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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Leno: The best cars are the ones with great stories | Hagerty Media

The thing I like about my taste in cars is that I have no idea what it is. Really, if I had to define it, I would say I like to buy a good story more than I like to buy a particular vehicle. I'll tell you what I mean with a couple of recent purchases.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/hagerty-magazine/leno-best-cars-have-great-stories/
15 REPLIES 15
MATTMERICA
Technician

I am really glad I clicked on this article. Now I understand why Jay buys the cars he does - aside form the fact he has more money than he could ever spend, what a great way to not only capture and store a piece of physical history (the car), but the provenance is what makes it even better. Hey Jay! Do you have a 1970s macho wagon? I have one with a great story.....
DAC_Dynasty
New Driver

I know this is a running joke with the mileage...and Cashman knows his convertible tops. I remember "talking" to him on thelincolnforum.net (sadly I dont have enough time to go as much as I used to, but I still should have writeups for repairs with photos etc...I was the early 70s guy)
So, I have a few early 70s Continentals, and one my 72, pre emissions, I get around 19-20mpg, and on my 73, I get 15, although I think that car has a mild cam, has aftermarket exhaust, (done by the previous owner), and it does drive noticeably quicker, hence the higher fuel consuption, but still, no matter how much I floor it, the worse I ever got was 13mpg (and in the hills of upstate NY).

The question is adjusting the carburetor. Too few people know how. I learned all that I could from Northvale Dan. I do have a youtube channel and I go into some of these topics.

And in case there is doubt, I used to be an aircraft mechanic and I keep maintenance records for each of my cars (modeled after the AFTO 781s), which include every refill, which is always a complete fill, with trip odotmoeter readers, full odometer reading etc. I calculate mileage over the years (decades already), and this arent fluke numbers.
Johnsorrell
New Driver

I have a 1936 Jensen Ford only 3 are in existence the one I have was ordered for Clark Gable he ordered it in silver but when it came in he wanted the Black one but Pierce Morgan would not sell him the black one one of the black cars sold in 1916 at RM Southebys ariz for $247,500
hyperv6
Collector

I can say every used car I have owned has had a good story.

My Chevelle SS was one where the original owner found me at a car show. He said he owned the car but I was skeptical. But he showed me things on the car I did not even know. He shared the cars history with him and gave me 5he original bill of sale as wel shift knob.

He had told me it was the first Chevelle that Jack Somer Chevy sold in 1968. It was in 5h3 show room when he bought it.

Well my great uncle ordered a new Chevy and Buick every year as a retired GM engineer. Somers was the dealer he ordered his Chevelle from in May of 67. He actually bought the first Chevelle. I went home and compared the paper work for both cars as my father had the Chevelle in 1968.

I found my dads car was sold a a couple days before the SS. I suspect both were delivered at the same time and my SS was in the showroom when the 68 my father ended up with was delivered.

Other interesting stories with my others.

Those with my Fiero are the best. This was my first new car. I crashed it rebuilt it, lapped Indy at 100 mph with it. 25 years to the day I bought it I win the top 5 award at the Ames Pontiac Nationals. There is more. Maybe sim3 day someone can share my history about the car when it’s theirs.
hyperv6
Collector

Oh just got this story. My buddy had a 58 Chevy in high school. He sold it when is son was 3.

His son went on a search for the car that went on for 8 years snd ended with my buddy buying the car back.

We were reunited again after many years yesterday at a show. It made my day seeing Paul and his 58 Chevy reunited. These are the times that really make being a car enthusiast worth the  bleeding knuckles.

Daver67
New Driver

Jay, good stories, bad stories, an old cars history is integral to that value. One owner cars are so important in that equation. Documented and authentic beats it all. It was great that you got to meet the original owners for both of these cars. You are correct, your Imperial was exactly like that owned by Mr. Drysdale! One I always admired as a kid. Do you remember your 50's automotive prints from awhile back done by myself?
warrene
Detailer

My sad story: In '74 I was buying '36 Fords out of this abandoned junkyard up near Hurley WI, went into the woods, there sat a '37 Hudson Terra plane complete, electric shift and the works. I offered 100 bucks, the guy said no, my brother in law wants it. Over 100 trees need to be cut down to remove this car, time went on, then the crusher deadline, I went back there later, saw where the D8
Cat had rolled over it, the broken glass ... Another classic lost to the public, gone forever. At least we did save some Fords.
Spookysgarage
Detailer

