You may have heard that Jay Leno recently bought a Model S Plaid, a car he's really proud to own. But the Plaid isn’t the first Tesla to gain a permanent spot in Leno’s garage.
In 2015, the former talk show host bought a brand-new Model S P90D, and he was very satisfied with the ownership experience. However, upon deciding to buy the newer Model S Plaid, Jay thought the older P90D should go—owning two Model S sedans was a bit too much even for a consummate car collector like Leno.
So he put the P90D up for sale on Bring a Trailer, and the car fetched $95,500 ($100K including fees) on July 9, also becoming the first car Jay Leno sold in 30 years. Now, Jay had paid a total of $140,200 on his fully-loaded Model S in August 2015, so he didn’t get hit by depreciation that much.
Of course, the celebrity effect may have bumped the price a bit compared to similar cars on sale right now, but not by a large amount. Plus, with Jay being a guy who likes driving, his Tesla Model S P90D was not a garage queen; it was pretty much his daily driver, racking up approximately 23,000 miles (37,000 km) from new.
Gallery: Ex-Jay Leno 2015 Tesla Model S P90D
Finished in Deep Blue Metallic over black leather upholstery, it’s comes with "just about everything you could have put on the car in 2015," as Nathan Davis, the new owner, says. That includes the Ludicrous Mode $10,000 upgrade, Autopilot, Smart Air Suspension, 21″ Silver Turbine wheels, the Premium Interior Package, Ultra High Fidelity Sound, a glass panoramic roof, carbon-fiber interior trim, and Next-Generation seats.
According to the listing, the Model S P90D had service performed by Tesla of Burbank in 2021 including a liftgate drain plug retrofit, a replacement VCM board, a software upgrade, and a replacement dash pad. Remarkably, that was the car’s only visit to the workshop. No accidents or other issues are listed in the Carfax report.
Nathan was obviously delighted to place the winning bid. Along with the car, he got a copy of the Tesla motor vehicle purchase agreement, a charging cable, recent service records, and a collection of Jay Leno’s Garage car care products.
More importantly, he got to collect the vehicle at Jay Leno’s Garage in Burbank, California, and had the famous comedian sign the P90D’s dashboard. We reached out to Mr. Davis to ask what it was like picking up the car from Jay himself.
"Meeting Jay Leno was a great experience. He is very welcoming and started talking with us like we've known him forever. My wife and daughter were with me when we picked up the car. He knew we planned to drive to Phoenix that day and my daughter was going to catch a flight back because she wasn't interested in doing a cross country drive, BUT SHE WAS NOT GOING TO MISS MEETING JAY LENO. He wanted to show us all the little fun things the car can do. You get a sense he's still learning the technology. He sat in the front seat and said, 'Check this out, what song do you want to hear?' I told him 'Phil Collins, In The Air Tonight.' He proceeded to tell the car to play the song and for him, that's a cool thing about a Tesla!"
As it turns out, Jay is not only a man who knows his cars, he also offers top customer service. He walked them through the entire collection and showed them some of the cars in detail. Nathan found the collection "overwhelming" and wished he had a couple of days "to just walk through it and really appreciate it all."
"He made sure it was fully charged for our trip and even grabbed my wife's suitcase to load it in the back. He asked us more than once, 'would you like a water, soda, we have all sorts of stuff.' My wife is a Retired Firefighter/Engineer and she brought Jay a City of Ft Myers Fire Department T-Shirt and her 'trading card' when she was a Firefighter. He then said 'I have something for you too,' walked away and came back with a very expensive bottle of wine for us."
He even asked Nathan to call him when they got back to make sure they arrived home safely; when the P90D's new owner did just that, Jay answered immediately and "again was as gracious as when we first met."
Now, we were curious to learn what motivated Nathan to bid on the car; more specifically, if the celebrity owner was the decisive factor. He replied that he was intrigued when his business partner sent him the listing.
"The car is unique because it is loaded with every option, but the fact that Jay Leno hasn't sold a car in 30 years was what really captured my attention. I thought to myself, when will the next opportunity come around, if ever again, for someone to own the car Jay Leno drove as pretty much his daily driver? Not only is he a Hall of Famer in comedy and TV production, he's likely the most famous car collector in the world."
So, what next? Nathan can't say he had a clear plan beyond buying the P90D, although his wife always wanted to do a cross-country trip in her Tesla (a 2014 Model S they sold recently). As he was bidding, she said, "if you get the car, we're driving it from CA to FL." And they did, right after picking up the car from Jay Leno.
"So, I guess I bought Jay Leno's Tesla to fulfill a wish my wife had. Jay didn't think that was the best of ideas, but it worked out very well. Since we drove it from CA to FL, it was well tested and drove like a dream. The blue color with the 21-inch silver wheels and red calipers really looks sharp. It's worth noting Jay's new Plaid is the same color...
Should anything go wrong with the car going forward, Nathan jokes that he can get a pretty direct connection to Elon Musk now—just like Jay.