Jay Leno has a special place in his heart for steam power. The comedian has a collection of vintage vehicles that have more in common with a classic train than a modern car, and of those, his 1906 Stanley Steamer seems to be one of his favorites.

In 2007, the Stanley suffered a bit of a catastrophic failure, and Leno and his team of steam mechanics have been working to get the vehicle back into ship shape ever since. Of course, in Leno's vocabulary, "ship shape" means better than ever. The Stanley now wears hydraulic drum brakes from a Jaguar XK120 instead of the manual drums found on the original Steamer.

The crew also worked in a set of electric fuel pumps and replaced the acetylene headlights and oil tail lamps with electric versions. The team also managed to bump up the horsepower. The Steamer originally cruised along with a 23-inch boiler, but Leno had a new 30-inch boiler made and installed. It took his shop 26 tries to design boiler baffles that could accurately and evenly spread heat across the full surface, but now Leno has the equivalent of a hot rod Steamer. Pure awesomeness. Hit the jump to check out the lengthy video for yourself.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      Robert H Jacob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jay (and team). This video is an extraordinary lesson in steam power. One has to be impressed with your knowledge and craftsmanship. I watched it twice - just to make sure I was as confused the second time - as I was the first. Absolutely brilliant - and I thank you for sharing this with us.
      Abe
      • 2 Years Ago
      What an awesome car! Thanks Jay for sharing your love of cars with us all...
      ngiotta
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not sure why all the hate for Jay Leno. He's really a nice guy and a certified car nut. I ran into him at a fast food place a couple of years back in So Cal. He's super down to earth and really will talk your ear off, but not to the point of being annoying. I can't say the same for more than half of the d-bags on T.V. Sure he's rich. Sure he has every car you've ever wanted (and about 100 others as well). But I think jealousy plays a large part in the negative comments on this board.
        Halldór Björn Halldó
        @ngiotta
        Couldn't agree more. I find it hard to understand how anyone with the slightest interest in cars or motorbikes could not enjoy Jay Leno's garage and the videos on his site. I think it's fantastic that someone with so much true enthusiasm and the means to build such a collection decides to share it with practically the whole world. Stop hating, and just enjoy all the craftsmanship, interest and fantastic vehicles we get to see!!
      inthelv
      • 2 Years Ago
      When I was a limo driver, I was waiting for my client when out of nowhere I heard what I thought was a steam train. It was Leno driving a HUGE vehicle with a big square passenger box. He said hi, I told him what a car nut I was and he then explained about how much he loves cars and gave me the lowdown on his big steamer (I wish I could remember what it was called). I was never much of a fan, but, that night it was just two car nuts gabbing. He probably only stopped talking because he needed to get back inside to make the $$ to do projects like this one. Very cool memory and guy.
      KGenesis
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sometimes I pass on Leno's auto videos but this one was quite enlightening. Very informative, it's quite amazing to get a glimpse of historical engineering being used in modern times as often we are limited to the displays in a museum. Also, +1 for Jay looking like he just returned from a party weekend in Vegas. Much more down to earth in this vid, would never think he was a millionaire. Truthfully, enthusiats should be thanking Jay for sharing vehicles in his garage with us as most filthy rich collectors tuck cars away, never to be seen again.
      Joseph88
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thank you Jay for sharing one of your baby and I just learn how steam cars work. It's awesome video, please share more.
      Michael
      • 2 Years Ago
      He we go again - Auto Blog with its head up Leno's butt. Leno= The most , boring, unfunny guy on TV that Auto Blog happens to think is some kind of God.
        David
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael
        Why are you commenting to a topic you have no interest in you douchebag?
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael
        Give anybody on Autoblog (excluding Dan Frederiksen) $1Billion and we'd all be Jay Leno.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Rob
        • 2 Years Ago
        No, just people like you.
        SteveM
        • 2 Years Ago
        Actually no. If that's an attempt at humor, it didn't work.
      nickms3
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ralph Laurens collection is sooooo much better than Leno's. I find his taste in cars rather boring.
        Darrell
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nickms3
        This may be true, but from what I have seen, Ralph Lauren doesn't share his collection with the world nearly as much as Jay does.
      hanaguy48
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not a fan of leno, could careless what is in his "garage"
      James Coulee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find that Leno can do whatever he wants with his money, but I'd lie if I told I have any respect for the way he relates with his cars... He may have a nice taste in picking them, but there's hardly a single one left untouched. He can't keep an original car. He has a need to modify them that is really offensive to those who designed and engineered them and to those who respect their work. I can't really get why he always thinks that, on one hand, he can always do a better job then them and, on the other hand, that nothing is deserving of being kept pure, original, as was designed and was intended.
        mycr0ftholmes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @James Coulee
        Because he likes to own and drive his cars. It's not a museum, they're his toys.
        ufgrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @James Coulee
        Generally, as he's said on the site, the only thing he adds are electric cooling fans to keep the engines from overheating in traffic, and occasional convenience items (electric lights, for example). Even with the steamer, his additions were hidden electrics to run the fuel pumps, brake lights (so he can keep it on the road) and headlights, as acetylne is somewhat out of fashion these days, and brakes-- and upgrading brakes is always advisable when you increase power by 30% or so. I'm curious what you consider, for example, a "pure" Duesenberg to be? They were heavily customized for each buyer. I had a 1972 MGB GT, to which an early owner had fitted a quarter-race camshaft, a double-row timing chain (the factory switched to single in 1970, I believe), heavy-duty valve springs, and moved the timing markings to the top of the cover, rather than the bottom-- all of the work was done in the early 70's, when the car was relatively new. Is it any less of a "classic"? Today, people will take a car from the showroom floor, and customize bits and pieces-- a new engine tune here, a different intake filter there, a better anti-sway bar... are these cars no longer "pure" in your mind? Most of Jay's collection wouldn't go on the road without some modifications to keep them alive and functional-- they are organic, and while I agree that some cars are indeed so rare that they should be left alone (See his "Duesenberg shed find" for an example), I'd rather that, then see "pure, untouched" cars rusting away in a salvage yard somewhere.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        dklkse1
        • 2 Years Ago
        This isn't Autoblog Green, and this article is not about building new cars. You have no idea at all of what's going on here, do you?
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