The Jay Leno Car Collection is without a doubt the most well-known private car collection in the world. There are several reasons for this. Jay Leno has a garage full of cars from many different decades and market groups. He often gives his collection of cars away for free, and it’s one of the best in the world. For example, a car fan can win a tour of the man’s workshop led by him.
There are race cars, American power cars, ridiculously expensive cars, and a few cars that people drive every day. This huge collection includes cars from all over the world’s past. The best part is that he doesn’t hide them from car fans. Almost all of the cars in his collection are often taken for drives. Jay Leno often drives his McLaren F1 around Los Angeles or his Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing to the neighborhood coffee shop for cars and drivers.
Find out everything you need to know about Jay Leno’s car collection.
How Jay Leno’s Collection of Cars Began
Before we can understand Jay Leno’s collection, we need to know about his past. We are going to stick to a very shortened form. Leno did stand-up comedy while he was in college, which is how Johnny Carson, America’s longtime talk show star, found him. A few times, Jay Leno filled in for Carson. In 1992, Carson revealed that he was retiring.
When Jay Leno became the new host of The Tonight Show, he became famous all over the world. That’s also where most of his money comes from. From 1992 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2014, he was the host of the popular show.
The busy Jay Leno started Jay Leno’s Garage in 2014 because he doesn’t like to do nothing. The show was taken off the air by CNBC in January 2013 after seven seasons, but it will always be on Jay Leno’s YouTube account.
We already talked about how much Leno is worth. There are many things that Jay does besides being a comedian and talk show host. He is an actor, director, screenwriter, and voice actor. It is thought that Jay Leno’s net worth is around $450 million.
Since it’s pretty clear that he likes cars, he spends his money on some of the best ones ever made.
How much is all of Jay Leno’s cars worth? It is not possible to say. The duPont Registry said in 2021 that his collection of cars was worth more than $53 million. Rare and expensive cars, on the other hand, tend to gain value over time. When it was brand new, the McLaren F1 cost $815,000. Now, it’s worth between $12 and $20 million. Between 1992 and 1996, only 106 were made. Leno owns a 1994 McLaren F1.
We think $53 million is too low because that’s just one car in his huge shed.
Interesting Things About Jay Leno’s Garage
People want to know how many cars Jay Leno has the most. There is no exact number, but Jay Leno is thought to own around 180 cars and 160 motorbikes.
The Automotive Hall of Fame says that he bought his first car, a 1934 Ford pickup truck, when he was sixteen years old. In exchange for the truck, a Datsun 1600 was bought. He bought himself his first high-class car, a 1955 Buick Roadmaster, after moving to the West Coast.
This Roadmaster would be the first car that made him famous as a car collector. He still has it in his collection. The car collector Jay Leno is known for not selling his cars, but we know of at least one that he did. He didn’t sell the Tesla Model S P90D because he didn’t like it. He only sold it to make room for his daily driver, a Tesla Model S Plaid. To be honest, Leno really likes electric cars and was on board with the idea long before it was cool.
He was one of the few people who bought a Chevrolet Volt in 2011. GM was way ahead of its time with this car. Leno drove it for a year and only used about half a tank of gas. The two Teslas came next.
People also want to know what Jay Leno’s best car is. It’s hard for us to pick just one, but Leno says it’s his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 Kompressor. We were sure it was the 1994 McLaren F1.
The third question is about Leno’s car insurance. They’ve worked together on a few videos for Jay Leno’s Garage, so it’s possible that he has a deal with them. Even though the terms of the deal are secret, Jerry Insurance did some math and found that Jay Leno’s cars cost about $1.1 million a year to insure.
Of course, you can’t keep more than 300 motorcycles and cars close to your home, so he stores them all in his Big Dog Garage, which is close to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Everything you need to know about cars is now here. We chose to only put our 10 favorite cars because there isn’t enough room for all of them. It wasn’t easy to choose just 10 cars from this huge collection.
Jay Leno’s Car Collection
1. The McLaren F1 in 1994
The McLaren F1 will always be in the running for being the best car ever made, even though it’s a pretty clear winner. Everyone who likes cars wants to drive an F1 at least once, but the chances are not good.
