Jay Leno's $20 Million McLaren Hasn't Had a Proper Cleaning in Ages, Finally Getting One

Jay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailing 8 photos
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
Jay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailingJay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailingJay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailingJay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailingJay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailingJay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailingJay Leno's McLaren F1 is finally getting a detailing
Jay Leno has been the owner of this McLaren F1 for 25 years. Even though he seems to adore it, the car hasn't had a proper cleaning in ages. He is now putting it through detailing so that its looks match its worth. Leno was once offered $20 million dollar to sell it, but he declined the offer.
Jay Leno is not your typical car collector. He doesn't just buy the cars, locks them inside a climate-controlled garage, and only drops by every once in a while to look at them or take them out for some concours. He actually drives the cars he owns, no matter how old or precious they are.

This McLaren F1 has not been a garage queen either, despite being super exclusive. Only 106 units saw the light of day between 1992 and 2000. Over the years, marks have shown up in the paint. So it really needs a paint correction. Jay Leno says he takes it out for a drive at least once a month. And yes, that is often, considering the number of cars he has in his private collection.

Chris Walters and Jeremy Porazzo, his own detailing experts, are going to get the car cleaned up. When Leno got the car delivered, a quarter of a century ago, he also received a tool kit, which is inside a huge box on wheels. That kit is finally getting into action. The detailing team starts with putting the car off the ground and taking the wheels off. George Swift, the lead mechanic of Jay Leno's Garage, is doing the job.

The team also discovers a tiny scratch on the surface of the paint on the right rear fender and another one on the mirror on the same side, so they will have to figure out a solution to make it disappear. They are using products that bear Jay Leno’s name on them, and that can be purchased at Walmart. So, no, they don’t cost half the price of the car.

They cover the chrome details in tape to protect them before they get down to work and start polishing the paint with a dual-action polisher. To get the dirt off the rubber, they spray the tires with a heavy-duty rubber cleaner and brush the dirt off. The five-spoke wheels go through a similar treatment.

The McLaren F1 was the first car built around an innovative carbon-fiber monocoque. Everything on Jay Leno's three-seater is original except the tires, which have been changed several times. Now, the car looks just like it did the day it drove through the gate of the factory.

Jay Leno is proud that the F1 still looks contemporary, sporting a design that never goes out of fashion like that of the Lamborghini Countach, he says. And that BMW-sourced 6.1-liter V12 is not outdated either. The power plant pumps out 617 horsepower (627 metric horsepower) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton meters) of torque. A real driver’s car, the F1 rolled off the production line with a six-speed manual.

The odometer shows 12,000 miles (19,210 kilometers), which may not seem like a lot. But for a car that is worth $20 million, miles count differently. Jay Leno was once offered $20 million to sell the black-painted McLaren. But since the supercar is still in his garage, it is easy to guess his answer.

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