By Kenny Norman
Valued at between $50-100 million, the 180+ cars and 160+ motorcycles that make up Jay Leno's garage are gifts that keep on giving.
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? Sure there are supercar owners who also happen to be YouTubers, and car collectors with more varied and interesting cars who shy away from the public, but no one brings together the two worlds in the way that Jay Leno 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. And in recent years, the Jay Leno's Garage series that aired on CNBC initially and subsequently moved to its own YouTube channel, is probably how some younger fans out there know him best.
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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. Leno enjoys all aspects of his car collection, finding and buying them, the repair and restoration work, as well as taking them out for a spin.
That's right, 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, and Leno's worth doesn't end there. Aside from his talk show career and garage full of expensive cars, Leno continues to do stand-up comedy several times a year.
UPDATED February 2023: We've edited this article with the latest information on Jay Leno's garage to keep it as up-to-date as Leno's ever-changing car collection.
Related: This Is The Rarest Car From Jay Leno's Garage
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 Many Cars Does Jay Leno Have?
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 181 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 Car Collection Value 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 $52 to $100 million. 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.
Related: These Are The 10 Craziest Cars To Ever Appear On Jay Leno's Garage
How Much Does Jay Leno Pay To Maintain His Cars?
Considering his handsome pay and 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 Jay Leno Got His Wealth
For Jay Leno, being one of the wealthiest comedians around didn't just happen by accident; he worked hard at it. 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 he also avoided having to pay interest.
Although Jay Leno was already sitting on a healthy chunk of change by the time he started hosting "The Tonight Show" in 1992, the gig catapulted him to even greater heights, with the TV host reportedly earning $30 million annually. Leno held the position for 22 years before he moved on to Jay Leno's Garage, then You Bet Your Life. All these enabled him to own an impressive collection of exotics, vintage cars, and even regular models.