…in a car fire. He was working on a car in his garage when it caught fire. He was burned badly during the incident and is at the Grossman Burn Center in LA for treatment. He said through his team that he should be back on his feet in a week or two. Gasoline fire, BTW. Hope he can completely recover from it.
Sorry that happened to someone who has provided years of entertainment. I’ll by praying for a quick recovery for Jay.
I wonder if we will find out which car? My. Nephews mustang spontainiously combusted in the garage years ago. Did we ever hear the results of that ship of cars that went down?
Celebrities and cars. Reminds me of one of my favorite musicians, Neal Young. Lives nearby San Jose, was experimenting with another hobbyist on a home-brew electric car. But a large car, like a Lincoln or something. NY doesn’t like small cars apparently. Car caught fire in storage as I recall , damaging a lot of NY’s other stuff in storage as well. No one injured thankfully.
Fire extinguishers are intended to allow people to safely exit, not necessarily to put the fire out. Still I understand if you have a whole garage full of classics. Would probably do the same thing myself. Although spontaneous combustion among gassers is not usual. I can see fuel leak drip drip and a furnace coming on near by.
I’ve never experienced an unintended gasoline fire myself. One time I got a bunch of gasoline on my clothes during a repair, fortunately no ignition source. That’s the key safety factor imo, make sure there is no chance of a spark or flame occurring in the area where you are working on a task involving gasoline. Ray says gasoline is very resistant to self-ignition; takes over 200 C (nearly 400 F) for gasoline to ignite sans spark or flame.
I recall an episode with his steam car.
Some years ago a thread here was about unusual (i.e. cheap) work-a-rounds for car problems. One of them, if the poster’s car wouldn’t start b/c it is too cold and damp, they put newspapers in engine compartment and set them alight … lol … not recommending btw!!
I heard he has several mechanics on his payroll so he probably wasn’t alone. He does work on them himself but he has more vehicles than he can keep up with alone.
It sounds like it was the 1909 steam car. Trying to light the boiler which is gas and got sprayed in the face. Laying down under the car to light the fire. Not fun.
so sad to hear this wishing him speedy recovery
Several years back, the local indy VW specialist was doing some welding on the exhaust pipe of a customer’s car, but the customer had failed to mention that it had a fuel leak problem. Luckily, the mechanic escaped without serious injury, but his shop burned–almost–to the ground. Luckily for his loyal customers, he was able to rebuild and reopen w/in a few months.
In any event, I hope that Jay has a swift recovery and no scars from his experience.
Sad Jay got hurt but it is a good example why steam cars faded into history… they are dangerous!
Yes, but some folks would declare that they are superior to modern cars because they lacked “nanny devices”, A/C, power windows, and other creature comforts that are a part of modern motoring.
And possibly hydraulic brakes.
Here’s the car, a 1907 White Steam Car:
1907 White Steam Car, 30 Hp - Jay Leno’s Garage - YouTube
In 1906 the Stanley Rocket set the world land speed record at 127.66 mph.
Steam engines had been around for decades, so they seemed to be a reasonable choice. But to have a miniature locomotive, but more complicated? Lots of things to go wrong.
I think it is safe to say that, with the possible exception of the later Doble steam-powered cars, those old steamers had mechanically-actived drum brakes. But, one now-departed forum member would have thought this to be just peachy keen. Surely I am not the only one to recall a guy from a couple of years ago who wanted to convert his Oldsmobile from hydraulic to mechanical brakes.
And, there is still one forum member who insists that drum brakes are superior to disc brakes.
I expect more steam burns than gasoline burns with a steam car. Obviously gasoline burns are possible though.
That was also a risk as were boiler explosions!
Steam cars are known as “external combustion” engines so the fire occurs outside the working chamber (the boiler) rather than inside the combustion chamber like an internal combustion engine. Just adds another level of risk.
I can’t find anything that says what type brakes the Doble had… but even late 1920’s and early 30’s hydraulic brakes were pretty rare. Duesenberg, Stutz, Maxwell-Chalmers and Chrysler were a few that used them. Hydraulic brakes started to filter down to less expensive cars in the mid-1930s a few years after Doble went out of business.