Add this one up to the "cars you’ve never heard of" file

Jay Leno is a certified auto enthusiast. That much is public knowledge at this point, but even the most hardened expert of the automotive industry can be left stumped once in a while. For Leno, that time came when he featured a 1978 Hongqi CA770 in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.

In some ways, it is a little funny to watch Leno stumble his way through the intro. That’s understandable considering what he knew of the car – nothing – and quite frankly, I can’t blame him. I’d never heard of the Hongqi 770 before either.

The rest of the episode is spent talking with Capa MA, the owner of the 770. In between talking about Chinese generals attempting to assassinate Communist revolutionary leader Mao Tse-Tung and having the 770 actually stall during the traditional drive, there are plenty of interesting tidbits in this episode. Take for example: the car weighs close to three tons (6,000 pounds) and had no power steering. It also measures 18 feet long and has design references from just about every luxury car around that time, including a Mercedes 600 and a mid-sixties Lincoln Continental.

The truth is, there are enough nuggets of information in this episode that you’re going to be very interest in finding out. Go check it out and just excuse the befuddled look on Leno’s face in the first few minutes of the few. It’s not that often for him to have that look when talking about cars so let’s all cherish it for what it’s worth.


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