As always, I love Jay's stories
hhaleblian
Pit Crew

How does one get Jay's phone number?
JEL395
Intermediate Driver

you know I was thinking the same ? Maybe the Beverly Hills directory and it's only listed within a 5 block radius of his home, yet this is not the first time we've heard of " this person calling me up ". Regardless, I enjoy everyone of the Leno car tales.
compcar98
New Driver

A Classic Car without a story, is just a Classic Car. All the Cars I own are 1-2 owner Cars with History, Paperwork and Great Stories. It makes my connection with the car a continuation. I always say, when I drive one of mine, my world turns to Black & White.
RobertRector
New Driver

Been with Hagerty since it began have 3 vehicles insured through them 1937 chevy hot rod pick up truck, 1987 modified mustang GT and 1993 chrysler lebarron GTC , had a garage fire Feb 3 2022 That destroyed garage and the 3 insured vehicles through Hagerty plus 6 other vehicles and part of my home little to not much insurance on home and garage and plpd on all other vehicles, called Hagerty insurance feb 4th 2022 and after calling and then going through the phone from manager to manager and even still today it's March 8 2022 still getting the run around, I call them several times every day hey said policy was cancelled that they sent out a registered letter and today March 8th they said they may have sent registered letter to the wrong address and they still refuse to reinstate my policy for all 3 vehicles and refuse to help, total value of all 3 $115,000 Hagerty is no good , save your Money and go to a legit proffessional antique auto insurance company because when I am done with Hagerty insurance and sew them there will be no more Hagerty to rip anyone else off
abhishekkarnspr
New Driver

I cannot believer this is here. Feels so good to see the Old Rockstar
El-Oscuro
Pit Crew

My own car - a 1992 Camaro - has an interesting story that begun 10 years before it was even built. I had just turned 16 when the third gen F-bodies came out, and they were gorgeous. Of course there was Kitt from Night Rider, which we watched every week. Getting one of these was always on my bucket list.
In 94, I was in the the Army and my old 83 Honda had pretty much had it. I needed a new car. There was an ad on the (paper back then) company bulletin board for a 92 Camaro. $8,500, 5 speed stick with the 305 V8.
I had to check it out - there must really be something wrong with it, as $8,500 was barely half the price of a new one, and this one was only 2 years old. When I drove up to the house and saw the gleaming black beauty that would have given Kitt a run for his money, I knew that car was mine, even if didn't run. But it ran all right. The V8 was the exact same one GM used in full sized pickups and Suburbans. Boat hauling torque in 3,000 lb sports car with a stick - yes, it was fast. I rode bikes like Nighthawks and GS-650's in the 80s and it's performance was pretty much comparable to those.

The previous owner sold it because he had a new baby and needed a family car - so he got an Impala with the tire melting 350 LS1.

I have had that Camaro ever since. It was a daily driver until about 2009 when problems with the original emissions equipment made it difficult to drive. My own kids spent a lot of time in that tiny back seat. It still has that same truck motor and 5-speed, but with a Holley Sniper EFI and headers. My youngest daughter (now in college) wants it, and will probably get it when she can afford to take care of it.
Steelhog
New Driver

No kidding. The stories are half the fun. Often it is the challenge of just gaining ownership. Especially when you have the sellers picture ID, the state title document, and all the information matches exactly. So all is good...until you go to transfer title and are informed that while it is the actual original title it no longer valid. Yikes! How do you pull that off on a special edition 1-1500 vehicle that was sold new in the same town as where you reside? Apparently the seller obtained a duplicate replacement title and then pawned it. Well now I have the car 100 miles from the Title-pawn and I'm not giving it up without a fight. I go to the Title-pawn to determine how to resolve this. They are stunned as they have been searching for this car for a year since the guy never made payment one. I bought it from the owner 3 blocks from their office. They didn't know what they had so the loan was very small. Ultimately I paid them 10 cents on the dollar for the "real" title and all was cool. Still sucks I bought the same car twice in 72 hours!