Jay Leno really knows his cars. His car collection spans not just a garage, but a huge warehouse that he features each week on his YouTube channel Jay Leno’s Garage and its CNBC adaptation. It’s not difficult to realise exactly why he’s known to be an authority on the subject. So when he says something is good, or bad, we believe it.
Jay Was Asked To Drive A Firebird pace car in 2002’s Daytona 500
In 2002, Jay Leno was asked to drive the pace car at the Daytona 500. On being asked how much he wanted to be paid for the honour, he simply asked for a Firebird. Initially, he was offered the pace car, but not being a fan of the bright yellow paint job, he asked for the road-going version in a dark blue. This is the car he’s featured in his latest video on the Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube channel.
Is This The Best Firebird Ever Created?
Jay’s Firebird is completely stock and loaded with options such as power seats. It also has a 5.7-litre V8 that produces 325 horsepower, 350 ft-lbs of torque, and a sound that no one would turn their noses up to. Underneath the car he points out a few minor issues due to it not being driven enough, but there’s overall no corrosion and is in very good nick for a car of that age. In fact, it’s never even been driven in the rain, as it’s lived in California for all its life.
He points out the shining transmission and jet black sway bar, as well as its interesting suspension setup and disc brakes.
He says once again that the car is “100% unmolested”, and that the only difference between this and the factory version is an Optima battery.
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On The Road With The Firebird and Jay
Jay obviously loves his Firebird, explaining that it’s a car he’d drive every day and have fun in it. He’s owned it for almost 20 years, and in that time it’s never been back to the dealer, with Jay and his team doing their own servicing when needed.
He explains very emotionally that this car is the end of an era, with it being the last, and possibly the best muscle car they ever built. It’s comfortable, handles nicely due to it having a great suspension setup and braking system, and Jay believes it’s faster than 9 tenths of the cars on the road.
He speaks lovingly about this car, with the only issue he has with it being the sound the popup headlights make when they go back down. It’s certainly a favourite of his, and that’s saying something when you own around 200 cars.