Wednesday, July 06, 2005
  Antique Roadshow
David, a former Angeleno, is a car buff from way back. He likes motorcycles too, as you'll see in this fond memory.
I was taking a date home on my motorcycle one night. As we passed the Improv, a famous comedy club on Melrose, I noticed a Vincent Black Knight, an incredibly rare English touring bike from the early '50s. Only 30 or so were ever made. I told her what we'd just passed, but she wasn't interested in stopping to look at it. I dropped her off at her place, said goodnight, and circled back around to get a good long look at the machine.

As I neared the club, I saw a tall guy in a full helmet getting on the Vincent. He pulled out into traffic, and I came up alongside to admire the bike. He noticed me checking him out and motioned for me to follow him. We pulled over at Centerfold, a latenight newsstand just a few blocks from the club, and when we pulled off our helmets, I realized it was Jay Leno. He was incredibly nice about the whole thing. He answered all my questions and even admired my own bike, a nothing little BMW r65. Quite a genuine great guy ....
David has another story:
L.A. is home to a lot of strange vehicles, and they aren't all finely tuned exotics. I was driving along Mulholland one afternoon when I saw a ball of fire coming up in my rear-view mirror. Then I realized it wasn't fire, it was just smoke. In fact, it wasn't smoke either -- it was steam. Someone was driving a Stanley Steamer on Mulholland Drive. I had to get a better look. First I slowed down to check it out in my mirror, then I let the car pass so I could watch it go by. It was Leno again.

These cars were made in the first two decades of the last century. They sell for between $35,000-$150,000, and they run on steam, just like a steamboat. True relics of a bygone era.
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