Automotive aficionado and all-around cool dude Jay Leno – today celebrating his last night has host of The Tonight Show – is set to receive the "La Bella Macchina" award this August at the 24th Annual Concorso Italiano. One of the highest honors in automotive circles, the award signifies outstanding contributions and a passion for the automotive industry. Previous recipients have included Sergio Pininfarina, Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby.

Concorso owner Tom McDowell summed up Mr. Leno well:
"Jay is the international face of the ultimate car guy and has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the hobby for more than 30 years. With his own large collection ranging from Lamborghinis and jet powered motorcycles to Duesenbergs and a tank-engined 30-foot hot rod, Jay's eclectic taste knows no boundaries, other than making sure it has four wheels and a great history.
We couldn't agree more. Check out the press release after the jump.

[Source: Concorso Italiano]


PRESS RELEASE

ON EVE OF HIS LAST SHOW, CONCORSO ITALIANO ANNOUNCES JAY LENO TO RECEIVE ONE OF HIGHEST HONORS IN AUTOMOTIVE HOBBY

Legendary Late-Night Host and Avid Auto Enthusiast to Receive "La Bella Macchina" Award at 24th Annual Italian Celebration of Style

Los Angeles, Calif. (May 28, 2009) – Concorso Italiano, the premier kick-off event to Monterey weekend, announced today that it will present its prestigious annual "La Bella Macchina" award to legendary late-night host and avid automotive hobbyist, comedian Jay Leno.

"Jay is the international face of the ultimate car guy and has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the hobby for more than 30 years. With his own large collection ranging from Lamborghinis and jet powered motorcycles to Duesenbergs and a tank-engined 30-foot hot rod, Jay's eclectic taste knows no boundaries, other than making sure it has four wheels and a great history," said Concorso owner, Tom McDowell. "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."

Special notables scheduled to appear at the event include Pantera designer Tom Tjaarda, designers Matteo Fioravanti, Luca Fioravanti and Bertone Cento, designers Lilli Bertone, Michael Robinson and distinguished Lamborghini test driver, 40-year veteran Valentino Balboni.
The annual "La Bella Macchina" Hall of Fame Award is presented to special Concorso guests for outstanding contributions to and a passion for the automotive industry. The award has been bestowed on more than 50 individuals since its inception in 1992. Previous recipients include distinguished designers Sergio Pininfarina, Giotto Bizzarini and Giorgio Giugiaro, race drivers Stirling Moss, Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby, and industry notables Piero Ferrari and Luigi Chinetti, Jr. among others.

Concorso Italiano is a must-attend convergence of sophistication, taste and fun that embraces cultural elements of Italian style, including music, cuisine, fashion, and travel. The event is centered on as many as 1,000 collectable Italian automobiles, motorcycles, and boats. Keith Martin of Sports Car Market and Alan Richmond have been confirmed as Masters of Ceremonies this year and the event already has support from the Ferrari Club of America, the Pantera Club, the Iso and Bizzarrini Owners Club, FIAT America, Ferrari Owners Club, as well as the Lamborghini Club America.

For more information, please visit www.concorso.com, where you can also purchase spectator tickets or register a vehicle for display. Italian car registration is $100, and non-Italian car registration is $150. Spectator tickets are $85. Prices are good until May 31. Children 12 and under are free. Complimentary on-site parking.