Jay Leno Goes Racing with Joe Biden and Kendall Jenner Drives a '56 Corvette in the Second Season of Jay Leno's Garage
Jay Leno has shifted to high gear for the second season of Jay Leno’s Garage.
“People have connections with cars,” Leno, 66, tells PEOPLE. “When you call these big stars up, my opening pitch is that I’m not going to talk about your career. I’m not going to talk about your movie, divorce, cocaine bust, or whatever it is.”
Instead, they talk solely about cars and motorcycles.
Watch Jay Leno Ride with Robert Herjavec in Season 2 of Jay Leno’s Garage
“Caitlyn [Jenner] brought Kendell to the garage and when she saw my 1957 Corvette she said, ‘Oh, I want one of those.’ So I found her one,” he says. “We taught her the brakes and we filmed her driving it. Why would an 18- or 19-year-old be interested in driving a 50-year-old car? We just wanted to get her perspective.”
In the second season of the show, Leno also travels to meet ordinary people who have unique stories about the one car they might have had for decades.
On one episode he relives a cross-country trip a 94-year-old woman once took with her family in a 1951 Hudson Hornet.
Each car, he says, is more than just a car.
“Some cars are valuable and some I just have for sentimental attachment and they have a great story,” says Leno, who owns 130 cars himself, and explains “you wind up buying a lot of stories.”
One episode called “Love Stories,” is about people who have had a car their entire life.
“When Vice President [Joe Biden] got married, his dad, who was a car dealer, gave him a brand new ’67 Corvette, which he still has,” says Leno. “His kids surprised him and fixed it up for him.”
On camera, Leno went with Biden and Colin Powell, who is also a car enthusiast, to the Secret Service training center to go racing.
“The Secret Service was trying to get him to slow down,” he says, laughing. “He was sliding the car and burning rubber. The two of them were having a great time trash talking each other.”
The former Tonight Show host also doesn’t hold back talking about another important topic to him – the presidential election.
“I grew up in the era when [Bill] Clinton was horny, [George] Bush was dumb and Gore was a robot,” he says. “You didn’t question anyone’s motives – you just questioned their judgement.”
Now, he says, things have changed and “all this homophobic stuff and anti-Islam and we’re going to round people up, it’s really too ugly.” He finds it “unattractive” and “not appealing.”
While he said no one could figure out his political views when he hosted The Tonight Show, he’s giving a bit more away now.
“Every time I would do a Trump joke I’d think, ‘Am I helping him out here? I don’t want to do that,’ ” he says. “When he makes his little jokes about being anti-whatever it is, I don’t want to appear to be laughing. It doesn’t seem American to me.”
In response to the shooting at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday that left 49 people dead and dozens more injured, Leno thinks that when Congress asks for a moment of silence “they just want another moment when they don’t have to do anything.”
He adds: “Like Trump saying ‘appreciate the congrats.’ I mean, really? You’re not even smart enough to see that is disturbing.”
The second season of Jay Leno’s Garage premieres Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on CNBC.