To say that Jay Leno has an eclectic taste in cars is quite an understatement. Leno has all the bases covered, as his garages play host to everything from steam-powered beasts up through to the McLaren F1 of the 1990s and on to today's supercars. One particular stand-out has to be his 1915 Hispano-Suiza, as it's a unique mashup of World War I-era parts, including the aircraft engine mounted under the long hood.
The chassis was found in Australia buried in the sand. Jay and his team claimed the gearbox from a 1919 bus and the transmission from a garbage truck. The car also features chain-driven brakes and an oil filter that's the size of a modern fire extinguisher. It all pairs perfectly with the gargantuan engine.
If you think your muscle car has a big block, it has nothing on Jay's 18.5-liter V-8 airplane engine. Hispano-Suiza produced this engine, which makes 300 horsepower and was used in World War I airplanes. As you can see on the street, with all that displacement, it runs at very low revs.
Jay snagged this rare car at an auction in Pebble Beach back in the 1980s. After that, Jay and his very talented mechanics and builders worked to make it driveable. Issues arose, and Jay's team made modifications to ensure that the chassis doesn't flex and harm the transmission and the car is oiled properly. Pay attention to that alarm at 8:11 in the video and you'll know what we mean.
Whenever Jay shows off one of his own cars, you can get a great sense of the history and Leno's own pride of ownership. He gets excited to share his own vehicles, and this is a very special one that he's sharing here. Give this video a watch and you'll understand.