As we already said, only 106 were made. It’s a mean-looking car with a naturally aspirated V12 engine and rear-wheel drive. There was never another car with the S70/2 V12 engine that was made by BMW. Its numbers are still very amazing. It has 479 lb-ft of torque and 618 horsepower.
At 240.1 mph, the F1 set the world record for the fastest factory car. It will always have a place in history. Then there was the exciting win at Le Mans. It’s a long list.
Jay Leno owns one of the 25 apartments that were built in 1994. The finish is black, and there is a thin red line running down the sides of it.
He did not buy it brand new, though. A Dutch race car driver bought it and then sold it to Leno for $80,000. The car is thought to be worth $12 million right now, which isn’t very much for an F1.
Why? Because Leno drives it the way the car gods wanted. There are a lot of miles on it, but it’s still one of the most expensive cars in his collection.
2. A Gullwing Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Automobile and design greats built the 300SL Gullwing car. In 1952, after World War II, Mercedes-Benz chose to race again. The company made the Mercedes-Benz W194, which did very well in endurance races. The racing car was very fast because it had a light aluminum frame and wide sills. These features meant that normal doors could not be used, which is how Gullwing doors were created.
The Germans weren’t going to make a version that could be driven on the road, but Merc’s official US-based supplier persuaded them it would be a good idea. The result was the 300SL Gullwing car. About 1,400 were made, and 80% were sold in the United States.
Jay Leno’s model is one of a kind. It was like finding a barn in the desert. Leno paid to fix up the inside, but he left the red outside with the number 263 looking just as beat up as he found it.
If you watch Jay Leno’s Garage often, you know that he loves a car with a story. Another thing about this car is that its shape tells a story.
3. The Chrysler Turbine Car of 1963
The Chrysler Turbine is linked to WWII in the same way that the Gullwing is. In the 1930s, Chrysler looked into making turbine engines for planes, but nothing came of it. When the war was over, the company had a lot of secret technology that it didn’t know how to use. It chose to turn a turbine into a car engine. It was possible, and Chrysler made 55 of them.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds to power a car with a turbine engine. There are not as many working parts in a turbine engine, so it lasts longer. But making such an engine costs a lot of money, so the Chrysler Turbine was canceled in 1964.
It looks like Jay Leno owns one of the last two working models that are still privately owned. It’s even cooler that he’s not afraid to play with it.
4. 1925 E-20 Double
Leno owns a lot of steam-powered cars. Late last year, one of them hurt him and sent him to the hospital. It’s clear that he’s interested in all kinds of ways to move things, since he loves electric vehicles, the turbine car above, and his collection of steam cars. If only more so-called fans were as willing to listen…
There were two main reasons we chose the E-20 Doble. Leno has said on record that it’s the best steam car ever made, and its past is very interesting.
First, let’s talk about why it’s the best thing ever. The Doble’s steam engine makes 150 hp, which is about the same as the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in a modern Nissan Sentra. On the other hand, the torque number is more amazing. It has 1,000 lb-ft of torque at rest, the same as Leno’s Plaid.
Howard Hughes, another forward-thinking American, used to own this particular one.
The Doble is one of Jay Leno’s most amazing cars because of all of these things.
5. Lamborghini Miura P400 from 1967
Many people think that the Lamborghini Miura was the first supercar, but Jay Leno doesn’t agree. He thinks the award should go to the 300SL Gullwing that was already named.
When it was brand new, it was a pricey car, but now it’s nearly impossible to find. It costs more than a million euros to buy Lamborghini’s first mid-engine V12 racecar.
How much did Jay Leno pay for this great example? There’s nothing. Nothing at all. Nada. A grand sum of nothing.
This model was given to a son by his father as a gift. The son blew the engine, so the dad gave it to Leno.
Leno fixed it up, and you can often see him driving it around. This is without a doubt one of the best deals on a car ever.
