Editor’s note: Wakefield resident Dave Castine owns a classic car sales and consignment business called Vintage Cars Online, LLC. He has been renting some space at the old NAPA Auto Parts store at 500 Main St. On Friday, fellow classic car enthusiast and collector Jay Leno dropped by for a visit.
By DAVE CASTINE
WAKEFIELD — One day about two months ago, a restricted call displayed on my cell phone as I was en route to see a client in Connecticut. Normally I don’t answer restricted numbers, but for some reason that day I did.
The caller, “Hi, this is Jay Leno. I want to talk to you about one of your cars.”
My response was an immediate “Yeah right, take a hike …” and I hung up.
Not 30 seconds later this person calls back, and after one minute of selling me on his identity, Jay Leno confirmed it was indeed him. I apologized for hanging up on him, and he replies back, “No problem Dave. I get that all the time. I can’t even order a @#$%@#$ pizza!” We both laughed it off and talked about cars for for half an hour.
Since then, we’ve spoken about three cars, swapped pictures through email and had a few more calls. This past Thursday, September 18, I emailed him information and pics on another car I have for sale (a 1957 Chrysler Imperial Convertible with 35K original miles, for sale by the original owner’s family — complete with a factory record player mounted under the dash called the “Highway Hi-Fi,” and still wearing tires mounted in 1960). Jay called me back in response to my email about the car.
During this call he had asked if I was going to be around on Friday as he was going to be in the area filming a scene for an upcoming movie and wanted to know if I could come by and talk with him about the car. I, of course, said, “Sure!”
Friday came and Jay Leno does indeed call me and asks where our car shop is because he wants to see it. If anyone has driven by the former Tucker’s Auto Parts store on Main Street, you may have seen some of my old cars in the showroom. Know that I have different full-time job, so the shop is still very much a work in progress.
Jay arrived to our shop with his longtime friend from Andover, Lew Trumbore, another great guy. We talked cars for a bit, took pictures and headed out to my brother’s-in-law deli, Anthony’s Deli in Stoneham, for lunch. Jay and Lew were all too happy about having lunch at Anthony’s. After taking about 30 selfie pictures with other patrons at Anthony’s, Jay, Lew, and I sat down and ate.
After lunch, we went to see one of the cars that Jay and I had been connecting about previously. Jay and the owner spent some time talking and test driving the Chrysler as Lew and I stayed back and Lew told me about what it’s like to be one of Jay Leno’s best friends. His stories were great — those guys sure had fun growing up.
When they dropped me off at the shop in Wakefield, Jay decided he wanted to try the new Sweet Kiwi Frozen Yogurt on Main Street. He then walked over and gave those folks a nice surprise.
We wrapped things up with a couple more pictures before shaking hands and saying goodbye. He told me to come by his “Big Dog Garage” the next time I’m out in southern California, which will definitely be cool.
Car guys rule. Thanks, Jay for a very memorable day.
Now, about that Chrysler you’re interested in….
For those interested in seeing Jay’s amazing collection – please visit his website: www.JayLenosGarage.com