Jay Leno’s reputation as the ultimate car guy precedes him. The former Tonight Show host has well over a 130 cars in his garage, a collection of rare automobiles worth an estimated $50 million. If he could take any of those vehicles and shrink them down to 1:64 size Hot Wheels die-casts, what cars would he choose?
Thanks to a collaboration with Hot Wheels for the brand’s 50th anniversary, I had an opportunity to ask Jay this exact question. Jay is currently promoting the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, “in search of life-size cars worthy of being immortalized into a Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast car.”
He recently showed off his 1957 Silver Convertible Corvette at the Hot Wheels garage in El Segundo, California, of which he has a rad little die-cast for. Check it out in the picture above.
You can listen to my full conversation with Jay Leon on my new podcast, SO STUPENDOUS, now available in the iTunes Podcast app. The specific part with Jay Leno starts around the :30 minute mark.
Here’s what Jay would like to see as a Hot Wheels from his own collection:
“The McLaren F1 certainly is one…”
Fun fact: According to a couple previous interviews, “Jay Leno’s McLaren F1 is one of only one hundred and six F1 cars made between the years 1992 and 1998.”
“The 1913 Mercer Raceabout, the first true American sports car…”
“And the Duesenberg SJ…”
Other fun fact: In 2005, Leno bought a unrestored, rusting 1931 Duesenberg Model J in 2005 for $180,000. After restoration, it was worth an estimated $1mil. The car, in particular, has a storied history, previously belonging to the Levi Straus family since 1931 and being stashed in a forgotten Manhattan garage. The car was rumored to have given “President Herbert Hoover a ride” once upon a time. Leno bought it at auction, but the family later sued saying the auction wasn’t legit. The whole ordeal was settled in 2011 with a favorable outcome for both parties.
No wonder he’d wants it in a die-cast, too.
Once again, you can listen to the full conversation on the first episode of my new podcast, SO STUPENDOUS.
Worth noting: I really dig Leno’s take on the resurgence of the American auto industry, noting that “they’re run by engineers now” which is why there’s been a great comeback in muscle cars like the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, and the Dodge Charger.
Thanks for checkin’ out the pod.
Also, here are the city stops in The Hot Wheels Legends Tour. An “old school bus” with a really awesome story just won in Kansas City this past week. Read the whole story here.
- New Jersey – May 19
- Bentonville – June 2
- Nashville – June 9
- Atlanta – June 30
- Chicago – July 14
- Charlotte – July 28
- Seattle – August 4
- Detroit – August 11
- Dallas – August 25
- Miami – September 8
- Phoenix – September 22
- Washington DC – October 6
- Los Angeles – October 20
- SEMA, Las Vegas – November 2