• May 29, 2009
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.


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  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      International face of the ultimate car guy? Are you kidding me? He's unknown in most of Europe. If anyone is /the/ International car guy it's Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ralph, despite his entertaining ways and what you think of them Clarkson is still the INTERNATIONAL face of car guys.

        Jay is an American icon, rarely seen or heard of in the rest of the world. Top Gear is broadcast around the globe!
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, I disagree.
        Clarkson is as unknown as Leno to the average non-car-guy European.

        But if you're into cars, you know about Leno, and his unconditional enthusiasm for motor vehicles regardless of type, age or origin makes him a far better choice than Clarkson, who is often highly biased.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Clarkson is a car show entertainer who talks a lot of nonsense...Jay is a talk show entertainer who is a real down-to-earth car guy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Andrew, I love Clarkson as an entertainer but as an ultimate car guy not a chance. Jay has a collection that is second to none. His knowledge is deep and varied across multiple types of machines. I know Jay loves to wrench on his own gear. He keeps a crew on staff to build projects and maintain the fleet in tip top shape. Last I heard his collection was over 300 deep. Clarkson readily admits he doesn't understand the first think about the workings of an automobile. That alone disqualifies him as an ultimate car guy IMHO.

        Cheers
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it is the fact that he not only owns a huge collection of automobiles, but drives them and works on them that imrpesses me most. A great award to a great guy
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yep, totally deserving.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not just buying cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      but does he have a veyron?
        • 5 Years Ago
        He has better.. a car with a tank engine.. Or well, a tank engine on wheels.. heh.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For all his millions, I truly get the impression that if I was at a gas station with my turbo Buick and happened to have a chance meeting with Jay, we would probably wind up having a 20 minute conversation all about the history of Grand Nationals and there's no doubt he'd ask to see under the hood :) . What other celebrity would give a damn about some random Joe's $8,000 G-body?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone know what kind of car Jay is driving in the photo?
      • 5 Years Ago
      An award for buying cars? Finally something I can aspire to!
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is not much about Clarkson for which I have envy. Sure he is entertaining and knows cars, but I don't envy him. Jay on the other hand makes me drool every time I see his garage or one of his toys. My vote is for Jay....a very deserving and very cool car guy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great choice for the award.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jay seems like a genuinely nice guy who really knows about what he has. I would love to have a wander around his place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      well i can't think of anyone who deserves it more
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