TV star, Jay Leno, loves cougars. Not the car, per se, but older classic cars. Can I call them cougars? Most cars are referred to as ‘females’, after all!
The longtime late night talk show host and comedian is well-known as a geeky collector of cool cars, but you won’t find any young stuff in his garage. Forget the brand new models and current luxury rental cars Miami style, Leno prefers a bit of history with his expensive toys.
He bought a turbo version of the Bentley when it first came out in 1990, a GMC pickup followed soon after, but then nothing new for years.
He prefers classic, saying he especially digs cars that are what he calls “orphans” that need tender loving care.
Give Jay a Duesenberg, a Packard, or a Bugatti to play with, and he’ll be in heaven. He says that old classic models had engineers and designers who did things their own way, usually expensively, and often not terribly practically, which ultimately led to failure but the product was unique and he loves that.
He likens his old cars and his tinkering to working with a problematic piece of furniture or some home fixture in need of repair.
Leno has been quoted as saying: “To me, cars are like old screen doors. I know that if I jiggle the latch and move it this way, it will open for me and no one else.”
For example, he loves the fact that Bugatti had an odd, hollow front axle and mechanical brakes, long after everybody else changed to hydraulics, but he feels it makes the car “full of character.” He particularly loves English cars for some of their bizarre traits and shake-your-head design issues. We would love to add some of his cars for our fleet of Miami luxury rental cars, Chicago exotic car rentals or our newest fleet of New York luxury rental cars.
It’s the quirkiness that attracts him, and he enjoys the story of Jaguar’s early entry into the sedan business in the early 1950s. When the first Jaguar sedan came out, there seemed to be a problem with the brakes. Drivers had to pump them twice to get them to engage. When the Jaguar factory in Coventry, England, was notified, the solution was not to fix the master cylinder so it engaged on the first pump, but rather, to simply put in a dashboard warning light, reminding drivers to pump twice.
Quirky is right!
Jay sees it the vintage ownership thing as a kinship, like a club with a secret handshake. He says when he sees someone driving an old Bentley or a Triumph or an MG, he knows the guy is clearly a member of the “brotherhood.” He says it takes a certain level of expertise just to drive those old beauties, and a certain boldness to be willing to take one out on a trip, knowing it might take some tinkering to get back.
With more than 200 vehicles in his collection, there is no question Jay Leno is certainly qualified to be the head of that brotherhood, and for him, retro is the way.
Into the newer exotic cars? Don’t miss our fleet of luxury rental cars and more on your way out!
Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals