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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.

Or, how about the TR3? I mean, Mazda's Miata has come as close as anyone can to recreating the famous old MG's, but there's obviously an interest in these types of cars. The unfortunate thing about the Miata is that many people refer to it as a girl's car, which is an image-killing moniker to have stuck to your car, especially if you're a guy driving that car.

Collin Chapman used to say, "You build a car, then add lightness," and that's a really great thing to say and do. Mazda did it with the Miata, as did MG and Triumph with the TR3. But we Americans seem to associate light cars with femininity, which is absolutely silly.

The Lotus Elan is about as light a car as you're going to get, they take out Mustangs and Corvettes on the circuits, but most people under the age of 35 don't understand the notion of a lightweight car, so they make fun of it.

You know, I have a car that's called "The Rocket" and it weighs 775-lbs and has 147 horsepower flowing through 12 speeds (6 high, 6 low). Power to weight, there's nothing that can hang with me when I get on it - nothing and I mean nothing - stays with me. I get 35, 40 miles to the gallon, I stomp on the brakes, lock-up the wheels and my brake pads last forever, because I'm only haulin' around 775lbs. It's a wonderful example of how important conserving weight is and the advantages to doing so.

R: Which of your cars or bikes is your rarest vehicle?

JL: Rarest? Hmm, well, I don't know - I have a lot of odd cars and motorcycles, but I honestly don't know which is the most rare. I just try to avoid the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous syndrome." I mean, for me, the challenge of driving something is more fun and more important than what you're driving.

I have a Morgan 3-wheeler - it's hysterical! I've told the story before, but I'm on Mulholland Drive, and I got the thing cranked up, it's pop-pop-pop-popping at me, and I come sliding around this corner, doing everything I can do to make the corner, and just as I do that there's a cop sitting there with his radar gun.

I see him and go "oh crap," and he sort of looks at me and this steam engined thing and I go, "Hey, officer, how's it going?" And he goes, "Hey Jay, got the steamer out?" I said, "Yeah, hey - how fast was I going back there?" He goes, "Oh, you're ok - you were just hitting 35 miles an hour." I go, "35?! I thought I was going like 70!" He says, "Nope, you're ok - speed limit here is 45."

I seriously thought I was going to go to jail, but I was having a blast - the backend is hanging out as I'm coming around the corner, and it's chuggin' away, and I'm seriously thinking I'm going like nearly 100, and I'm barely doing 35?! Talk about a fun vehicle to drive.

[At this point we're all laughing, because Jay is telling the story with such intensity that it seems as though we were riding right along side him. He tells stories perfectly - you really get the feeling like you were there with him.]

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