Leno: It’s time to let true replicas into the club


I was such a terrible student in high school that my guidance counselor, Mr. Neal, finally called my mother and me into his office. He said to her, “Mrs. Leno, did you ever think of taking Jay out of school? Maybe have him work full time? You know, education isn’t for everyone.” And I was like, “Hey, I’m in the room! I’m right here!” But it was true. I was going nowhere fast. So the fact that I was able to attain anything in this life is the American dream, and I’m so fortunate to be where I am.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/01/10/jay-leno-says-enjoy-true-replicas


Go ahead and meet-up with fellow Replicists.

It will probably be more fun to form your own club - and deny admission to anyone who owns an original (even if they own a replica too).

Hard to imagine that you would have fun in the company of a membership that clearly doesn’t want to welcome you…

Vive Les Replicists!


Mr. Leno,
Thank you for posting this about my dream car. Someday I hope to at least get the chance to drive one. Life has been full of hard knocks lately but I still strive for this goal. The type 35 has amazing lines and seems like it would be a blast to drive.
Thanks again!
Austin W


Mr. Leno,
It is extremely hard for me to imagine somebody not wanting you to be in their car club… Any club that doesn’t need another funny guy in it doesn’t sound like a club I’d like to be a member of.

Many of us in the classic car hobby look up to you, to what you do with the vehicles you have; and do appreciate your efforts at getting more people into the culture, as it were.

I’ve been to the ACD museum, before, for it is in my home state. Many nice vehicles can be found there, but when I see the exact items going for millions of dollars for sale in auctions, I often wonder how many Auburns, Cords, and Duesenbergs still reside in Indiana and not in a museum. I would hazard a guess as to not many.

I wouldn’t mind spinning around in a replica of any of those, or even a stutz bearcat on a nice summer day. However, 6 figures for a replica is well out of my budget. I guess I’ll stick with my more run-of-the-mill ancient VWs and the boy’s Corvair.

If you ask me, I believe the replica scene is really taking off now because a lot of the modern cars nowadays look too darn much alike.


If VW who now own Bugatti name, were to “officially” sanction those repros or to purchase the company making them, would that make them acceptable as real Bugattis? I suspect it would.


Mr Leno, You make a great point. When I go to car shows I want to see a lot of cars. There is nothing more disappointing than to go to a show and only see a few cars. I want to see many and I don’t care if they are replicas or not. It’s about someones passion. Jaguar just build more of the D type and they did it exactly the same way the factory did when they where first built. Collectors are all up in arms over it and I don’t see why. Doesn’t that make the first ones more valuable? I love your philosophy about cars. I know we are in for a big change in the industry and I feel that in my life time I might not even be aloud to drive my fathers 59 XK150 DHC (I’m only 53) on the roads because it runs on gas and with no smog controls or they don’t make gasoline anymore. Please keep up the good fight. If you would like to drive my fathers car it would be my honor.


Thank you Jay. We met at Greystone couple years ago with my Mustang gt conv. You were so genuine and enthusiastic - just like this article. You are inclusive. I am thinking of a revology Mustang so I can really drive it daily. Replicas are great. Drive it, fix it, rinse and repeat is my motto. Thank you


Dear Jay, You, as a Bugatti owner, Pur Sang (Argentina) owner and one of our American Bugatti Club members, know that all Bugatti enthusiasts whose interest is genuine are welcomed into the ABC, whether they own a Pur Sang (Argentina) replica or, like me, don’t own an original Molsheim Bugatti, including many from all over the world. About 70 original Molsheim Bugattis participated in the Lime Rock, CT to Saratoga Springs, NY concours, race and rally events last September, with 18 of those racing in several classes on the well-known Lime Rock track. From Saratoga, seven of those that came from abroad, including ABC members, then drove their cars all the way to California. Those watching at Lime Rock and Saratoga, along the hundreds of miles in between and the thousands of miles to California, knew they were seeing the real thing and nothing but the real thing. - Walter Jamieson


I have a great deal of respect for Jay Leno and his knowledge of vintage cars but I have to disagree with the idea of letting replicas into the club. The Pur Sang replicas are very precise reproductions of the Bugatti and Alfas of that era, and you could build a Cobra to more or less the exact specifications of the original. However, the thing that makes the originals so special–their provenance–is lacking in the reproductions and this is what people pay all the money for. Shelby’s own continuation Cobras have never been fully accepted as the Real Thing, and the wonderful cars licensed to Superformance are not either. Jay is making the argument for the Pur Sang cars, which are very few, but he won’t make it for some of the excellent Auburn Speedster replicas, such as those built by Glenn Pray, because of their modern components. On his YouTube program he has made denigrating comments about them. I was at the A-C-D Festival in Auburn last August and I saw that replicas were included in the event, parked in their own area but included in the cruise through town. I think the Auburns are terrific but will never own a real one so the replica is a chance to enjoy at least the style of a classic. The Pur Sang Type 35 is a marvellous thing but it is essentially a tribute car, in the way those Eleanor Shelby GT500s or Shelby GT350 clones are. It is not something Ettore Bugatti had anything to do with and is not by a successor company either.