There’s probably no other car collector out there quite like Jay Leno. Who else shares as much of their entire collection of amazing cars and motorcycles with the world, with as great a sense of humor, as he does? Leno is mostly known for being a comedian and one of America’s longtime talk show hosts. In addition to his show biz career, he is an avid car collector. His love for cars is curated into Jay Leno’s Garage on YouTube, which can make any gearhead drool.
Leno has a garage full of rare and obscure vehicles, vintage and classic cars, motorcycles, as well as other cars and bikes that are more mainstream but caught his interest. His collection isn’t just a bunch of show queens. Steam cars (one of which injured the comedian recently), sports cars, race cars, supercars, service trucks, movie cars, classic motorcycles, and modern motorcycles—almost any type of vehicle is welcome in Leno’s Garage. While the more mainstream vehicles in his collection aren’t necessarily all that expensive, there are some seriously precious cars that are worth a lot.
Updated June 2023: Jay Leno’s insane car collection is what dreams are made. Mr. Leno has managed to bring together some of the coolest, rarest, and fastest cars in the world under one roof. We have updated this article with Leno’s net worth in 2023 and how much his car collection is worth today.
What Is Jay Leno’s Net Worth In 2023?
Jay Leno has an estimated net worth of $450 million and currently earns $15 million annually. Being one of the richest comedians in the world, Leno also owns a massive garage with a wide collection of rare vintage classics and exceptional vehicles.
Prior to achieving widespread fame and fortune as the host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC from 1992 to 2009, Leno had a background in stand-up comedy. Leno wasn’t done with prime-time comedy after leaving The Tonight Show, as he had his own talk show for a year before he returned to The Tonight Show for four more years before leaving for good in 2014.
Hosting The Tonight Show earned him a very decent $320 million before taxes. Leno says he didn’t actually spend the money he earned from doing the talk show. Instead, he was living off the money he earned performing dozens of stand-up comedy shows each year as a side gig.
How Much Is Jay Leno’s Car Collection Worth In 2023?
As mentioned earlier, Leno has a garage full of rare, vintage, antique, and expensive cars and motorcycles near the Burbank Airport. The value of Leno’s car collection comes to anywhere between $80 to $100 million, as per VINwiki. It’s impossible to say an exact amount due to several factors.
Some of his cars are one-offs, which makes it difficult to predict what they’d sell for, as the values of rare classic cars are constantly changing, and he’s frequently buying and selling vehicles to prevent the collection from gathering dust. In addition, he and his staff frequently restore classics, so the cost of potential future restorations is not factored into the net worth of the cars in his garage.
After Leno retired as host of The Tonight Show, he went on to host a car web show put on by NBC that would ultimately become Jay Leno’s Garage. On that show, Leno usually features a particular car and guest before test-driving it. He looks at all types of vehicles—and we mean all types—considering he once took a jet-powered Storm-chaser truck for a spin.
The Most Expensive Car in Jay Leno’s Collection
Well-known for his love of cars and anything with an engine, Jay Leno owns a vast collection of regular and exotic vehicles. These include a 2012 Tesla Model S, a 2006 Ariel Atom, a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, a 2000 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson, and a 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. Others are a 2017 Ford GT, 2006 EcoJet, 1934 Duesenberg Walker Coupe, McLaren F1, Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, 1928 Bentley Speed 6, 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400, 1939 Lagonda V12, as well as a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Coupe.
In all, Jay Leno has over 185 cars and 160 motorcycles, one of which got into an accident recently. Given his obsession and readiness to spend thousands on vehicles, we expect that number to rise soon.
Jay Leno’s McLaren F1 Worth $17 Million
Despite owning a slew of rare cars, it is a modern classic that is the most expensive car in Jay Leno’s collection, according to VINwiki. Jay Leno owns a legendary McLaren F1, one of 25 ever made in 1994. Leno brought his F1 from a former Dutch racing driver, Ben Pon Jr., reportedly for a steal $800,000. On Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno once mentioned, “I bought it 20 years ago for $800,000, and somebody offered me $17 million for it the other day”.
Leno’s F1 is powered by a 6.1-Liter V12 developed by BMW’s M Division, pumping out 618 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. But it was the impressive power-to-weight ratio of 550 hp/ton that makes the F1 the ultimate supercar ever made. VINwiki has appraised Jay Leno’s McLaren F1 at a whopping $16 million, making it the most expensive car that he owns.
Following closely is his priced 1963 Chrysler Turbine car. Only 55 were ever made, 9 remain, and 5 of them are drivable. It is reported that Jay Leno is the only private owner of the Turbine car today. VINwiki states that his Chrysler Turbine car can be worth anywhere between $5 million and $10 million.
How Much Does Jay Leno Pay To Maintain His Cars?
Considering his handsome pay and an incredible fleet of cars, it is quite natural that Jay Leno spends a hefty amount of money on maintaining the collection. Hence, maintaining a collection of 341 vehicles costs Jay Leno around $1,117,571 yearly on insurance. The television host also has his own cleaning products, which help keep the cars looking showroom fresh.
As for service and repairs, we can only wonder how much this would cost, especially when one considers that the cars all run and drive and are not just for display. Jay Leno has several full-time mechanics in his employ who inspect and keep these vehicles in running order.
How Did Jay Leno Get Rich?
According to CNBC, one of the things Jay Leno did was to generate multiple income streams by working many jobs. Yet another clever move was the decision to live on lesser paychecks he made while sending the bigger ones straight to his savings account to keep for a rainy day. This philosophy remained with him into his more successful years. Leno actually lived off stand-up comedy money while saving his talk show money.
He also never wanted to use credit cards, believing that if he avoided using them, he wouldn’t end up in debt. That exact same principle also explains why Leno wouldn’t buy a house with mortgage loans, as he wanted to buy only when he had the full amount of money readily available. He never took out a loan for any of his cars; they were all paid for in full upon acquisition. By doing this, Leno not only avoided debt but also avoided having to pay interest. All these enabled Leno to own an impressive collection of exotics, vintage cars, and even regular models.