2020/2021 AHF Inductee Jay Leno’s passion for automobiles has been a driving force throughout his life. He even found a clever way to land a job at an exclusive car dealership in Boston. In the early 1970s, Leno was looking to make some money during the day while keeping his evenings free for open mic opportunities.
European Motors was the Boston dealership for Rolls Royce, Citroen and Mercedes-Benz. Leno swaggered into the dealership armed with his experience as a “lot boy” at a Ford dealer and was promptly shown the door by a slightly snooty manager.
Not easily dismayed; Leno returned the next morning. The workers in car detailing had seen him with the boss the day before and assumed that he’d been hired. Leno worked hard for three days demonstrating his car care knowledge.
Then the boss spotted him and told him to “get outta here.” But Leno’s new coworkers came to his defense and said he was really good at detailing. The boss relented and Leno began his work at Boston’s most prestigious car dealership. He rose to the position of mechanic and learned the inner workings of the most sophisticated automobiles of the time, demonstrating the fortitude that has made him an automotive culture icon.