Why I Hate Jay Leno

It’s not the man, but his Garage.  OMG, almost every time I watch Jay Leno’s Garage, I want to own the car he’s featuring.  And I don’t mean, “Oh that’s a nice car;  I wouldn’t mind driving it.”


Case in point:  this  Citröen Traction Avant.

I have often featured this fabulous example of French luxury on these pages before, but here’s a little reminder:

To me, this car has just about everything I would want in a town runaround:  comfortable ride, plenty of indoor room, outstanding beauty… it is the complete package.

And having Jay Leno say, as he’s pootling along in his 1949 model (slightly paraphrased):  “I have lots of cars that go fast.  But this is the way to travel:  comfortable, with everything working just as it should.”

I defy anyone of approximately my vintage to watch that video linked above, and not think:  “Ya know…”

The only problem is, when you watch the next video, you’re going to feel exactly the same way.  As for the the one after that (which begins, “Still the one of the best-sounding engines ever”)…

And I’ll lay odds that if you go down into the Jay Leno’s Garage Matrix, kiss your day good-bye and be prepared for several episodes of Massive Car Lust.

Damn you, Leno, for doing this to me.


  1. I can’t do that. Not today, I got stuff that needs doing.
    Maybe tomorrow.
    I well remember the last time I went to Leno’s place.

  2. Looked him up on the webby….net worth somewhere around 400 million US bucks. When ya get there, hell, when ya get around 10 million you can afford to indulge fantasies . I mean look at the Biden family.

    1. One of the secrets of Jay’s success, and the scope of his collection, is that he still has an original WIFE.

      1. And, they have no kids. In 1988 I read an article in the Wallstreet journal saying it (then) cost about $285k to raise a kid from conception through college. We had 1 kid at the time so the next day I set up an appt to get my ropes tied. That’s the secret to my miniscule success.

  3. I’ll have the black and white scene running in my head all day – a half dozen (or more) French resistance fighters armed with Sten guns and old Berthier rifles in a Citroen TA with “FFI” painted on the door being pursued by another TA full of Gestapo agents in fedoras and long leather coats. They’re tearing through the streets of Paris and somebody is about to light up the second car with a Molotov cocktail in the French version of “cat and mouse”.

  4. If we’re talking about rummaging around in Leno’s garage, how about his 1930 27 liter Bentley? Kind of makes this ‘49 Frenchie look a little “fuddy duddy” in my opinion.

  5. A bitter and hurtful man, is Jay Leno. My dad’s favorite ride is the Citroen DS; he’s owned several. I pointed him at Leno’s DS vid & he was digging every moment. UNTIL Jay took it onto the freeway & mentioned the car’s only real weakness: the anemic little 4 banger, and said something like “Up around 90 mph it gets a little buzzy.” Dad was enraged. “90!? Who the fuck needs to drive it at 90?! What do you think it is, an SM? Pull your dago head outta your wop ass!”

    You almost had him, Jay. Almost.

  6. See, I have to admit to myself, rather early on in these fantasies, that I lack the driving skill, the basic coordination, and the handiness to justify owning anything really prime in the automotive line. I can appreciate them in an artistic sense (Tom Wolfe was a absolutely right to consider Custom Cars to be art, and I extend that to a lot of production models), but I’m not going to be able to really use a classic car. I don’t have the skill to keep one in shape, and don’t have the spare cash to pay someone else to do it…and if I DID win the lottery (Misha! Meet me halfway! Buy a ticket!) there are a lot of other things I’d do first. Seeing to the republication of a number of out of print favorites springs to mind.

  7. What car today, price adjusted equivalent, could even compare? Suggestions?

    Shortly before the warranty on my Audi A7 expired, the four tire pressure sensors had to be replaced. $2000 repair. I dropped that car like a steamin’ bag of goat shit. Never replaced it.

    Still rockin’ the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT cargo van. Holds more than most pickups, has 5 doors and gets 28mpg. If it had heated seats and a backup camera, I’d never sell it. Will trade it in next year for the same model, with heated seats and a backup camera standard.

  8. I wouldn’t begrudge Leno a thing, after all, he’s worked to earn what he’s got.

    Also, he’s not afraid to make an appearance at either of the largest West of the Mississippi Mopar car shows, held in Spring and Fall near Van Nuys, CA usually (this year the event is at Pomona).

  9. Hey Kim,
    You’re always talking about your love of the look of old cars, while acknowledging their sporadic reliability, weak brakes and poor handling. If you are a grease under the fingernails / bleeding knuckles type, then I recommend you check out the ’33 Hot Rod / ’34 Hot Rod Truck from Factory Five Racing: https://www.factoryfive.com/galleries/33-hot-rod/. Vintage looking cars or trucks with modern power plants, strong brakes and excellent handling. And, most are built with manual transmissions, for those who prefer to row around town. If you aren’t into building one yourself, they are sometimes available to buy from builders who are ready to move on to the next project. There’s even a fairly large group of Hot Rod builders in your neck of the woods. You can probably get up close and personal with one at any local Cars and Coffee event.

  10. I work with people who lust after the Italian Supercars; the Ferrari, the Maserati, the Lamborghini. I’m more a GT guy. As Leno said, swiftly, quietly, comfortably [with enough space for luggage for all the passengers — within reason of course!].
    And the first car I bought, as opposed to what mom and dad wanted to get rid of without getting rid of it, was a VW Jetta. Except for the exhaust, my only mods were suspension. With a manual gear box, around the city it was perfect. It cornered like it was on RAILS. Once the shifter was sorted out, I was quite happy rowing it around town. If the @#$%&*^ engineers hadn’t made it out of %$%^&@#*& plastic, I’d probably have it still.

  11. Nope, the only thing worse than an English car is a French car. Even the Italians at Fiat make a better car where every wire in the wiring harness is red.

  12. In HS in the Late-50’s, the Band Teacher bought a DS-19 (used) and he’d give rides.
    What amazed us was that you could be doing 65-70 on the L.A. Freeways, with all the windows down, and not a hair on your head got mussed. Now, that was aero.

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