The Rarest Cars In Jay Leno's Impressive Collection

Comedian and TV host Jay Leno is an avid car collector, and through the years he has amassed a massive assortment that includes rare and expensive vehicles. Upon looking at his garage, it seems like his interest is not geared toward specific types; he has racing cars, trucks, and even steam cars. According to Way, Leno purchased a 17,000-square-foot property in Burbank, California, in 1991 to serve as his garage, but with the additions to his collection throughout the years, the garage has expanded to 122,000 square feet and is known as the Big Dog Garage.

As of 2022, Leno has 181 cars and 160 motorcycles in his collection, as noted by the duPont Registry. The number of vehicles varies, as he often buys and sells cars, but it is estimated that his assemblage is worth more than $52 million. Leno works with a team to restore vehicles, as he is someone who doesn't just like looking at his cars but driving them, too. Among those in his collection are some of the rarest vehicles that one can find.

1928 Bugatti Type 37A

The four-cylinder Bugatti Type 37A is one of the oldest cars in Jay Leno's collection, and it's also one of the rarest. According to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Italian automobile designer Ettore Bugatti dominated the racing car manufacturing industry in the 1920s, and Buggatis successfully overshadowed competitors in international racing circuits until Ferrari racing cars came into play.

The Type 37A that Leno owns is part of Grand Prix history. It was driven by Italian racecar driver Carberto Conelli in the 1928 Targa Florio, and he won third place, finishing the race at 7:22:50 for a total distance of 67.108 miles (via Motor Sport Magazine). Leno said that the car tops at 196 kilometers per hour, and he showed off its capabilities in an episode of "Jay Leno's Garage" where he drove it down the streets of California. The Type 37A had a few owners throughout the years before Leno acquired it from a friend. The racecar is reportedly one of 76 units that Bugatti manufactured, per Hot Cars.

1963 Chrysler Turbine Car

After World War II, Chrysler started working on a new project, and by 1954, the company made the Plymouth sport coupe — the very first car produced powered by a gas turbine engine. The Chrysler Turbine Car was manufactured between 1963 and 1964 and featured an automatic transmission, power brakes, and power steering. It was in limited production and as reported by Motor Biscuit, the company completed only one car per week, totaling 55 cars by October 1964. Building a factory to make the turbine engines would have cost about a billion dollars at that time, and Chrysler opted to have the Ghia company in Turin, Italy, produce the vehicles.

There are reports that Chrysler wanted to avoid paying import tax on the Turbine Cars, but that may only be one of the reasons the car didn't proceed to mass production. Ultimately, the majority of the vehicles were crushed, which was commonly done to prototype cars, as noted by Hemmings. However, nine of the cars survived. Some are in museums, a few remain with Chrysler, and Jay Leno acquired one for $415,000. As for how he got his hands on the rare car, he told Hemmings, "It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

1994 McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is one of the most sought-after cars for collectors all over the world, and Jay Leno owns one. According to the Collector's Circle, McLaren only manufactured 106 units of the F1 — 7 prototypes, 28 race cars, and 71 road cars — between 1992 and 1998. It reaches a top speed of 390 kilometers per hour despite its weight of only 2,500 pounds. The McLaren F1 was conceptualized by racecar designer Gordon Murray, and he pushed boundaries by engineering a sports car without limitations.

According to Leno, he purchased his black McLaren F1 for $800,000, which isn't the most he's had to pay to add to his large collection. Because of its rarity, however, collectors are willing to pay millions of dollars to get one. As reported by Luxuo, a McLaren F1 sold at an auction in 2021 for a staggering $20.5 million, making it the most expensive vehicle auctioned for that year. Leno revealed that he had been offered $17 million for his unit, but the comedian declined and opted to keep his prized possession, even saying that despite not having a favorite in his collection, the F1 "might be the first one I'd save in a fire."