I’m not a huge car enthusiast, but I do enjoy following up on latest developments every once in a while, particularly with electric cars. I’ve looked into buying an electric car, but the range and infrastructure has largely held me back.
However, they’ve been getting a lot better since I first saw them on roads back in 2012. Have you seen the new BMW i4? It’s scheduled to go on sale next year, and I don’t know about you, but I love the new design, it looks very futuristic and clean, something that I imagined cars in the 2020s would look like.
As usual, as I was looking into videos of new car reviews, I got a little sidetracked. Hours later I somehow came across Jay Leno’s channel. I never really watched him when he was on the Tonight Show, and I pretty much forgot about him since he left in 2014 (or the second time he left I should say). So I was pretty surprised to see that he has a YouTube channel and that he’s regularly putting up new content.
He’s always talked about his cars and he really does have a huge collection in his garage near the airport.
He’s got vehicles from all decades, from the latest muscle cars to these obscure tiny European cars from the 1960s. Even the most obscure vehicles, like the Mercedes Benz transporter from the 1950s he has in his collection.
When he doesn’t have a specific car, he often brings on guests that do own it to showcase it on his program. One time he was even able to bring on the Batmobile from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
But it’s his reviews of classic cars that’s become my favourite thing to watch lately. His reviews of cars from the 1910s and 1920s are especially interesting because it’s quite amazing how far cars have progressed since then.
For example, here’s a video he did on the Stanley Steamer. We’ve completely forgotten that steam cars are a thing in this day and age, so to see one in action is almost like a novel idea.
But if you watched the video you can see how much work it took to get one started. It wasn’t even just the steam cars that were difficult to start, even gas-powered cars sometimes needed things like a manual crank at the front to get started.
If you watch the video, the bulk of it is simply trying to get the thing started. You almost need to be a mechanic to get the car running; there are so many gears and levers, and you even need to manually light the fire in the engine to get the boiler running.
Can you imagine doing that nowadays? Many cars even have keyless ignition!
It’s also fun to see his reviews of cars especially from the 1950s and 1960s. They all have a nice aesthetic to them, and you can imagine people of the day comparing these vehicles to the ones 30-40 years ago and thinking how advanced they were already. His anecdotes as he talks about these cars are also interesting, like this one about the 1966 Ford Galaxie.
Sometimes he puts you right back in those days when these cars were commonplace on the road and gives a lot of context about what kind of car it really was to people back in the day. It really adds to understanding, and you learn more about how people used these cars in the day.
Another thing I appreciate is that he talks about his cars in more understandable terms, so even if you don’t know anything about them, you can still follow what’s going on. That’s one thing I find to be particularly useful since some car reviewers go too far into the technical aspects to the point where I might have to skip over some stuff.
Anyhow, I would definitely recommend his channel if you’re interested in cars in general, or even if you’re just curious.
At the very least, you’ll be glad that the next time you drive to Safeway to pick up some groceries, you don’t need to crawl under your car to light a fire in the engine.
Link to channel here.