Before you start, a word of advice: even though the collection itself is nowhere as vast as Leno’s or other, more famous collectors, Petersen has two videos of it. You will find them both at the bottom of the page; they run a total of 40 minutes. Even if you’re not quite the car-type yet, it’s a very entertaining watch, as it offers insight not just into the world of a beloved celebrity, actor and comedian, but a backstory to each and every one of the vehicles he keeps in his garage.
The tour begins with a classic Ford Bronco, which is actually Allen’s wife’s car, along with a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia with Porsche parts sitting beside it. A Volvo P1800 in impeccable condition is up next, followed by a Ford F100 restomod that Allen says he loves to cruise around in. In fact, every one of the cars is kept because it’s driven, the actor explains. Whenever he stops driving them, and if he doesn’t have some sort of special connection to them, he sells them on.
Other highlights are a B-body Chevrolet Impala SS with an LT5 DOHC 32-valve 5.7-liter V8 from the C4 Corvette ZR-1, the first sleeper cab Studebaker that Allen had to ask Leno for tips on how to drive (“It’s a full upper body workout,” he laughs), a 1986 FORD RS200 race car that he bought from England, a new GT (buying it was like “getting into Stanford,” what with the paperwork) and a stunning Shelby Cobra.
The second video shows a Shelby Mustang GT350H, a 1950 Caddy and a Cadillac Fleetwood BDE, a Jaguar E-Type (“the most beautiful car in the world,” so “delicate”), a very rare 1970 Ford Falcon CJ, a couple of hot rods from Home Improvement, a Camaro restomod, and a couple of classic Porsches.
During all this time, in the middle of the garage but shown only briefly by accident, is Allen’s Model 3, or as he calls it, his “stupid Tesla,” with which he has a love-hate relationship. “Tesla, the Apple phone golf cart with no personality” that is “boring,” Allen says. It’s not personal, though. Allen hates the idea that cars will soon be all-electric.
Two other vehicles are part of the permanent collection but are not shown. A Chevrolet Corvair is mentioned at the end.