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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

For Jay Leno, a "pandemic car" is about smiles, not speed | Hagerty Media

It hasn't exactly been a banner year, what with the virus and folks losing their jobs, but things are looking up. Restaurants are open again, kids are going back to school, and a guy can take out his Lamborghini and race around the city with an open exhaust like the idiot son of some deposed dictator and people won't even want to kill him.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/for-jay-leno-a-pandemic-car-is-about-smiles-not-spee...
19 REPLIES 19
Doug42
Intermediate Driver

What a garage. So clean. Beautiful cars. I would love to take a walk through.
Aquadave
Intermediate Driver

That is the single most favourite part of why I like driving my Model A.
The smiles I get from "almost" everyone I encounter.
I really like Jay's articles. They show me more and more what a real car guy Jay is.
Thanks for another great article.
FloridaMarty
Intermediate Driver

When I listen to Jay, it's like he's reading my mind, when it comes to old cars. Recently I added a 1953 Dodge Suburban 2 door to the garage. A few months ago the house needed some repairs and the garage would be impacted somewhat, so I rolled up all the windows on the car to make sure the interior wouldn't be affected from dust, etc. The other day, after completing the repairs, I got back into the car, and wow, I had inadvertently preserved that old car smell. My favorite smell in the world. Jay's right, K.I.S.S., that's what the big 3 used to do. When I was young, people frequently drove for pleasure, I wonder when that stopped?,
Rider79
Instructor

Drive for pleasure? I did that during the first lockdown, April and May 2020. Just had to get out of the house, and see the spring flowers and such. Fortunately, I don't live in a "police state" that arrested folks for being out of the house without permission. I hope to do more pleasure driving this year.
64jeepsrt
Intermediate Driver

It stopped when cars stopped being made with chrome or very little of it, and being built to look like big jelly beans...
ppointer
Intermediate Driver

A friend had one of those Firebird Sprints. 4bbl, 4-speed. Very cool.
Joel
Pit Crew

I had a '69 Firebird Sprint, loved that car. That OHC-6 engine was a trip to work on...the 4-speed Saginaw and 4-barrel gave it a good little push. Miss that car, regretted selling it in '89. Sigh....
Callen
Pit Crew

My first car was a 67 Firebird Sprint. Bought it for $750 in 1973 with a blown head gasket between two cylinders. Medium blue metallic with black interior, Saginaw 4 speed, 230 CI/ 230 HP OHC 6 with a Rochester 4 bbl. Fixed the head gasket and replaced the stock shifter, which was almost impossible to find a gear with, with a Hurst shifter. At 16 years old, it was a pretty awesome car and way better than the '54 Pontiac Chieftan I was driving when I first got my license, which in retrospect was pretty cool with a flathead straight 8, four speed automatic, leather interior two door with a factory visor and skirts and a prism on the dash so you could see the traffic lights. I had to take a $500 personal loan to buy Sprint and had only liability insurance on it. After having 6 months I had an accident and totaled it. My dad's said I was buying a dead horse and I still had to make payments every month. After I few months I sold the car to a guy with a 67 Tempest with the basic OHC 6 and powerglide, He was a happy camper after he swapped the motor and trans into the Tempest. Oh yeah, to make things worse, I was working at a Chevron station and talked to my boss before I bought the car if he was going to keep me on. He said he would make sure I got enough hours to make my car payments. Around the time I wrecked the car we were in the gas shortage and the stations hours were limited. Ture to his word, my boss made sure I had enough hours to make my car payments on my dead horse. Anyway, the Sprints are really unique and fun cars and I always keep my eye out for them, but never have seen one worth buying.
hb
Intermediate Driver

Got to agree with the pandemic car theory. Kept the "fancy" cars parked for a good while and did everything in our less pretentious 05 Ford Ranger 4 cylinder regular cab complete with a few wrinkles from when it was our daughters high school and college vehicle. We looked like Ma and Pa Kettle going to Farm and Home for compost. Things are looking better now, but the old Ranger still hauls a lot of compost. Cheers...Pa Kettle.
Punk
Detailer

Of my cars, my favorite pandemic cars were the Opel GT (sadly sidelined with a bad fuel tank - AGAIN - if you know someone that will make a new tank for the thing, please let me know) or my Sunbeam Harrington. People find them both so cute and non-ostentatious that they can't help but smile, wave, take out their iPhones, or come over for a (masked) chat. This is why we have old cars. At least in part.
19Poncho67
New Driver

I have 2 cars that draw smiles whenever I'm driving them: a 73 Super Beetle and a 67 Firebird. The Firebird has a 455 and a Corvette 4+3, which is, unfortunately, under repair. The Bird is a keeper- tons of fun to drive even when no one is looking. Anyone need a SuperBeetle ?
Darylla123
New Driver

I would love it if my 59 Dynamic 88 could look that good. She is still a great ride though and she gets looks every time out.
merlebalke
Detailer

I'm eager to see a story on the Detroit Electric when it's finished.
JAG
Intermediate Driver

Exactly, drive them for fun, but most important DRIVE YOUR CARS. Oldsmobile had some of the best car names, with the Rocket V8 engine lines, Dynamic 88, Super 88, Starfire, Holiday Coupe, Toronado and 442. The first car I ever got to drive with a license was our 64 Dynamic 88 wagon. What an odd car, high compression 394 with a 2bbl, carb and a turbo 400 trans. I think one time it got 14 mpg and we had to use "high test". Was going 70 in a 45, scared the **** out of my Mom....good times!
hearsedriver
Intermediate Driver

could someone advise Mr. Leno that one cause of hum in his radio, would be failed capacitors. if he gets a professional to go through the radio and replace the old electrolytic capacitors with new ceramic or other type, he will enjoy that radio. Mopar used very good quality radios back then.
Gary_Bechtold
Technician

Driving my Supra is fun. I get tons of thumbs up,"that's my favorite car" or other positive reactions. Most of the time it is just a car driving through traffic but to those that love it it gives off many smiles. I do the same whenever something I like goes by. Too many cool things out there driving around.
Miataman
New Driver

Jay I want to thank you for what you do for the hobby. Watching your videos has been great during these difficult times we are living through. Your knowledge and enthusiasm for cars and other assorted vehicles is appreciated. I'm about your age and have had the car and motorcycle bug for as long as I can remember. Currently I have a 2016 Ford Fiesta ST, a 1990 Mazda Miata and my old love a 1972 Fiat 124 Spider.

Darold
Hagerty Employee

I bought into this theory as well when we picked up a pretty cherry 93 Honda Del Sol. Ditch the top and roll the rear window down on a nice day and you dont even care how slow it is!

OldRoad
Instructor

My late great Uncle Jack had a 1960 white 88. What a smooth cruiser. My cousin and I, 4 yrs old each, would stand on the front seat. It was legal to live dangerously in the early 60s.