Long before his days as television star, 2020/2021 AHF Inductee Jay Leno worked his way up from car detailer to mechanic at Foreign Motors in Boston.
He learned to work on Mercedes, Citroen, and Rolls Royce automobiles. Although he worked in Boston, many of his customers who owned premium cars lived in New York City. When Leno worked on their cars, he would volunteer to return them to their homes in the city.
Leno paid close attention to the schedule of open microphone auditions at the New York comedy clubs. Often, he would magically finish repairs on the same day an audition was scheduled, giving himself a free, one-way trip to New York. His fellow comedians thought he was a rich kid slumming as an entertainer because of the amazing cars he drove.
One of Leno’s clients was the Kennedy family of presidential fame. They owned a Rolls Royce that required some maintenance. Leno often impressed his dates with cars like the Kennedy’s Rolls Royce before returning them to the client.
Leno’s passion for automobiles continues today. As evidenced on his show, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” he understands the inner workings of both the most humble cars and the world’s most sophisticated marques.