Jay Leno’s garage has seen some crazy cars. From the tumbler from the Batman Dark Knight trilogy to some coveted ones classic cars like the Jaguar XKSS, the garage has seen it all. It’s also seen its fair share of celebrity vehicles. Occasionally a celebrity will bring their own car for Jay Leno to marvel at.
Jay Leno has a wealth of knowledge and its own extensive car collection. This makes for great conversations and entertaining television. His access to interesting personalities and celebrities also means we get a glimpse into the daily lives of some of our favorite stars. In this article, we’ll go through some of the coolest cars that graced his show.
10 Chevrolet Camaro—Chris Evans
History has to start somewhere. Chris Evans’ first generation, the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro is a prime example. A gift from his Marvel co-star Robert Downey Jr., the original Camaro features a 3.8-liter inline-six that produces 140 horsepower. Speedkore tuning swapped it out for a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 with 430 hp. Add a supercharger and this beast puts out 730 horsepower.
BAER Extreme 6S calipers with 14″ rotors replace the original drum brakes. Dubbed “Captain America,” the interior and exterior changes are drastic. Captain America’s 3-spoke steering wheel, gray exterior color and a more intense front grille mix retro with modernity.
9 Subaru WRX STI – Bucky Lasek
Bucky Lasek is a legendary skateboarder and car enthusiast. His love for Subaru is well known. At first glance, this looks like a standard 2016 WRX STI. The original model has a 305 hp 2.5 liter turbocharged boxer 4 cylinder. Add Brembo brakes, a center locking differential and all the little things that make a WRX STI great.
The AntSpek California team installed a larger turbo, added aero components and a Cobb exhaust. Upgrading the stock inlet and hoses solves some reliability issues. Finally, external carbon fiber parts make this a decent WRX STI for Bucky to take daily and to the track.
8th Jaguar XKSS Steve McQueen
The Jaguar XKSS is as rare a car as it gets. Only 16 were produced during the original production run in 1957. Legendary racer, actor and Marine Steve McQueen was one of the few to own one during his original run. The majestic exterior of the XKSS houses a 3.4-litre straight-six. The flowing exterior lines would inspire the E-Type. Combine that with a 4-speed manual transmission and a convertible fabric top and you’ve got a convertible for any twisty road.
Steve McQueen died in late 1980. However, almost 40 years later, his legendary XKSS ended up in Jay Leno’s garage and is currently housed in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
7 Cybertruck – Elon Musk
Love it or hate it, the Tesla CyberTruck is here. Even during its concept phase, the vehicle had to show up in Jay Leno’s garage because of its popularity and its futuristic design. A tri-motor drive delivers 805 hp. The estimated range of 500 miles is necessary for everyone who works with their truck.
The exterior design is the most talked about. Elon Musk likened it to a Blade-Runner car and James Bond’s submarine car. Its flat panels and sharp lines look like nothing else on the road today. This flatness has also been criticized as being unsafe for pedestrians and passengers in the event of an accident.
6 Hoonicorn – Ken Block
You’d be forgiven for not knowing that the Hoonicorn was built on a 1965 Mustang chassis. An integral part of modern car culture. The Hoonicorn features a 6.7-liter Roush-Yates V8 developed by Ford Performance and Ken Block. A wide exterior and massive 295/35/18 Toyo tires add to the mean look.
The Hoonicorn makes 1400 hp. Everything about this car is about burning rubber. It was retired in 2021, but not before making an appearance in Jay Leno’s garage, much to the delight of car enthusiasts everywhere.
5 SharkWerks Porsche 997 GT2 – Magnus Walker
Magnus Walker is a household name in the car restoration world. The Porsche 997 GT2 is born ex works for the race track. The interior is gutted in favor of a roll cage and weight savings. It has a biturbo six-cylinder boxer engine that produces 523 hp.
Of course, SharkWerks turn Porsches to 11. They’ve tweaked and tuned every component in this 997, from the suspension to the smallest screw. These additions increase power to 775 hp. The exterior has the iconic orange rear and front bumpers with a silver primer.
4 Weistec Mercedes-Benz SLS Black Series – Graham Rahal
The base Mercedes-Benz SLS is a ridiculous machine. It puts out 571 horsepower from a 6.2-liter V8. Add the stock black package and that pumps it up to 631 horsepower. Graham Rahal’s Indy Car spirit wasn’t satisfied with that. The Weistec Engineering team strengthened the inner workings and increased the power to 825 hp.
The most striking feature of the SLS are the gullwing doors. The low profile adds to the slim profile. Although Weistec didn’t add much to the exterior, the blacked-out wheels are another great touch on this beast.
3 Porsche 356 – Jerry Seinfeld
Before 911 there were 356. The Porsche 356 is the first car produced by the company. Like Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld has his own car collection. The small two-door sports car with a rear engine made 35 hp from an air-cooled 1.1-liter four-cylinder boxer.
Unfortunately, the green 356 used by the comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Stars is a replica. He wouldn’t know until he sold the vehicle to someone else. Still, this beautiful specimen glides around corners with its bubbly exterior and immaculate interior.
2 Plymouth Barracuda – Richard Carpenter
Put a big engine in a big car. This is the essence of the Plymouth barracuda. Richard Carpenters is an original, almost entirely optional example. Its 7.2 liter engine delivers 390 hp. The Hemi version was too expensive for Richard. He put a lot of love and time into his Barracuda as it only has 40000 miles and has never been restored.
Appreciated by collectors for its muscular looks, the wide body gives it great road presence. The leather interior and power windows make it great to live with. However, it’s the black paint job with red accents that give this model a badass look.
1 Volkswagen Samba – Gabriel Iglesias
Although Volkswagen is a German brand, the VW Samba is almost as American as it is German. Gabriel Iglesias is the proud owner of one of these Volkswagens. It is also known as Type 2 (T1) or VW bus and has an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine with around 25 hp. There were many variations of this engine and vehicle, so the numbers differ from van to van.
Of course, this icon had to show up in Jay Leno’s garage at some point. The double doors open outwards, similar to how suicide doors open. This makes it easier to get into the van. Also very useful as a camper. The double windscreen and iconic front fascia make this a must-have classic.
Sources: Manufacturers Pages, Jay Lenos Garage, Richard and Karen Carpenter, Sharkwerks, Hoonigan.