Jay Leno — Steam Scientist and Monocled Gentleman

8 08 2008

Last night I developed a great new respect for Tonight Show host Jay Leno. I’ve never found him funny, but apparently he is an avid collector of cars. He doesn’t just buy high-end cars and let them sit in a gallery though. He’ll buy vintage and antique cars and refurbish them. He even has a collection of electric and steam powered cars from the beginning of the 1900’s.

His website Jay’s Garage showcases the collection. From time to time, he’ll make a video in which he explains how a particular vehicle works, what makes it so special, and then he’ll ride around in it for your viewing pleasure. Pretty much the older the engine he works on, the more interesting the video. He walks viewers through the workings of the car, pointing out the unique parts, and in the case of his steam cars, walking through a twenty-minute warm-up cycle. I think this video of a 1909 Stanley Steamer is my favorite.

He’s such a geek that he bought and refurbished an 11-ton 1870’s era steam engine. He had to reinforce the floor of his shop and buy a water heater that could put out something like 1,000,000 BTUs, and the engine is beautiful.

He doesn’t actually wear a monocle but he should.

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3 responses

9 08 2008
Jeff

If you want more info about steam cars check out my web site at…… http://www,steamcar.net enjoy, Jeff.

9 08 2008
Jacob

Hey, thanks! That’s a pretty cool club. I don’t know that much about engines, but I’m getting inspired. I’m thinking of trying to build one of those small-scale steam engines.

17 08 2008
Nick

If you are really going to build a small-scale steam engine, I sell fittings and accessories (as well as miniature engines)… http://www.monahansteammodels.com

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