• Aug 18th 2008 at 4:29PM
  • 27

Click above for high-res gallery of Jay's Tank Car in Monterey

We were as surprised as anyone to see Jay Leno's name on the entry list for this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Then we saw that he would be arriving in a 1953 Chrysler. As nice as 1953 Chryslers may be, Jay's is pretty special. It's an imposing custom hot rod that is powered by a 28.4-liter Chrysler built tank engine. Most people call it the Tank Car, and last year this time it was on display across the country at the Woodward Dream Cruise. The heart of the Tank Car is the 1792 cid V-12 Continental-designed, Chrsyler-built tank engine that in turbocharged form puts out something like 1,600 hp and 3,000 ft-lbs. of torque. The engine alone weighs 2,000 lbs and easily qualifies Jay's car in this year's featured 20+ liter class.

While performance isn't this car's main goal, it can scoot along pretty well with all of that power being routed through an Allison 6-speed transmission. Switching from the original 3-speed trans doubled Leno's gas mileage, which now stands at around 5 mpg. As bad as that might seem, it comes across as almost reasonable when you hear it guzzles 80 quarts of oil every time Jay swings through a Jiffy Lube. We have to admit that we were among the many fans who rushed to see the car as Jay entered the Pebble Beach fairway. It's really a spectacular sight, even at an event that is known to stop even seasoned auto afficianados in their tracks every few seconds.

Photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a carbon footprint for the Hollywood liberal!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who thinks Jay has only one pair of casual clothes? For God sake Leno, wear something else!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess I just don't get it. Leno is always building some godforsaken monstrosity like this and it always makes me cringe. What is the point? Who will ever drive these cars? What exactly is elegant about a vehicle like that?
      • 7 Years Ago
      One small correction. The engine was built by Continental, not Chrysler. The same engine is still in production today, albeit a diesel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the chrysler emblem was a nice touch...but the hood looks like it was hewn by orcs in Mordor.
      Lawrence Phoenix
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jay reports he never touch's his 7 Million Dollar paycheck..the cars are paid for by Club Dates... he also never touch's his wardrobe which screams 'Campus Radical 1968'....which is admittedly a Classic Look at 60 years old...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome machine and at 5 MPG, only the truly well-to-do can afford to take a cruise in this baby. But it seems that Jay has problems seeing over the front of the machine. Which design is causing this problem; the radiator up front or his chin? ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Leno's so cakked car is at the wrong event at the wrong time. Should try the demolition derby.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What an a-hole.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jay's machine recieved extensive modifications to its engine at Gale Banks Engineering as noted on our website (www.bankspower.com). The engine's hp output was nearly doubled by the application of some very advanced Banks Twin-Turbocharging technology.

      We are quite proud of the part that Gale Banks Engineering played in making this silver beast roar, and Jay was kind enough to publically acknowledge it at Pebble.

      Thanks Very Much!

      - Doug Stokes
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if he drives that thing in and out of tunnels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bet you have to be careful about dangling your arm out the "window." Holy crap...
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