We all know what
a great late night
talent Jay Leno is.
And in his spare time
and with his spare
money, Mr. Leno has
a large collection of
cars of almost every
If he isn’t busy adding
steam to his 1925 Doble
steam car, Mr. Leno
could be working with
his crew of mechanics
to put a 1000 hp rear-drive powertrain in a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.
Peter Egan from Road & Track reports that the Leno garage has a relaxed
atmosphere for simply enjoying cars. This fits in with Leno being a relaxed
easy going guy.
One of the cars Leno is working on is a 1966 7-liter Ford Galaxie with a four-
speed automatic transmission. It is a car that is almost exactly like his dad
bought when Jay was in high school.
What is memorable about the Ford Galaxie that his dad bought? Well, Jay
‘helped’ his dad spec out the car by having the salesperson (Mr. Leno did not
do it) surreptitiously check the option boxes for the 7-liter engine and a pair of
glass-packs for the exhaust.
Needless to say, Jay’s father was not happy when the Galaxie was delivered.
His father thought there was a hole in the muffler (he probably did not know that
there were two mufflers!). And when his father hit the accelerator (afterburner)
the car spun its narrow bias-ply tires and the car went sideways (whose car was
His father’s dislike for the car was short lived as it rusted out quickly and
the young Leno ended up wrapping it around a tree and broke the car in-half.
Over the years fathers in general have been known to be quite vigilant
when their teenage sons have been around during the vehicle purchasing
process. Fathers have been well aware that any vehicle and powertrain
that the sons prefer might not be in the fathers’ best interests or even in
the best interest of society as a whole.
Does it really matter whether you grow up with parents that let you
drive a dull slow unexciting vehicle or one that truly had a real engine?
Well, in many instances fathers would get rid of any high powered vehicles
right before their sons (and today daughters) were able to drive. Like it
or not, these fathers could objectively think ahead and they were well
aware of could happen and they simple chose to avoid it.
It seems that it is not a matter of what kind of car you grow up with, but
rather if cars are in your blood. Thus, an interest in and enthusiasm for
cars will show up one way or another. There is simply no stopping it!
What kind of vehicle did your father have when you first began to drive?
And like Jay Leno’s, I’ll bet there are some interesting stories!
Have an auto question or comment? You can email it to me at
Kbusch3@verizon.net. Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best
for the Price…” www.DriveTheBestBook.com.