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.
To raise money for Fisher House, a charity that provides housing for families of injured soldiers, Leno donated his 2012 Fiat 500 for auction at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach event.
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.