6. Mazda Cosmo 110S from 1970
Here’s another thing that shows how much Leno loves tech. The Cosmo was the first Mazda that was made with a rotary engine. The RX-7 would not exist without this car. Mercedes also played around with the Wankel engine for a while; it was first made in 1924, but Mazda will always be linked to it.
The 110S had a two-rotor engine that was less than one liter in size. Still, it had 110 hp, which is where the name comes from. Leno owns a newer Series II model with a motor that was a little more powerful at 128 hp.
People think that Leno’s Cosmo is the only one in the US, but it’s not in stock. Leno decided not to use the original engine and instead put in the 12A twin-rotor engine from the first-generation Mazda RX-7.
7. The Ford GT
Pick what you want. Leno owns both the original from 2005 and the 2018 model with a carbon fiber body.
Both cars are finished in a nice way. The old model has red and white stripes, while the new model with an EcoBoost V6 engine has black and orange stripes.
We like the 2005 Ford GT because it was made to compete with the Ferrari 360. Ford went a little too far and famously put a boosted V8 engine from a truck in the car. This engine was mostly used in farming equipment, but it had 550 hp and 500 lb-ft of power. The 360 had a naturally aspirated flat-plane V8 engine that could only make 395 hp, so it was wiped out. The GT was even better than the F430, which came after the 360.
The 2018 Ford GT was faster than the Ferrari both on and off the track. This car won its class at Le Mans and beat the Ferrari 488 on the racetrack.
You may already know that Leno doesn’t own a single Ferrari. The following car is the next one on our list. He doesn’t like how the brand treats its customers or how hard it is to get a limited-production model.
8. The Porsche Carrera GT from 2005
This is another one of Jay Leno’s cars that might be the best car ever made, along with the McLaren F1. The story of this car is well known now. Although the 5.7-liter V10 was first made for racing, the rules changed and it is no longer allowed. Porsche didn’t can the engine; instead, it used it for its halo model in the 2000s.
The GT is a mean car that doesn’t put up with jerks. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission and not many electrical add-ons.
In the same way, Leno also has a McLaren P1. He had enough money to buy any of the Holy Trinity, but he chose the P1, which was thought to be the most dangerous.
The most important thing is that McLaren didn’t make it hard for people to buy a P1. You had to buy several other Ferraris, give the Italian brand a blood sample, and give birth to a child before you could buy a LaFerrari.
9. Mazda Miata from 1996
There are some things in Jay Leno’s garage that can’t go 200 miles per hour. The NA Mazda Miata is a great example of a pure sports car for the average person.
In an interview with Business Insider in 2018, Leno said something very controversial: he said that the Miata and the first Prius will one day be collected.
“No matter where you grew up. The clothes you wore to the prom. “It’s the car your dad used to take you to get ice cream on Sundays,” Leno said. “That’s the car the next generation will collect.”
Leno really likes the Miata’s clutch, its fast engine, and the way it makes driving fun. A lot of people bought it because it was cheap. That means that a whole group of people who admired the Miata as kids can now afford to buy one.
We here at CarBuzz really like the Miata. A man who owns a Porsche Carrera GT, a McLaren P1, and a McLaren F1 can still find simple thrills in a simple car. That means Mazda did a good job.
10. Duesenberg Walker Coupe from 1934
Leno has a few Duesenbergs, but the Walker Coupe is his favorite. It costs the most of any Duesenberg ever made, and Walker planned and built the body to be as aerodynamic as possible.
The head of Lilly Pharmaceutical, Josiah Lilly, had the car made for him, but he didn’t like it.
After that, the car would have a pretty exciting life. One person bought it, and that person then sold it to the owner of a gas store. The gas station owner didn’t take the straight-eight engine to church on Sunday; instead, he used it to pull things. To be fair, it worked perfectly for the job. The eight-cylinder engine made 265 hp, and the car weighs more than 6,000 pounds.
It is thought that this is Jay Leno’s most expensive car. It’s worth between $20 million and $30 million, but no one can say for sure.
If Leno doesn’t sell, we won’t know how much the market is willing to pay. That won’t happen any time soon.