Go West young man.
That's what they said back in the early eighties when I came over here to America from Ireland.I should of listened.Jay Leno listened,and now look where he is.
I've always had a thing for the Left Coast,especially California,the climate,the mountains,the laid back attitudes,the interesting mix of people,the car and motorcycle culture,the mountains(I know,I already said the mountains,but they deserve a second mention they're so beautiful).There's a flavor out in Southern California that's hard to put a finger on,
Since I arrived in LA 10 days ago,I've been caught up in a whirlwind,a series of interesting events and happenings,thanks to some really good friends that I have out here,and also being in the right place at the right time.That's how I ended up at Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage in Burbank where my friend Chuck(who I was staying with) talked to George(who works at the garage) who then called Robert(who's the VP of Production for NBC),and the next thing I know I'm sitting down on a Saturday morning with Jay being interviewed by him for a segment on his Jay Leno's Garage website.
It was his first vehicle he owned in California,the car he used for his first date with his wife,and the car he drove for his first appearance on the Tonite Show in 1977.
It was also the first vehicle in his now very extensive and eclectic collection,and he still say's it's his favorite car to drive.
In Jay's own words,"You gotta love the look in the eyes of a guy driving a Porsche who sees you coming up on him,but he just can't seem to shake you going up a canyon.He's thinking 'how can this old Buick do this to me?".With a ZZ572/620 GM crate motor with 620 HP under the hood,it's not really much of a problem.
I'd like to extend my thanks to all involved in my interview with Jay,Robert Angelo,VP of Production,the camera crew and Jay Leno,for taking the time to make this happen.
And of course the whole garage crew who are a really great bunch of guys,Bernard,John Pera,George Swift,Pear,Jim,Dirk and Bob.
Dirk,thanks again for the 'Killer' cappuccino's.
San Luis Obispo,a beautiful town just north of Santa Maria in CA is where David calls home,and though up to that point we had never met,we stayed in contact with each other,since David works in the publishing business for Source Interlink Media,who have under their umbrella such publications as Hot Rod , Petersons 4Wheel and Off Road , Motor Trend and about 60+ other magazines,so we both share a love of shiny mechanical things with wheels that make lots of noise and go fast or look really cool and break down.
I mentioned to David that I was going to be over on the Left Coast to ship the bike from the port of Long Beach to Rotterdam for my 3 yr Round the World ride,so why don't we get together and have lunch.
Well,David said he was going to be working at the Tierra Del Sol 50th Jeep Safari the same time I was going to be out there,so why don't I come down to meet him there.Good idea,I had never been to the Salton Sea,even though I had spent time camping close by in Death Valley,so after photographing The Very Large Array in Datil NM,I headed for Salton City and the TDS Jeep Safari.