Former American talk show host Jay Leno is a well-known car fanatic with more knowledge about the world of automobiles than most historians. His renowned Big Dog Garage is home to 181 cars and 160 motorcycles worth more than $52 million, making it one of the biggest private collections of its kind. Leno’s collection consists of some of the rarest and most exclusive automotive creations from different eras. Yet, you’ll be surprised that the comedian’s extensive collection doesn’t have a single Ferrari. It’s absolutely bizarre that a prominent car collector like Leno would completely ignore what’s possibly the greatest automobile manufacturer ever. Does he really hate Ferrari? Well, no; Leno actually loves cars with the iconic Prancing Horse emblem. In a recent interview with Jason Stein on his Cars and Culture podcast shows, Leno finally revealed why he never bought a single Ferrari in his life.
It turns out that Leno completely detests Ferrari’s whole vetting process to select its customers to maintain its brand exclusivity. “They’re excellent cars, I just saw the SF90, I just never liked dealing with the dealers,” Leno explains. The 71-year-old TV personality even compared the experience at a Ferrari dealership with BDSM. He said associated a visit to the dealership with “rich guys going to a dominatrix. Oh, she kicked the crap out of me, it was fantastic. That’s great, some guys like that. I don’t.” He also goes on to say that Ferrari won’t let him buy a special edition unless he owns two Mondials, which is funny considering the Ferrari grand tourer went out of production almost 3 decades back. Maybe he was recounting an old experience, but the statement also suggests Leno has been holding a grudge for a long, long time.
In complete contrast, Leno seems to be very happy with the buying experience offered by McLaren and Porsche, saying these two manufacturers have a more customer-friendly attitude. “The smart thing about McLaren is the dealer service. I bought my McLaren, I paid exactly the sticker, buying it was a terrific process. I had the car [for] six or seven months, my MP4-12C. And they called me one day and said, ‘Oh, there’s an upgrade from 592 horsepower to 617. You want the upgrade?’ I said, ‘Well, how much is it?’ and they said ‘It’s free.’” He even recalls the time when he bought his Porsche Carrera GT that arrived in a flatbed along with two technicians to demonstrate various easy maintenance tasks. It’s well-known that Ferrari can be a very difficult brand to deal with. The Italian brand is known for taking extreme steps to maintain its brand image and exclusivity. Countless celebrities have also faced the wrath for allegedly attempting to hurt the brand’s image. But I guess that’s what it takes to be considered the best.