Jay Leno Digs Up Archival Footage of First Interview With Elon Musk

Watch them discuss and drive the first production Tesla Roadster

Jay Leno and Elon Musk's first interview
A young Elon Musk meets a young(er) Jay Leno.
Screenshot via Jay Leno's Garage on YouTube
By Alex Lauer / April 22, 2020 11:18 am

Jay Leno is a loud and proud Tesla fanboy, known for saying things like, “There’s almost no reason to have a gas car.” He even has a Model S in his personal collection. But as an authority on all things automotive, he wasn’t always this way — it took a lot of convincing and first-hand experience to go over to the Musk side.

If you still consider yourself a Tesla skeptic, Leno just found something that might change your mind: a never-before-seen episode of Jay Leno’s Garage featuring a young Elon Musk showing off the first production Tesla Roadster. 

“I was going back through the archives and I found some footage of Elon Musk when he first came to my garage 13 years ago to show me the Tesla Roadster,” Leno says in the episode.

“To have Elon drive it over to my garage, it was such an honor at the time, because although he was a visionary then, he wasn’t the visionary we know now. I mean, he was getting started with a new idea and there was a lot of skepticism and people were saying, that’s stupid, that’s not going to work. And of course it’s revolutionized the electric car market,” he added.

The 11-minute throwback is full of amazing moments, from the sartorial (nice elbow patches, Elon) to the technical (did you know the first Roadsters were built on chassis from the Lotus Elise?). But the best part has got to be Leno taking the Tesla for a test drive and getting downright giddy.

“If this is the future, I’m not that worried,” he says after testing the instant acceleration for what seems like the hundredth time.

You can watch the full archival episode here:

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