Tom Cotter Tours 4 of Jay Leno’s Barn-Find Cars

Barn Find Hunter

Tom Cotter and Jay Leno have known each other for years, so, it’s strange that it has taken this long to get an episode of Barn Find Hunter with the two avid car hunters. Cotter gets a break from dusty sheds and muddy lean-tos this time, however, as Leno gives him a tour of the Burbank, California, garage that houses his extensive collection.

Barn Find #1: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Barn Find Hunter

The first car on the docket is a well-worn 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. Found in a container in the desert, the candy-apple-red coupe has some exposed bodywork, and its engine was rebuilt, showing signs it was driven hard during its racing career. Still, the car has plenty of life, and Leno says it’s more approachable as-is. “It’s just an old car,” he quips.

Barn Find #2: 1963 Jaguar E-Type

Barn Find Hunter

After a brief interlude to mention a low-mileage Fiat, Leno brings Cotter to a 1963 Jaguar E-Type originally owned by a local Burbank man who lived less than a mile from Leno’s shop. The convertible was parked in 1967 and sat for more than 50 years, without being driven. With just over 17,000 miles on the odometer, it’s one of the most complete and original E-Types we’ve ever seen. It still has marks from the assembly line and maintains almost all of its original parts, save for the wheels and radiator header tank, all of which were retained.

Barn Find #3: 1927 Duesenberg Model X

Barn Find Hunter

Another local car that spent decades in a garage is a 1927 Duesenberg Model X, which, according to Leno, was the last Duesenberg built before Cord’s takeover. The car is virtually a time capsule; Leno describes it as “too nice to restore.”

The next car in the video is another Duesenberg, with an even more incredible tale, but we won’t spoil it here…

Barn Find #4: Packard Merlin V-12

Barn Find Hunter

This one isn’t a car, but it’s worth mentioning. This beautiful monster of a V-12, designed by Rolls-Royce, was built under license by Packard to keep the Allies flying during WWII. They were used in everything from the Supermarine Spitfire and North American P51 Mustang fighters to the massive Avro Lancaster bombers. The 1649-cubic-inch engines were supercharged for high-altitude performance and churned out about 1300 hp. This model is no longer airworthy, but Leno has converted it to a running display so spectators can get an up-close look and hear the big engine sing.

Suffice it to say, Leno has some amazing cars—and the stories to go along with them—so we’re glad he’s sharing their history. You couldn’t ask for a better steward for these well-preserved relics.


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