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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Leno’

Ford CEO Mulally Lands Laughs with Letterman

Gets mileage plugging Ford’s electric cars.

by on Aug.04, 2011

Ford CEO Alan Mulally pitches David Letterman on the advantages of electric propulsion.

It wasn’t your typical auto show, but Ford CEO Alan Mulally was as boyishly exuberant as always when he rolled onto the stage for The Late Show With David Letterman in a new Ford Focus Electric – Letterman himself behind the wheel.

Grabbing a seat on the New York set normally reserved for movie stars  like Emma Stone, and other celebrities, Mulally used his appearance to promote Ford’s fast-growing line-up of hybrids and battery cars, including the Focus Electric, which will hit market next year.


Deeply invested in motor sports but also a fan of electric power, the often acerbic Letterman could find nothing but praise for Mulally, starting out by trading stories about their early jobs – both had bagged groceries and delivered newspapers – before turning to the executive’s experience at Boeing.  Asked to list the aircraft he’d worked on – everything from the old 707 to the more modern 777 – Mulally drew an enthusiastic response from the audience.


Pebble Beach Concours Pits Millionaires Against The Billionaires

Classic car show a Woodstock for the upper class.

by on Aug.16, 2010

This 1933 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster from the Patterson Collection took Best-of-Show honors at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Bill Tanner was at a rare loss for words.  He was running down a list of his car collection and got through the Bentleys, the Ferraris and the new Mercedes-Benz SLS.  But he couldn’t quite remember what the rest of them were.  So goes life when you’ve got some of the most exclusive automobiles in the world vying for space in your 14-car garage.

The Los Angeles investor was just one of the many affluent car collectors gathered in Pebble Beach, the tony Central California community, over the weekend, for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an event generally conceded to be the most elegant and exclusive classic car show in the world.

A Classic!

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Concours was crowded with more than 180 rare collector cars, hot rods, motorcycles and even some historic camper trailers, all competing for the Best-in-Show award that can turn the rare automobile into one of the world’s most sought-after and expensive vehicles.

Ford Looking at Eco-Performance Options

A battery-powered Mustang?

by on Dec.18, 2009

This specially-developed Ford Focus was developed for Jay Leno's new Green Challenge celebrity race.

This specially-developed Ford Focus was developed for Jay Leno's new Green Challenge celebrity race.

Facing pressure from consumers and regulators alike, Ford Motor Co. is putting a heavy emphasis on downsizing, alternative powertrains and advanced gasoline technology, but the company won’t abandon its traditional emphasis on performance products, such as the Mustang.

Could clean, high-mileage alternative propulsion system deliver both better fuel economy and high-performance?

“Sure,” says Jim Farley, the automaker’s marketing czar and a serious muscle car fan in his rare off-hours.  The good thing about electric propulsion, he points out, is that, “You get 100% of an electric motor’s torque the moment it starts turning, and that’s pretty exciting for customers who want performance.”



As an example, Farley points to the specially-developed battery-powered Ford Focus developed for superstar Jay Leno and used regularly in a celebrity racing segment on Leno’s new nightly TV show.  The bright orange 5-door started out as a conventional version of the European Focus ST hatchback.  Shipped to Michigan, it was given a 141 horsepower, 235 lb-ft electric drive system powered by 98 lithium-ion batteries.


Leno Lands Ford Deal

Automaker to provide Focus EVs for celebrity publicity stunt.

by on Sep.09, 2009

Ford Focus EV

Four Focus EVs, which won’t reach the U.S. market until 2011 at the earliest, will be used in the publicity stunt.

While everyone waits and wonders whether former Tonight Show host Jay Leno can work his magic during prime time, Ford Motor Company has signed on in an unusual partnership that will have celebrity drivers racing battery-powered versions of the automaker’s Focus sedan.

The Green Car Challenge will be conducted on a special track built behind the Burbank, California studios where Leno – an unabashed auto fanatic – will tape his five-night-a-week comedy and entertainment extravaganza, “The Jay Leno Show.”  The first Challenge will be staged on September 18th.

A total of four Focus EVs, which won’t reach the retail U.S. market until 2011 at the earliest, will be used in the publicity stunt, and the automaker is hoping the regularly televised series of celebrity eco-grudge matches will help it establish an image as one of the industry’s green leaders.


Leno To Be Lauded

Distinguished car collector also has some TV experience.

by on May.29, 2009

What makes Jay run - or drive - could it be keeping up his incredible car collection?

What makes Jay run - or drive - could it be keeping up his incredible car collection?

Like most celebrities, Jay Leno has learned to smile politely and pen a quick autograph, but if you want to really get his attention, ask him about his car collection.

The lantern-jawed comedian’s vast assemblage fills two hangars at the Burbank Airport and the new home he’s building, in Orange County, has a garage as large as some corporate office buildings.  So, while the 59-year-old Leno may be giving up his seat on the set of the Tonight Show with this evening’s special farewell, he’ll likely only spend more time tinkering on a collection that includes everything from Duesenbergs to Lamborghinis to a jet-powered motorcycle and a tank-engined 30-foot hot rod.

A regular – and repeat winner – at tony events like the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the NBC host has gotten an offer he can’t refuse.  Leno will receive the “La Bella Macchina’ award at the 24thAnnual Italian Celebration of Style.  It’s part of the Concorso Italiano, which helps kick off the “Pebble Beach weekend,” which draws some of the world’s top cars and collectors.

“Jay is the international face of the ultimate car guy and has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the hobby for more than 30 years,” says Concorso owner, Tom McDowell. “Jay’s eclectic taste knows no boundaries, other than making sure it has four wheels and a great history. He’s a hands-on, passionate guy who’s not afraid to get a little dirt under his fingernails and he has everything we look for in an honoree.  He’s the car guy’s car guy.” (more…)