Friday, October 12, 2012

That time I made Jay Leno laugh

This model of a Lamborghini Mura is part of a four-car
Matchbox set of Jay Leno's cars.
When I was attending the National Sports Collectors Convention in Anaheim, Calif., in 1985, I met Jay Leno and got a laugh out of him.

I was at the show with several members of the SCD staff. We were still on Central time, so we were up pretty early on Sunday morning. We had a Chevy Suburban that was painted up with logos and advertising for Old Cars Weekly, one of the periodicals Krause produced for the antique autos field.

We had driven out to Hollywood and eaten breakfast, then drove out to see the ocean. We parked at some public beach and walked around the sand a bit, finishing our take-out coffee.

We were about to pile back into the Suburban when a yellow Lamborghini pulled into the lot next to us. Out popped Jay Leno.

This was before he was uber-famous, but he was well-enough known that we recognized him by his distinctive hair coloration.

I knew Leno was a collector car enthusiast, and seeing the Old Cars logo on the Suburban, he struck up a conversation.

He asked us where Iola was in Wisconsin. We told him it was about 65 miles west of Green Bay and 20 miles east of Stevens Point. Leno said he knew Stevens Point . . . he had performed at the Holiday Inn there several years previously. He characterized it as a "dump."

About then another car pulled into the parking area near us. It was a sedan sporting door placards and a roof sign advertising it as a driver's education car.

A tall 30-ish guy got out, as did a very attractive and healthy-looking young lady. They disappeared over a nearby sand dune.

I said to Leno, "She must be going to take her oral exam." 

And that's how I got a laugh out of Jay Leno. 

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