Tim Allen Proved His Incredible Car Knowledge to Jay Leno

It’s hard to impress Jay Leno with car expertise, but that’s just what actor and comedian Tim Allen was able to do in a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Allen was a guest on the show and participated in a segment Leno called “Stump a Car Nerd.”

During the segment, Allen was blindfolded and driven around by Leno and had to guess the make and model of car he was in. How did Allen do under pressure? Let’s take a look.

Tim Allen and Jay Leno posing for a photo at a charity event
Jay Leno and Tim Allen | Michael Schwartz/WireImage

Tim Allen and Jay Leno have a history together with cars

When Leno was the host of The Tonight Show, he loved to bring up cars at every chance he got. On two separate occasions when Allen was a guest on the show, he and Leno challenged each other to see who could lay the longest burnout in their cars. The first time, Leno declared himself the winner. The second time, they actually measured who went for the longest and Allen was the winner.

More recently, Allen has been a guest on Jay Leno’s Garage a couple of times. Leno toured Allen’s personal garage, filled with cars and Home Improvement memorabilia.

In a callback to their previous challenges, they even held another competition and did burnouts with each other once again, this time in identical muscle cars.

How did Tim Allen do on “Stump a Car Nerd?”

The first car that Allen got into blindfolded was a 1970 Mazda Cosmo, valued at $110,000 and owned by Leno himself. Leno says at the beginning of the segment that he thought this car would stump Allen, but he was soon proved wrong.

Allen knew immediately that the car was from a Japanese maker, he recognized the sound of the engine, and went on to guess correctly that it was the Mazda.

Next, Leno drove Allen around in a 1959 Oldsmobile 88, valued at $32,100. This time, Allen began by inspecting the front end of the car with his hands, then identified the engine as soon as they start driving.

He went on to disqualify it as a Ford because of the feel of the transmission, something only a true car nerd would think of. In the end, Allen correctly guessed that he was in an Oldsmobile 88.

The final car that Leno tried to stump Allen with was a 1972 Citroën SM. When they began driving, Allen instantly declared correctly that it was a French brand, because of the sound of the motor, the shape of the door handles, and the mechanisms under the seat.

If you didn’t know Allen was a car nerd before, that should be enough to prove it. Ultimately, Allen correctly guessed that it was a 1972 Citroën SM.

A historic love of cars


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Allen’s extensive knowledge of cars comes from finding an interest in cars at a young age. Growing up in Detroit, one of the car capitals of the world, Allen worked at a mechanic shop during his summers and spend his money earned on — you guessed it — cars.

Most of his car knowledge comes from years he spent fixing up cars that he bought for cheap that came with a bunch of problems, because that’s what he could afford at the time.

Since then, he’s spent much of his spare time working on cars in his garage and looking for new additions to his collection. Other impressive cars in Allen’s collection include a 1933 Ford Roadster that he built on the set of Home Improvement, a 2004 Porsche Carrera GT, and a 1986 Ford RS200. We’re sure that we’ll see more of Tim Allen on Leno’s show in the future.