Former “Tonight Show” host and world-renowned car fanatic Jay Leno had quite the weekend: He spent it racing a rare Jaguar 1,000 miles across the Italian countryside.
Leno, along with Jaguar head designer Ian Callum, drove a one-of-a-kind 1951 Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar XK120 roadster as part of the 2014 Mille Miglia (Italian for 1,000 miles) classic car rally.
According to Jaguar, the special XK120 driven by Leno and Callum is the sole survivor of the three built by the company as race cars for Ecurie Ecosse (a now-defunct motor racing team from Scotland) and sold recently at auction for $US965,000.
The orignal Mille Miglia, which ran 24 times between 1927 and 1957, was one of the world’s premier open-road endurance sports car races before being shut down after a series of fatal crashes. The current iteration of the race, which first ran in 1977, is a classic car rally featuring only cars that raced in the original Mille Miglia.
The 2014 Mille Miglia took place over a three-day span from May 15th-18th with 435 cars from around the world participating in the rally.
Beginning in the northern Italian city of Brescia, the race took contestants south to Rome before circling back to Brescia for race finale.
Along with Leno and Callum, Jaguar’s contingent also included Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons and supermodel Jodie Kidd.
Here is a video of Jay Leno and Ian Callum at the 2014 Mille Miglia:
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