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Jay Leno Takes Tank to the Streets of LA

For the very embodiment of the phrase “ride in style,” just look at former TV host Jay Leno. He may be officially retired from the limelight, but he isn’t shy about showing off. Even if that means taking an actual tank to the streets.
Jay Leno drives his Ferret out in Los Angeles 4 photos
Jay Leno drives his Ferret in Los AngelesThe Ferret in actionComedian Jeff Dunham also owns a Ferret
The known car aficionado and collector, who owns an impressive fleet of vehicles of all makes and from all eras, was photographed on Saturday driving what TMZ describes as an actual tank on the streets of his hometown Los Angeles. Though the sight might have been somewhat startling, it’s not exactly a first for Leno, who has made a habit out of taking his expensive – and oftentimes out-of-the-ordinary-looking – rides out on the streets. It wasn’t an actual tank, either.

Leno’s impressive ride was a Ferret Scout armored car, which was built by Daimler in Great Britain, after WWII, in 1949. The car was used until 1971 as a fighting vehicle, though it was initially designed for recognizance purposes. It is not known when Leno came into possession of it or how much it might have set him aback, but prices for various models range online from £6,000 to £15,000 (approximately $8,000 to $20,000). It is actually quite accessible (comparatively) and spare parts are in abundance, which makes it quite popular with aficionados.

The Ferret, as it’s generically called, was created as a more efficient, modernized version of the lighter Dingo armored car. It was used in several conflicts to great success. It was heavier, larger and faster, equipped with a driver central position, a turret and specs that made it semi-amphibious. Weighing almost 4 tons, the Ferret is equipped with a Rolls Royce B60 Inlet over Exhaust I6 gasoline engine, and can carry a 3-person crew.

Leno isn’t the only celebrity to own a Ferret. Comedian Jeff Dunham, an avid collector himself, has one too, which he’s shown at various car shows. He aptly named it Achmed, after his famous “terrorist” character. Of course, he doesn’t have Leno’s history with military cars: the former TV host also has a car built from an actual tank, and he’s also driven some during his visits with the military, many of which were televised.


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