Leno Drives Le Mans Legend
Comedian adds Ford GT to stable of classics
Page 1: Intro
The ultimate Ford has found a home with Jay Leno, the ultimate car-collector. That’s not easy to do, for Leno is a master when it comes to choosing automotive masterpieces. If it goes fast and is hard to come by, Leno’s probably got one – and now he’s got a masterpiece with an historic American pedigree: a bright red 2005 Ford GT.
The wide white racing stripe and hand-built V8 engine is not the only thing that’s special about this car. In the mid-1960s, the original Ford GT40 was created to battle for supremacy on the Le Mans race circuit. In 1966, it placed 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the grueling endurance race the next three consecutive years.
"The Ford GT has the cleanest, sexiest, most attractive lines of any GT-type race car," Leno wrote in Popular Mechanics’ July 2004 issue. "A lot of these new cars—even supercars like the Ferrari Enzo—don’t emotionally move you the way a Ford GT’s shape does." Leno’s first ride in a Ford GT was in a prototype with racing legend Jackie Stewart at the wheel last year at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca in Monterey, before he took a few laps of his own. "It was a hoot to drive, it’s very fast," Leno said.