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Jay Leno Has a Blue and White Dodge Viper GTS, Just Like Me

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2017

As I mentioned in a previous column, I recently had the chance to visit Jay Leno's garage and check out his amazing car collection. Among the highlights were a McLaren F1, of course, and also a 2002 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG, which made me especially proud as a former owner (and constant evangelizer) of that particular AMG-powered E-Class.

Another item that made me proud: Jay has a 1996 Dodge Viper GTS, finished in blue and white, just like mine. Here he is after showing it to me while he was walking me around his garage.

The thing that's cool about having the same car as Jay Leno is that he's sort of the ultimate arbiter of automotive taste. While some collectors only buy Ferraris, or only pre-war cars, or only German cars, or only muscle cars or only Corvettes, Jay Leno has everything. He's got to be the only guy in the world with a collection of steam cars and also a McLaren P1. A Lamborghini Miura and a GMC Syclone. A Ford GT and a Mercedes car hauler.

As a result, my general thinking about Jay Leno is that he doesn't buy cars purely because they fit his "collecting interest" -- instead, he buys stuff because it's cool. He likes the Ford GT, so he has one. He likes the Mercedes 300SEL 6.3, so he has one. He likes steam cars, so he has a whole room full of them. If Jay thinks a car is cool, that probably means he -- one of the world's most generous car enthusiasts with one of the widest-reaching collections -- has one in his collection. And if you have one, too, well, that's a pretty cool thing.

Naturally, Jay has normalized most of his crazy cars by now -- but when I saw the Viper, my face lit up. Sure, he probably has serial number one, and it was probably signed by the entire team that built it, and it probably has some special Jay Leno engine tune that gives it an extra 80 horsepower. But the general idea is the same: in at least one case, I have the same car as Jay Leno. How cool is that?!

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Jay Leno Has a Blue and White Dodge Viper GTS, Just Like Me - Autotrader