Leno: The best cars are the ones with great stories


The thing I like about my taste in cars is that I have no idea what it is. Really, if I had to define it, I would say I like to buy a good story more than I like to buy a particular vehicle. I’ll tell you what I mean with a couple of recent purchases.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/03/11/leno-best-cars-have-great-stories


My taste in cars is eclectic and I appreciate most cars. My neat story is of my '59 Imperial Custom Coupe. It was stored in a barn away from where the owner lived, this was in 1988. He told me kids must of got into the barn, broke the vent window and forced the drivers window down just to steal the AM radio. He gave me directions to go out in rural Sun Prairie WI. The beautiful Noctrane Blue paint looked scratched and in poor shape as the car was not run in decades. Upon closer inspection a family of racoons were crawling along the fin forward and made a nest in the car. Wow they destroyed everything in the car and even took chunks out of the brake pedal. I opened the trunk and jumped as the racoons were still in it. I purchased the car, restored it as a nice driver. Someday I would love to meet Jay Leno.


What about a Hagerty sponsored car show in Michigan this summer for Hagerty Members only featuring Jay Leno and Tom Cotter. What do you say Hagerty?


Hagerty must join with Hemmings and start having people at car show events that sells their products. Hemmings did this at Iola Wisconsin car show about ten years ago. They can co sponsor with discounts on their magazines and offer some subscriptions to their Hagerty Services like towing etc. Hemmings needs to branch out other than having six car shows at their Vermont location only. My Hagerty insurance man offers to pay you and your cars entrance fee to a car show and even buys your lunch once a year. That is why I quit my other Hagerty salesperson who did not do anything. Thanks to Scott Spoerl in Fort Atkinson WI. to think outside the box. Hagerty and Hemmings its your turn now.


I know how some of these people feel. I have a really nice MGA Coupe that I will be selling this spring. It is such a nice car totally stock and as it came from the factory. I’m getting older and have a hard time getting in and out. It is such a time capsule that I hope whoever buys it really appreciates it and treats it well. That includes keeping it in its stock form.


I found a yellow 1969 Barracuda convertible in Southampton NY, sitting at a crunchy old car dealer on the main drag. My wife and I pull in and look at the car, which has 38,000 miles.
In the trunk is a sign - For Salé Plymouth 1969 Convertable…call xxx xxxxx. Turns out the car is owned by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, owner of the New York Times. He bought it for his wife in 69, and it went back and forth to the beach until ‘96, when she passed away, and then sat in his 5 car garage at his Mansion. My wife buys it for me, and now it’s in my garage and goes from Bel Air to Brentwood CA on the weekends, and runs like a top.
A funny thing- Here’s the guy who runs the greatest Newspaper in the world, and he can’t spell Convertible!


Decades ago I met a man who made a living buying low mileage clean old cars from little old ladies in the South and then selling them in California where they were worth much more.


I bought a 1967 GTA mustang convertible in Monrovia California in 1982 it was in a showroom, it drew me in. I wish I could remember the name of the place,it was on Foothill drive. The Mustang was in company with RR’s, Bentley’s etc. I just had to have it, so I bought it.
They told me that it was owned by a comedian that worked in Las. Vegas. I took all the papers that came with the car and the paper that he signed and left with the car and drove it back to Windsor Ontario Canada.
Fast forward to just a few years ago I was going thru the papers for the car and saw his name so I got on Facebook put his name in and his name popped up.
Turns out he was Discovered by Cary Grant at the Magic Castle in Hollywood California who got him a act on the Ed Sullivan show, from there he spent the biggest portion of his career in Las Vegas, about 20 years.
I found that he retired and lives in Florida. I found out were he lives, did some more work, got his phone, gave him a call, and because I was in Florida at the time, called him and I drove to his place and had lunch.
The people he meet like Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. etc, and the stories he can tell.
As a side note I got the Mati Report on the car. Turns out the Mustang was a Marketing car for Ford Motor Co.


Would love to meet Jay Leno, and have the grand tour of his collection. I love the big boats , especially the 67 Imperial coupe. I have a 67 mustang that my grandma bought new, and sold it to me for $200 in 1976. That’s what they offered her for a trade in on a cougar. I drove it home to SW Michigan from Illinois, and it turned 24,000 miles as I crossed the state line in Michigan and went into a rest area. It has now been restored, and has about 77,000 miles on it . Unfortunately it is hard for me to get into, due to back surgery, but is still my baby. Will be passing her on to my son some day , and will “ keep it in the family “


Mverran60 Google Marti auto works it wil request year model (Mustang) some place it will ask you VIN number … it could be interesting.
It may cost, but it my be interesting …


Thanks for the info , James !


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