When you’re Jay Leno, taking delivery of the first or second customer car in country is generally as easy as picking up the phone and saying, “I’ll need one of those for my collection, as close to the first production model as possible.”
Such was the case with The Tonight Show host and the 2012 Fiat 500 Prima Edizione; Leno took delivery of the second U.S. car produced, with the first one going to Fiat chairman Sergio Marchionne.
While charity auctions generally raise good money, few could have predicted how much Leno’s Fiat would mean to Fisher House. Bidding opened at $50,000, but instantly doubled to $100,000. It soon hit $200,000, then $300,000, before finally hammering at $350,000. We’re pretty sure that’s a record price for a new-version Fiat 500.
What’s more, donations from on-site and phone bidders raised another $250,000, giving Fisher House a grand total of $600,000 from the auction.
We’re not sure the value of an ex-Jay Leno Fiat 500 Prima Edizione will ever reach $350,000, but we’re equally sure the buyer (who will undoubtedly get a significant tax deduction for his generosity) doesn’t care.