With over 280 vehicles to his name — many of them rare or one-of-a-kind specimens — it would be safe to say that Jay Leno knows cars. Since he prefers keeping every single one in functional order to show them off on his Charity Drives, red carpet appearances or leisurely weekends, Jay Leno also has to know a lot about fixing cars. Older car technologies in particular need some extra TLC to prevent corrosion, sludging or tarnishing that can quickly send a fun Sunday drive to a screeching halt.
Much of this maintenance involves keeping parts clean, and with 280 vehicles to maintain, you can imagine Jay Leno does a lot of cleaning. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as taking a spin in an ultra-rare McLaren F1, but it definitely comes with the territory. Luckily, Jay and his head mechanic Bernard Juchli know how to work smarter—not harder—by using ultrasonic cleaning technologies from Omegasonics.
How Omegasonics and Jay Leno Linked Up
Our customer relationship with Jay Leno began around a decade ago when a world-renowned restoration expert by the name of Arnold Schmidt was contracted to help Leno restore an original steam engine. As mentioned before, older parts need to be cleaned gently, completely and without harsh chemicals to restore them to functioning order without degrading their integrity in any way. These needs make ultrasonic cleaning baths a perfect fit for any classic car restoration garage.
Unfortunately for Schmidt, his shop did not have the right type of cleaning equipment. Rather than “borrow” a machine or use its services, Schmidt saw this as a prime opportunity to convince Leno that an ultrasonic cleaner would be a worthy investment for his garage, especially if he was going to be restoring and maintaining hard-to-replace parts on a regular basis. Our go-to sales guy Joe Gilbert went out to Jay’s Garage with an Omegasonics Super Pro model and gave him a demonstration.
Naturally, Jay fell in love at first sight. This system literally did all the cleaning for him, and it did so without any harsh or toxic chemicals. Instead, just a warm, soapy bath of biodegradable detergent was all it needed. We showed him how to work it himself and left the rest is history.
Not at all to our surprise, Jay gave us a call the next day. “Do you take credit cards?” he asked.
“Yes, we do,” Joe replied.
“Good,” said Jay, before quipping, “because my wife likes the free miles.”
Sharing the Ultrasonic Love
We also made a customer in Jay’s head mechanic, Bernard, although he didn’t quite take to the process as easily. Joe dropped by for a visit to Bernard’s office, and discovered that the water was not nearly hot enough and did not contain enough soap. While Bernard was on the phone, Joe took it upon himself to clean some small parts laying nearby.
Impressed, Bernard wanted to know what he had been doing wrong. He was so relieved when Joe re-explained the process that Jay called on his behalf the next day to personally thank him. To this day, we still send Joe out to Bernard’s garage just to make sure everything’s working as it should.
Thanks to the likes of Jay, Bernard and Arnold Schmidt, classic car restorers and mechanics have become a niche clientele of ours, fondly asking for the “deep fryer looking thing” Jay keeps in his garage.