on moving to LA.

A pair of Buick Roadsters — one on the left being a 1955 convertible and the other Leno's first car on moving to LA.

Leno said he bought his latest car, the 189th in his collection, about three months ago because the 19ft by 11ft 1958 Lincoln Continental III (pictured) was 'the most obnoxious automobile possible'.

Leno said he bought his latest car, the 189th in his collection, about three months ago because the 19ft by 11ft 1958 Lincoln Continental III (pictured) was 'the most obnoxious automobile possible'.

The fastest car Leno currently owns and uses as his everyday runaround is this Tesla Model S P100D. The model is the fastest accelerating production model ever produced and comes with 'Ludicrous mode' able to sprint the car from 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

The fastest car Leno currently owns and uses as his everyday runaround is this Tesla Model S P100D. The model is the fastest accelerating production model ever produced and comes with 'Ludicrous mode' able to sprint the car from 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

The stand-up comic, who still tours the country performing when he isn't in his Big Dog auto shop in Burbank, Los Angeles, says he enjoys the balance of manual and mental labor. Pictured: A 1967 Lamborghini Miura once owned by Dean Martin.

The stand-up comic, who still tours the country performing when he isn't in his Big Dog auto shop in Burbank, Los Angeles, says he enjoys the balance of manual and mental labor. Pictured: A 1967 Lamborghini Miura once owned by Dean Martin.

Leno said: 'I just like the mechanicalness of driving. I'm in a business where you make your living by talking. I think the heart is healthiest when the head and the hands work together. When you fix something you've actually accomplished something.' Pictured: An old model of a Maserati.

 Leno said: 'I just like the mechanicalness of driving. I'm in a business where you make your living by talking. I think the heart is healthiest when the head and the hands work together. When you fix something you've actually accomplished something.' Pictured: An old model of a Maserati.

The appeal of his vehicles can vary, from speed to beauty – or bestial power, he said.

The appeal of his vehicles can vary, from speed to beauty – or bestial power, he said.

Despite passing retirement age, Leno says he's too busy working to go on any long road trips with his classic cars, though he enjoys a drive up to Angeles Crest above Los Angeles. Pictured: General views of Lamborghini's in Leno's collection.

Despite passing retirement age, Leno says he's too busy working to go on any long road trips with his classic cars, though he enjoys a drive up to Angeles Crest above Los Angeles. Pictured: General views of Lamborghini's in Leno's collection.

The comedian said one monstrous vehicle (pictured) specially made from a Cold War-era tank engine was a particular favorite of his friend, Terminator star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. 'This is Schwarzenegger's favorite car. Arnold loves it,' Leno said, mimicking the bodybuilder's German accent. 'Every time he gets near it he's like ''oh I just love that car, it's just like the terminator, it's fantastic'''.

The comedian said one monstrous vehicle (pictured) specially made from a Cold War-era tank engine was a particular favorite of his friend, Terminator star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. 'This is Schwarzenegger's favorite car. Arnold loves it,' Leno said, mimicking the bodybuilder's German accent. 'Every time he gets near it he's like ''oh I just love that car, it's just like the terminator, it's fantastic'''.

Leno explained: 'It's an M47 Patton Tank engine, it weighs five tonnes, it's ridiculous. We put Bosch fuel injection, we put twin turbos on it. It's actually quite powerful. It's just stupid, it's a big giant, more-money-than-brains thing'.

Leno explained: 'It's an M47 Patton Tank engine, it weighs five tonnes, it's ridiculous. We put Bosch fuel injection, we put twin turbos on it. It's actually quite powerful. It's just stupid, it's a big giant, more-money-than-brains thing'.

'You know the funny thing about Los Angeles is everybody says the driving is awful. It is awful around the 210, the 5, the 405 or the 101. But you go six miles up in Tujunga Canyon and you don't even see another car, it's like driving in Sicily. I was there yesterday, I drove up to the snow line,' Leno said.

'You know the funny thing about Los Angeles is everybody says the driving is awful. It is awful around the 210, the 5, the 405 or the 101. But you go six miles up in Tujunga Canyon and you don't even see another car, it's like driving in Sicily. I was there yesterday, I drove up to the snow line,' Leno said.

Pictured: A 1970 Dodge Challenger GT gifted to Leno by singer Garth Brooks.

Pictured: A 1970 Dodge Challenger GT gifted to Leno by singer Garth Brooks.

Leno's garage manager, 54-year-old John Pera, revealed another star was close to the Big Dog garage. Pera, who has worked for Leno for 28 years, said he once sold a 1974 Rolls-Royce (not pictured) that he had restored to John Travolta for $80,000.

Leno's garage manager, 54-year-old John Pera, revealed another star was close to the Big Dog garage. Pera, who has worked for Leno for 28 years, said he once sold a 1974 Rolls-Royce (not pictured) that he had restored to John Travolta for $80,000.

The stand-up comic, who still tours the country performing when he isn't in his Big Dog auto shop in Burbank, Los Angeles, says he enjoys the balance of manual and mental labor.

The stand-up comic, who still tours the country performing when he isn't in his Big Dog auto shop in Burbank, Los Angeles, says he enjoys the balance of manual and mental labor.

A 1909 Baker Electric with rudder steering

Leno said that one of his favorite stories behind a classic car was for a yellow 1953 Hudson Hornet he acquired from a 94-year-old woman. Pictured: A 1909 Baker Electric with rudder steering.

A custom-made vehicle known as 'The Rocker car' is also part of Leno's vast car collection.

A custom-made vehicle known as 'The Rocker car' is also part of Leno's vast car collection.

A representative for Visit California, who arranged the Big Dog Garage tour, said visitors wanting to plan a road trip to the golden state should go to visitcalifornia.com and discoverla.com.

A representative for Visit California, who arranged the Big Dog Garage tour, said visitors wanting to plan a road trip to the golden state should go to visitcalifornia.com and discoverla.com.

8 comments:

  1. Pretty impressive collection but for someone to do this shows me they have a form of OCD. You can tell most the cars aren't even driven. Very few cars in these pics have license plates. Can you imagine the annual tab fees for all these cars if he had them all licensed.

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    1. I guess the upside then is that this assumed outpouring of OCD has resulted in the survival of many classic and landmark cars. A win all round.

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