Jay Leno is Not Impressed with Your Million Dollar Custom Supercar

Jay Leno is one of the few people I’ve ever heard utter the words, “Doesn’t feel like twelve hundred horsepower.” There have been a few instances on his great Youtube channel Jay Leno’s Garage when he was not thrilled with cars he was driving, and made that clear. Sometimes with people from the company riding along with him. The most recent instance of this happening was when he was driving the $1.3 million Drako GTE.

I don’t trust this Drako Fella

It gradually becomes clear to Jay though the video that this car is basically a faster, re-bodied Fisker Karma. The car claims to have 1200 horsepower. You can scroll 22 minutes into the video to see what Jay thinks of that, and also how the guy from Drako tries to cover his ass. I’m not sure what it is about the co-founder of this company, but I don’t trust him. He could just as easily be preaching at the head of some self-help seminar instead of trying to sell cars. Next thing you know he’ll be telling me that I need to recruit three friends to sell some off-brand knives, and if they recruit three friends, and those three people recruit three friends…

2012 de Macross Epique GT1

Another slightly more brutal instance of this happens when Jay drives the ‘de Macross Epique GT1’, aka a re-bodied ford GT that claims to have 845 horsepower. I’m not going to try and summarize how Mr. Leno chooses to dissect the nature of this vehicle. Just skip to 9:50 to get his full take. It isn’t pretty.

 

One Surprising Car He Did Like

Cast yourself back twelve years and one big car company today was just getting started. When the Tesla Roadster came out in 2008, I guess Elon Musk wanted Jay to drive one. Musk himself showed up, and Leno had almost entirely nice things to say about Tesla’s first entry into the automotive business. Elon looks like his mom dressed him for some sort of important school-sponsored dinner, but the entire episode goes well nonetheless.

Jay Leno seems to be pretty good at predicting a car company’s success. Maybe he has some kind of special power from that full denim jumpsuit he wears all of the time. Maybe I should get one and see If I can predict the big winner in this electric truck fiasco. I think I might get one either way to be honest.

14 Comments

    1. I think Elon Musk is a great reminder that genius in some aspects doesn’t guarantee genius in all fields, but it’s undeniably impressive what Tesla has accomplished.

        1. He is indeed easy to hate, but it’s not his wealth or intellect that makes him a target– it’s his douchey personality. Too bad his brilliance doesn’t give him enough self-awareness to avoid the media.

        2. He is indeed easy to hate, but it’s not his wealth or intellect that makes him a target– it’s his douchey personality. Too bad his brilliance doesn’t give him enough self-awareness to avoid the media.

  1. Unpopular hot take, but I’m not impressed with Jay Leno. He is knowledgeable, and has one of the best collections imaginable. I just don’t like him as a presenter – I don’t find him funny, and he seems like maybe a bit of a dick without owning it like, say, Seinfeld. The Jay Leno’s Garage episodes where he has some normal person with an interesting car tend to be cringe-worthy since if they start rambling, he just gets things on track by cutting them off.

    That said, I’ll still watch if the car interests me, and I have no doubt the two here deserve to be called on their dubious claims.

    1. I see what you mean, and he’ll sometimes be a poor listener, too, especially given his career in listening-digesting-presenting. But I think with the Garage episodes, this all comes down to few takes, no rehearsal, and the fact that he is a well-known, rich and powerful person. There are probably a lot of people trying to get his attention at all times, being a bit harsh in trying to maintain focus seems like a predictable reaction to that. Like parents of small kids.

    2. I see what you mean, and he’ll sometimes be a poor listener, too, especially given his career in listening-digesting-presenting. But I think with the Garage episodes, this all comes down to few takes, no rehearsal, and the fact that he is a well-known, rich and powerful person. There are probably a lot of people trying to get his attention at all times, being a bit harsh in trying to maintain focus seems like a predictable reaction to that. Like parents of small kids.

      1. Yeah, that’s fair, although as the closest series I can think of (Smoking Tire’s One Takes) seems to manage to avoid that trap, although there isn’t the fame issue like you mention, and since it’s mostly only driving, it’s probably more acceptable for the owner to just sit there and say nothing.

    3. The good episodes are ones where Jay has a definite interest in the car. Pretty much all of the episodes where he features a car he already owns are good. Sometimes he is absolutely in awe of a car he won’t ever have the opportunity to own, like in the Y-job episode.

      The bad episodes are the ones where he gets bored. Sometimes it is because the owner is a bad interview. Generally, those are owners whose only connection to the car is that they wrote a check. If you’re like the guy with the 51 Kaiser who built the car he wanted without a lot of resources or training but still have that attention to detail, you’ll get his respect, and a good episode. Anything with a Randy Grubb car will be a good episode, but many builders go on just to try to market their high dollar project built on spec, and those episodes are usually bad ones.

      1. Yep, you nailed it.
        This reminds me of running the podcast. Some episodes I could sit back and let the guest talk and talk, because they were fascinating and well spoken. Other times I had to RIP anything I could out of them.

        The Gale Banks podcast episodes are two of my favorites for such a reason.

  2. Ok, sort of off-topic, but the lead image is difficult to look at. Why would anyone in their right mind introduce a million-dollar car in that paint color? Was that lifted from a late-90s Dodge Neon? Damn, that’s terrible.

  3. Much like 50s and 60s TV shows, the backgrounds of the car scenes are the coolest places to check out. Ironic then that the background of the last scene of the test drive of the Drako video has the California Auto Wrecking yard in the background.

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