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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Left Coast and Jay Leno...............Road Stories Pt II.


Jay Leno,host of the The Tonight Show and owner of a very diverse car and motorcycle collection,as seen on the website JayLenosGarage,taking time out of his Saturday to speak with me at his Big Dog Garage in Burbank CA.


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.


BOOM.





Directly behind Jay,next to the car with the yellow hood is Jay's Silver Buick,a 1955 Roadmaster he purchased in 1972 for $350.
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.



This forward momentum and being in the right place at the right time vortex all started when I called David Hamilton,whom I bought my motorcycle from,a 2004 BMW 1150 GS Adventure,back in November of 2008,as I rode out west to LA from S.Fl in Feb this year to ship my bike to Europe from the port of Long Beach CA.
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.






This is Super Dev,I caught her attempting to ride off on my bike,but fortunately she couldn't reach the handlebars and the footpegs at the same time.Luckily Super Dev's Dad was there so we were able to apprehend her just in the nick of time before she figured out how to start it and ride off into the sunset.I see a future motorcyclist here,another world traveller perhaps?.
Super Dev,if you're reading this with Dad,it was fun meeting you at Salton Sea,and I hope you both follow along on my journey around the world.See you in 4 years or so.

So as David and I were chatting and catching up,another one of those "right place,right time" moments happened in the form of Scott Timberlake,an ad exec with Source Interlink Media.
It was late in the evening and I was talking with by the bike with David when this guy walks up,well,it was more of a meander with a definite swagger,looks at the bike and then at me and say's "are you sponsored?".
"No,say's I".
"Well,you should be,come down and see me this week,we'll have lunch and see what we can come up with,no promises".
This chance meeting with Scott out in the middle of the desert in Southern California led to lunch the following week at the offices and photo studios at Source Interlink and two days of video being shot of me about my story and travels for the Motor Trend Youtube Channel.
I know,the hit's just keep on comin.......

While at the Source Interlink photo studio,Randy Lorentzen(R) Director of Photography for the Performance Automotive Group,had a little fun on the set.
And as a PS,the car is an absolutely beautiful 1940 chopped 4 Door Ford,mostly owner built,unusual in that as any car customizer knows how difficult it is to chop a 2 Door,not too many people bother with putting the amount of time,money and effort into chopping a 4 Door.
This car feature will be out in Street Rodder in the coming months.Keep an eye out for it,it's worth it.


So,last Wednesday,March 21st,I dropped the bike off at the Schumacher Cargo offices in Gardena CA,and there it awaits consolidation to be loaded on to a container bound for the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
I received an ETA from Schumacher of an arrival May 1 in Rotterdam,so the weeks will go by real fast I'm sure.I will be posting a 'How To' video in the next article here on the blog about everything you need to know if you want to ship your bike from the US to Europe,from the paperwork you will need to exactly how much you will be charged,both here in the US and when you go to pick up the bike at the Freight Forwarders in Rotterdam.




Murph...
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