Jay Leno and his “other” Obsession

Jan 13, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Leno is a gearhead. His warehouse boasts century-old steam-driven cars, classic Bugattis and Duesenbergs, and dozens of sports cars, muscle cars, hot rods and motorbikes.”

Jay Leno

He even has a website dedicated to talking about all thing cars, entitled Jay Leno’s Garage.

In a recent story at the LAist, they wrote about how Jay Leno races through “L.A.’s Hidden Urban Race Track,” while suggesting that everyone else should “try it” for themselves as well. Well all who follow my musings and stories here at Travelin’ Local, would know that I would take them up on their offer, and so began my own Jay Leno’s urban Le Mans with you.

Since my car is a ten year old Toyota, needless to say I drove the route with Jay’s spirit in mind; but not with the same equipment that Jay drives with–as you can see in the video below. But my car does a great job of getting me around town when I’m not taking the Metro or riding my bike.

In full disclosure, we had already written our story for today, but would be quite remiss in not taking note of the latest comedian wars. As the Jay Leno, Conan O’Brian, Jimmy Fallon, and NBC fiasco are now embroiled in a full-fledged late night comedian bash-fest and melt-down.

If you want to laugh about that situation we suggest viewing this clip from the Funny or Die website involved:

To follow Jay’s 13 mile favorite course, I started at Beverly Drive, which is a tree lined residential street of high end houses in the Beverly Hills Post Office area.

Beverly Drive

A nice road, but not overly exciting; however its beautiful houses make for a wonderful drive.

At the corner of Beverly Drive and Coldwater Canyon sits Coldwater Canyon Park, a great place to take the kids on a Sunday afternoon. With a play ground, lots of open space, and a water feature with small, artistic critters, no child can pass up a quick run through the grass.

Coldwater Canyon Park

As Coldwater Canyon winds its way up into the hills, mansions of every size and description come into view. Although not the best place to stop and take a photo, I managed to get a few.

Glass House

Taking the almost U turn onto Mulholland is a place I’m already comfortable with. I’ve been here before, but never get tired of seeing the great views of both the Valley and Santa Monica. This day was no exception:


When Mulholland meets Laurel Canyon, which needs a good resurfacing, be prepared for a great drive of twists and turns. With almost no place to stop on the road, I wasn’t able to get too many photos, but right in the middle of the drive is a corner store, where I was able to park for a few minutes and enjoy the view.

Built into a Mountainside

Looking at the photo, the lot of this house has been literally carved out of the mountain.

After the calm downward slope of Laurel Canyon, you enter Sunset Boulevard, which is sterotypically LA, and always reminds me of where I live. The unique, sometimes loud, but always interesting Sunset is both “Eye Candy” and fodder for the very real Sunset Strip dreams that have come and gone; and still beckon all who come here.

Sunset Strip

As billboard lined Sunset Boulevard winds its way from Hollywood to Beverly Hills, the contrast between the two becomes apparent, as you see from the above photo:

Beverly Hills

Coming full circle and back to tree lined streets, Jay Leno’s Los Angeles Nürburgring shows off the best of Los Angeles. It’s well worth a drive on any given day—but don’t take this story as an endorsement for going over the speed limits!

If you’d like to see a little more of this hidden LA gem, here’s the map with more photos attached:

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