For years, comedian and former late night host Jay Leno has been one of the biggest names in the automotive industry. This, of course, stems from his longstanding reputation as an all-knowing car guru, a reputation that has even helped him build one of the world’s most popular web series– Jay Leno’s Garage (its television debut on CNBC is also set to debut very soon).
With that type of credos, it should be no surprise then that Jay Leno made huge headlines late last week when he made a bold statement, saying that he believes that the Detroit auto scene is now entering a new Golden Age.
GOLDEN AGE??? Yes. In fact, he said there is no doubt about it, that the mixture of new high-quality performance and fuel efficient technology is creating the perfect storm for great, innovative vehicles.
“It’s like the ’60s again, but with cars that can actually stop and go around corners,” Leno said in an interview at Detroit’s Cobo Center. “It’s pretty amazing. I never thought we’d see street cars with 600-700 horsepower. It’s fun to see the Detroit manufacturers competing equally with Europeans.”
This interview, not coincidentally, was taking place at the Shell Eco-Marathon competition in Detroit… an event that featured over 1,000 of the brightest high school and college students racing custom-made, highly fuel efficient vehicles that featured everything from carbon fiber bodies to electric engines.
Watching over all of this, it’s no wonder that Leno felt inspired to marvel over the direction of Detroit and the city’s auto scene. He was so inspired, actually, that he couldn’t help but compare the current age to the beginnings of another remarkable time period. You know… the period when Henry Ford was changing the world.
“I love that romantic period of the ’20s when Detroit was the Paris of the Midwest and you have opera houses and beautiful libraries and Henry Ford and all the greats that built this city,” Leno said. “It’s fun to see it come back.
“If you’re an automotive historian like I am, this is where history began. This is it, this is Bethlehem.”