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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
August 9, 2003
Cruising with Jay Leno
Hot Rod Power Tour
Paint Protection Film
Brake Pad Tech
Porsche Cayenne
Porter Cable Buffer
Coming Next Issue
Fernandez Racing
CPO Nightmares
Hot Lap: Strong Strut
Lotus Elise Preview

Cruising with Jay Leno, continued.

R: Have you always been mechanically inclined? I know that you do a lot of your own work, and that you're pretty good at working on vehicles of all types.

JL: Well, I think I am...[chuckles] But I don't think I'm a particularly gifted mechanic. I'm certainly not very good as a machinist or anything like that, but I just enjoy working on things.

I get a perverse pleasure out of things breaking down on the road and then being responsible for trying to get them home again - I guess that's why modern cars don't interest me that much, because there's not a whole lot you can do to them when they break down.

For example, when I first came to California, and I'd drive down the street and I'd see someone broken down with the hood open, so I'd pull over and be like, "Hey, what's the matter? Oh, here's your problem - the coil wire came off, or here, let me fix that," or whatever it might be. Maybe eight times out of ten I could get them going again, without too much drama - it was just something you could do. Nowadays, when cars break down and I pull over to help, I just hand them my cell phone and call the tow truck.

Carrying tools in a modern car like a Honda or Toyota - there's not much you can do with them. It's sort of pointless, isn't it? The days of explaining to someone that the mercury switch (like they had in the mid-80's Alfa's that would cut the fuel and ignition if the car got turned on it's side) is "flipped" are gone. You just call the tow truck and watch it get hauled away.

R: I know you hate it when people ask you about your top-10 favorite cars, but I'm going to do it anyway. What are your favorites?

JL: Oh boy [laughs]. Let's see, my current favorite is probably the Duesenberg SJ - that's a solid car and is probably one of the best cars of all time. I like the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic coupe, the McLaren F1, the 1913 Mercer Raceabout, my Stanley Steamer, the Lamborghini Miura, my 1909 Baker Electric (an electric car from nearly 100 years ago, take that GM!), any big, old eight-liter Bentleys, and of course, the 1960's 427 Ford AC Cobra. That thing still amazes me.

R: Generally speaking, do you prefer your vehicles to be stock, modified, restored or some combination of all of the above?

JL: [pauses] Well, it depends on what type of car you're talking about. For example, like right now I have an extremely heavily modified C5 Corvette Z06 - but, would I prefer it if you gave me an all-stock, 1962 Corvette, numbers matching, fuel injected car? Absolutely - then the stock car is much more appealing to me. In 25 years, will I prefer a stock Z06? Probably. It just depends on what it is and what time period you're living in.

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