If you’re just learning of Jay Leno’s extensive collection of cars, you might be wondering about when his obsession began and how many cars he currently has.
On Sunday, November 13, the former The Tonight Show host was hospitalized after a fire broke out in his Los Angeles car garage. TMZ reported that one of the vehicles burst into flames, leaving Leno with burns from the gasoline fire. Leno was taken to the Grossman Burn Center where he was treated for his injuries.
As Jay Leno’s motor vehicles come into the spotlight following the accident at his garage, interest has peaked in Leno’s car collection. Let’s take a look at what the television host has shared over the years.
When did Jay Leno start collecting cars?
Jay Leno has been passionate about cars since his childhood. Speaking to Auto Express about how he got into cars, he explained: “As a boy you were expected to learn how to fix a lawnmower or go karts, tractors, things like that.”
When he was just 14 years old, Leno’s father bought him a non-running 1934 Ford, setting him the challenge of building it up to get it running within two years.
When Jay Leno started to find success working in a television he bought himself his first ‘treat car’. This was a Jaguar XK120, a car he’d loved since he was nine. Leno’s big break came in the Nineties when he secured the role of permanent host on The Tonight Show, replacing Johnny Carson.
How many cars does Jay Leno have in his collection?
As Jay Leno rocketed to fame on The Tonight Show, his net worth hit staggering heights. As of publication date, Leno has a reported net worth of around $450 million. It’s no surprise then that Leno has funnelled some of this cash into his passion: cars.
Leno has been collecting cars for decades and houses them at his garage, Big Dog Garage, in Burbank, California.
Reports differ on the exact total of Leno’s cars, although in his interview with Auto Express, they report the comedian has 198 cars and 163 motorcycles. This interview was conducted in May 2021, so his collection could have grown in the year since. Big Dog Garage is set over 140,000 square feet and is managed by Leno and five staff members.
Jay Leno’s car collection is worth multi-millions
Jay Leno’s car collection at Big Dog Garage is as impressive as his personal net worth. Again, reports differ, with figures approximating Leno’s car collection between $52 million and over $150 million.
Given that just 11 of Leno’s motor vehicles near $50 million, it is likely that his total collection (over 190 cars) is worth well over that figure.
Jay Leno is in possession of a 1994 McLaren F1 which is valued around $12 million. He also owns a 1934 Duesenberg Walker Coup which comes in higher at $20 million. There is also the 2006 EcoJet, which is deemed ‘priceless’.
As these vehicles’ value only increases with time, the worth of Jay Leno’s car collection could easily grow to surpass his personal net worth.
Leno needs a ‘week or two to get back on feet’
Fans had concern for Jay Leno’s well-being after news of his accident at Big Dog Garage broke. The comedian and television personality has since calmed the public.
Leno said in a statement to Variety: “I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”
The Saturday Night Live crew took to Twitter to share their support for Leno. Rob Schneider tweeted: “Heal up soon my friend. We are all sending our best wishes on a speedy recovery! Love, [Kevin] Nealon, [David] Spade, [Adam] Sandler and me!”