Jay Leno’s remarkable vehicle collection consists of over 80 cars and 70 motorcycles, including, among other rarities, a McLaren F1 (amazingly, he’s known for actually driving every car he owns around LA).
Spanning three lots and over 17,000 square feet, Jay’s Big Dog Garage is managed by Bernard Juchli and a full team of on-hand mechanics. Jay Leno’s Garage examines his collection under the auspices of NBC, on whose website the show is hosted, and with corporate backing from General Motors.
Launched in October 2006, the site covers one car each week. The first webisode, a peek into Leno’s bright red 1941 American LaFrance Fire Truck, had car enthusiasts singing Leno’s praises, and his site’s been collecting an increasingly devoted fanbase base ever since.
Each week, four sections are uploaded with video about the new car. “At the Garage” is hosted by Leno himself and features him showing off his cars with appropriate specs, details about how he obtained it, and footage of him driving the vehicle around his lot. “Under the Hood” segments are hosted by Juchli that include information about the car’s refurbishing. “GM Minute” answers viewer’s questions (usually unrelated to the weekly vehicle). And the show’s catch-all, “Extras.”
Videos last one to five minutes each and feature Leno, “the down-to-earth collector who cooks for his staff in the garage’s gourmet kitchen,” rather than Leno “the Comedian,” as he’s known by most of America. Although he does joke around a little in the segments, his focus is on sharing information and educating his viewers. He appears in jeans and a t-shirt and makes it clear that he knows his stuff. Juchli often takes over where Leno stops by talking about refurbishments that the garage is doing and by sharing interesting history, such as the origin for the phrase, “It’s a doozy” (which actually refers to a “Duesy”, or Duesenberg – and Leno owns one from 1932).
In addition to the videos, there are also photos, articles, games, forums, and a community section that allows viewers to post photos of their own cars.
Jay makes a point to get down to the bottom of one viewer’s questions about bio-diesel, which reminds me quite a bit of Daryl Hannah’s similar attempt on dhlovelife. And if you check out any of the Extras, look at the video of the Calypso water jet (steel) cutter, which carves quite an interesting picture.