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Jay Leno’s Love Affair with Cars Explained Ahead of Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge

The former host of The Tonight Show loves cars both big and small. Why? Let's get into it. 

By Brian Silliman

Many automobile enthusiasts might enjoy being legally married to their cars. The fact that Jay Leno is not yet married to a car is fine evidence indeed that auto-marriage is not yet recognized by the law, nor is it socially acceptable. Anyone who is remotely familiar with the former late-night host knows that Mr. Leno has a passion for the vroom vroom.

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Watch Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge on NBC and Peacock.

He will soon be a guest host on Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge, coming to NBC on May 30th. The series will feature Superfans of the timeless Hot Wheels™ toy line getting the opportunity to create new die-cast legends. The former host of The Tonight Show is a perfect fit, because he’s already connected to the “Hot Wheels” universe. He’s also famous for having a passion for cars (as we’ve already stated) and a considerable personal collection. For Leno, the automotive love affair started early.

As reported by motorbiscuit.com, Leno told Yahoo! Finance that it was all connected to growing up in rural Massachusetts.

“There were always broken tractors, lawnmowers, vehicles you had to fix. I remember somebody had abandoned an old Renault in a field when we were about 11 or 12. We would drive it around the backyard," he said. "It taught you how to fix cars and get things running."

The same article claims Leno never intended to amass his own collection, he just started buying things that he liked. How many cars does Leno have? Enough to make Dom Toretto jealous, that’s for sure.

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He has around 169 automobiles. His total number of vehicles is 286, because there are motorcycles in the mix as well. Look upon them and despair, Henry Ford! Many of these people-movers were showcased on the series Jay Leno’s Garage (2015-2022), which is currently streaming on Peacock.

He appreciates history, as proved by the fact that his collection boasts a 1909 Stanley Steamer. On the other side of things, he has a 1994 McLaren F1, one of the most exclusive sports cars there is. His 1996 Oldsmobile Toronado is worth $150,000, while his 1955 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing Coupe is worth $1.8 million.

Everyone has a 1955 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing Coupe, though. Children the world over are gifted them immediately before umbilical cords are cut. No one but Leno has a 2006 EcoJet, however, and that’s because he collaborated on its creation. It uses “bio-diesel” as opposed to regular fuel. Leno loves cars, but he also loves and cares for the environment. He supports Tesla (his collection includes one of the eco-friendly conveyances) and in 2019 he had nothing but praise for it. He was also a fan of Elon Musk, the man who takes credit for that car’s creation.

You could say that you can’t find a more environmentally-friendly car than Hot Wheels collectibles. Leno is even more perfect for Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge because he’s collaborated on a Hot Wheels set that bears his name. The “Hot Wheels Jay Leno’s Garage Container Set” includes five models that Leno helped bring to tiny life.

With a Massachusetts-bred love, a vast collection, and a hard-hitting Hot Wheels experience, you’d be hard-pressed to find a celebrity who has a more genuine love for the automobile... While caring about their impact on the planet at the same time. 

Get caught up in Leno’s collection yourself by streaming Jay Leno’s Garage. Prepare yourself to get creative with Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge, coming to NBC on May 30th.