It was this rare steam car that erupted into flames and sent Jay Leno to the hospital with serious burns to his face

Via Youtube / @Jay Leno's Garage

Comedian and avid car collector Jay Leno had to be rushed to the hospital on Sunday after suffering serious burns to the left side of his face. According to several media reports, Leno sustained a severe injury to his face following an incident at his garage in Burbank, California, where he stores his cars. TMZ reports that one of his cars burst into flames, spraying gasoline on the 72-year-old. The fuel instantly caught fire, causing severe burn injuries to the left side of Leno’s face. He was immediately taken to the West Hills Hospital & Medical Center and was admitted to the Grossman Burn Center for further treatment. Initially, Leno’s condition was unknown, with TMZ reporting his injuries as serious. However, in a statement to SlashGear, Leno said “I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet” and confirmed that his injuries were caused by a “gasoline fire.” Thankfully, Leno narrowly escaped from damaging his left eye or ear. The comedian has reportedly canceled all his engagements for the coming week, including a scheduled appearance at The Financial Brand conference.

Via Instagram / @jaylenosgarage

The car that left Jay Leno with serious burns
According to a report by Slashgear, the accident was caused by one of Leno’s several steam cars; although the exact model is not yet known. Leno’s massive car collection is home to multiple steam cars and other steam-powered vehicles, which includes at least six Stanley cars, a few White steamers, and a pair of Doble steam cars. In fact, Leno’s garage has a dedicated section for all his steam-powered vehicles and many of them have been featured on his YouTube videos. Most of these vehicles are incredibly rare as only a few thousand examples were made, with many of them either scrapped or destroyed over the years.

Steam cars are slightly different than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. While ICE cars have cylinders inside which a mixture of combustible fuel and air is ignited to force a piston to move, steam cars use a boiler to heat water that produces steam which in turn is used to power the engine’s pistons. While steam cars have their own set of advantages, they also suffer from serious downsides, which ultimately led to their demise. Not only are they notoriously slow to fire up but also very unsafe. In an episode of “My Classic Car,” Leno talked about the enormous amount of gasoline running out under the boiler, which could be dangerous. Unfortunately, that is exactly what caused the recent accident, leaving Leno with serious burns. Thankfully, the injuries sustained by the comedian are not life-threatening and no one else was injured in the incident. We wish Leno a speedy recovery.

Written By
Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.