Jay Leno is known around the world as an American comedian who hosted The Tonight Show for almost 20 years. Not everybody knows though, that he is also one of the biggest car enthusiasts in the world. A statement that is hardly overstated, Jay has said to have owned over 150 cars, a collection of vintage classics and modern supercars. Of all these cars in his garage, one of them has to be his favourite but he says he doesn’t have one. However, there is one car that might be his most valuable. The 1993 McLaren F1.
McLaren F1 features
This supercar is one of the most prestigious automobiles ever made. It is widely recognised as the gold standard of supercars. When released, it was the fastest production car in the world and remained so until Bugatti introduced the Veyron in 2005. It was McLaren’s first road production car and it was a first to remember. The car brought numerous innovations to the road, bringing a carbon-fibre chassis, titanium and gold materials. These were additions previously unseen in car manufacturing as these materials were widely thought to be too expensive.
The F1 was a seriously impressive car. The speed demon could rocket down the road at 390 km/h, sufficient enough to peel back the drivers face cheeks. If the cars gullwing type doors were opened at that speed, the car would actually take off! This was all made possible with the overall weight of only 2,500 pounds. The carbon-fibre chassis was revolutionary, whilst the engine power was paramount to the final weight and performance of this ambitious supercar.
The F1 had a lot going for it, as it set record after record with its performance. But among its abundance of performing accolades, it was also one of the more stunning cars of the decade. The McLaren used the wedge-type design like many other supercars had before it but the F1 had seemed to perfect it. The angles were precise and the profile was sleek yet fierce. Even almost 30 years on, this car looks just as good today. This McLaren is a timeless supercar classic.
“I bought it 20 years ago for $800,000 and somebody offered me $17 million for it the other day”
Unique to the F1 was its seating placement. The driver’s seat was planted directly in the centre of the car with two others sitting mere inches back to either side of the middle. This design was very interesting at the time and made the F1 driving experience something to behold. The driver has a panoramic view, further adding to the fully immersive driving experience.
Unlike other cars, the F1 had a separately designed seat to its passengers. The driver’s seat was more sporty looking and the angle of it was sat more upright whilst the other seats looked to be more designed for a passenger experience.
The McLaren F1 is a remarkable supercar. Its performance is exceptional, its history is important and its value is extraordinary. This supercar is one of the best ever conceived and only 106 of them were made. That combination puts the F1’s value into the millions range. How much is it worth to Jay Leno? On his McLaren F1 “I bought it 20 years ago for $800,000 and somebody offered me $17 million for it the other day” Jay never bought it as an investment prospect, he didn’t care if the value decreased, instead he fell in love with it.
He has an estimated $50 million worth of cars in his garage and has vowed to never sell any of them. Jay’s love for collecting and restoring historically important cars, overrides the monetary value of them, giving the cars invaluable status. Even though he is on the record for not having a favourite car, the F1, he admitted, “might be the first one I’d save in a fire” His love for cars is priceless but it would be hard not to prioritise the F1 in such a circumstance