In Jay Leno’s 17,000 square-foot Big Dog Garage his crack team of car experts are designing a jet powered super car. It’s called the Eco Jet and once it’s completed the long chinned comedian will have crossed into a realm of car enthusiast fantasyland few of us will ever by able to experience.
While the Eco Jet was built nearly entirely at Leno’s garage, the design and engineering was done with help from GM, specifically Ed Welburn, GM Vice President of Global Design and Frank Saucedo, head of GM’s Design Studio in North Hollywood California. Presumably that had something to do with the Eco Jet’s slight Cadillac resemblance.
The carbon-fiber body of the Eco Jet looks somewhat like a Caddy on the front end before turning into something entirely unique beyond the headlights. A rear mounted 650-horsepower Honeywell LT-101 turbine engine will power Jay around California and beyond as he sees fit. It’s an engine similar to those found in Coast Guard helicopters and now Leno’s dream car.
Exhaust from the engine at idle scorches out the rear of the car at 1,000 degrees and 1,800 at its peak performance. Surprisingly enough, it might smell a bit like French fries to other motorists on the road. That’s because the Eco Jet is an “environmentally friendly supercar.” It comes equipped with two twenty-five gallon fuel tanks, one with Kerosene or JP4 and the other with bio-diesel. What looks a lot like a stainless steal body is painted with environmentally friendly paint from Glasurit’s 9 Line Waterborne Technology lines to reduce emissions during it’s application.
Corvette pieces comprise much of the Eco Jet’s guts. The 240-pound aluminum hyrdoformed frame is based off the Corvette Z06 with Z06 brakes and many Corvette suspension elements. The crew was forced to install a modified Z05 automatic transmission as the jet engine would instantly rev out of control if it were ever disconnected from the drive train during shifting were it applied to a manual.
All told, the entire car is estimated to weigh between 2,400-2,500 pounds upon completion. One can only assume that a jet engine harnessed to a car weighing well under three grand will have no problem achieving ridiculous performance numbers, especially considering Jay Leno will be at the helm.
With Jay’s funding and help from GM the Eco Jet has already garnered a fair amount of press buzz surrounding its increasingly baited completion. Look for updates on the progress and the story thus far at www.jaylenosgarage.com.
On the website, outside of the Eco Jet, you’ll find a car collection that would make any car lover drool. Everything from turn of the century steam powered cars, vintage motorcycles, and even Jay’s first Buick are featured and driven like they were new. Each of the rides is given a video segment where Leno talks about what makes them special before tearing around the surrounding California area in them, complete with burnouts when the cars are capable.
If you’ve ever wanted to see Jay Leno smile at you through a computer screen while he roasts the tires on an antique car worth more than your house, there are plenty of opportunities to fulfill the dream at his garage’s website. Check it out and enjoy a vicarious journey into car collector heaven.