Meet the man who owns the ul­ti­mate dream garage - Jay Leno. His col­lec­tion of ve­hi­cles will leave you green...

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Dream Garage - Jay Leno

In a non-de­script in­dus­trial es­tate on the fringes of Bur­bank in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia, is the garage to beat all garages – that of for­mer TV host Jay Leno.

In fact, the word ‘garage’ sim­ply doesn’t re­motely do the place jus­tice. ‘Em­pire’, how­ever, gets close.

Be­gun by multi-mil­lion­aire petrol­head Leno in 1990 and re­peat­edly ex­panded since to take in a whole com­plex of neigh­bour­ing build­ings, the ‘garage’ is a col­lec­tion of cars, mo­tor­cy­cles and me­mora­bilia like no other.

To­day it com­prises over 180 cars, 80 ( yes, EIGHTY) bikes, has three full time staff and is con­sid­ered one of the finest col­lec­tions in the US. As such, al­though only open to the pub­lic by spe­cial in­vi­ta­tion, it’s now the sub­ject of a pop­u­lar TV show, has its own Face­book and Twit­ter feeds and is the envy of the car and bike world.

But it’s the ve­hi­cles that are the true stars. All main­tained as run­ners rather than mu­seum pieces by Leno’s staff (there’s a huge, full-time work­shop on­site as well) the car col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing in­nu­mer­able Bu­gat­tis, Amer­i­can mus­cle cars and odd­balls such as the Top Gear-fea­tured, Spit­fire-en­gined V12 Bent­ley, is im­pres­sive enough.

But for bike fans there’s just as much to be amazed by. How about not one, but TEN clas­sic Vin­cents in­clud­ing two ex­am­ples of the ul­tra-rare, faired Black Prince? Or pris­tine ex­am­ples of the equally rare Du­cati MHR900, 1974 Nor­ton Com­mando JPS, Tri­umph T120R racer or the Guzzi V7 Sport? There are plenty of odd­balls as well: Suzuki RE5 and Her­cules ro­taries; a 1988 Du­cati 750 Paso (in US mar­ket white) and a Munch Mam­mut. The list goes on…

Nor are they all just ex­clu­sive, ex­pen­sive clas­sics. There’s a pair of vir­tu­ally new Aprilia RSV4S, a K1600GTL, a S1000RR and a Hayabusa, all plugged into trickle charg­ers, ready to go. There’s a hum­ble Aprilia Shiver 750 and a Vespa GTS scoot to zip around town on. Or, when Leno fan­cies some­thing rel­a­tively clas­sic and Ital­ian, there’s an 851 Duke and a Mark III Le Mans.

But the high­light of them all, though, is his Brough Su­pe­rior col­lec­tion – and that’s right, I used the word ‘col­lec­tion’. For Leno, who’s a huge fan of the Not­ting­ham-built ‘Rolls-royce of mo­tor­cy­cles’, hasn’t just one of the ul­tra­ex­clu­sive, £100,000-plus ma­chines, nor has he two or three. He has 26 in what is the largest Brough col­lec­tion in the world with a ded­i­cated room of their own. The great man even ar­rives for our priv­i­leged view­ing on one. Yes, Leno’s ‘daily driver’ is a Brough…

“Right now I’m in my mo­tor­cy­cle phase,” the 66-year-old tells MCN, he says as he shows us his col­lec­tion. “I like Brough Su­pe­ri­ors. The one I ride ev­ery day I’ve put Miche­lins on so you can lean it over a lit­tle bit. Of course, the front brakes don’t work and, well, the rear only works a lit­tle, but they’re fan­tas­tic.”

And he con­tin­ues: “That’s how bikes have changed the most, not with speed be­cause this Brough’s still 100-mph fast, and in the 1930s that must have been re­ally fast – but in brakes, tyres, han­dling and so on. With a bit of luck I reckon I’ve an­other 10 years or so in me be­fore a crash fin­ishes me off!”

If you think you’ve got a dream garage you might as well give up now….

“With a bit of luck I reckon I’ve an­other 10 years or so in me be­fore a crash fin­ishes me off!”

Leno is a real two-wheeled geek and knows ev­ery­thing about his bikes It’s not a mu­seum, all of the bikes are ready to be rid­den Just a small se­lec­tion of Leno’s 80plus bike col­lec­tion Bikes as far as the eye can see. And be­yond that are over 180 cars and

Dear santa, you’re cool, just pass on by big man

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