What can be said about Jay Leno that hasn't already been said? The man is a great comedian, businessman, philanthropist, and most of all, a great "car guy". I can remember when he took over for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. I always thought he was the perfect choice to fill those shoes. Years ago, I read an article somewhere that said he was a collector of classic cars. It went on to list some of the cars that he owned at the time, complete with pictures. All of a sudden I had a whole new appreciation for the guy. To me he now seemed even cooler, if that was even possible. Heck, it was his now famous garage (who's kidding who here, it's a warehouse) that was the impetus for me to build the Amberlight Garage. Make no mistake, these two garages are light years apart in both size and contents, but both are equal when it comes to appreciating old cars and mechanical things in general.
I have never had the pleasure of meeting him, but when you hang around classic car venues and talk with the folks there you tend to hear stories, and the story I always hear on Jay Leno is that he is really knowledgeable and easy to talk to, basically just like any other car guy. Of course the obvious difference is that he has one of the coolest vehicle collections in the world. So cool that I would gladly give my antique, glass faced Valvoline shop thermometer just to photograph it! Yea, I know he's famous and all that, but it's really his cars that are the stars.
So what can a guy like me do to see this incredible car collection? That's the million dollar question. I suppose I could just go up and ask him, but I would have to almost stalk the guy to get that opportunity and that is just a bit creepy. I'm sure most folks ask for Jay's autograph or a photo with him, and here I am asking to see his cars and photograph them! It probably seems wierd to most people but I know car guys get it. They know how it feels. They know the rush, the excitement, the absolute sheer awe of gazing upon a virtual cornucopia of mechanical marvels. It is basically the automotive equivalent of the The Rockettes; all beautiful bodies, lots of bright colors and lights, and it leaves you wanting to see more!
Do you think a regular Joe like myself even stands a chance of ever seeing Jay Leno's car collection, let alone photograph it? Let's face it, Jay's garage is the Holy Grail of garages, probably the coolest one on the planet. What's a garage junkie to do? And what about my fasination with garages? My garage fetish has been well documented on these very pages, from The Garage Mahal and Of Garages and Men to If You Build It They Will Come. I can think of no one more qualified to peruse this automotive labyrinth then myself, or maybe me and my buddy Duane, who is basically a walking automotive encyclopedia. One things for sure, at least I can add it to my bucket list.