Jay Leno loves vintage cars. In fact he claims that buying vintage cars is cheaper than having lots of women! Back in 2005 he bought a vintage car–a 1931 Dusenberg Model J–that belonged to John Straus, the grandson of Macy’s found Isador Straus. Both Isador and his wife Ida perished when Titanic sank in 1912. Leno thought he had gotten a good deal for $180,000. The car though was not in very good shape due to water damage and neglect. But with the help of a restorer and lots of work, the car has been restored to “better than new” according to news reports.
The car had been stored since 1931 in a leaky garage contributing to its poor condition. In 2005 the garage sought $22,000 in fees. The fees were apparently paid but the garage auctioned off the car anyway (whether this due to an oversight or something else the article does not make clear). What is clear is that Leno got the car and a lawsuit from the Straus family claiming the auction was a sham. The argument seems to have been Leno was in cahoots with the garage to get the car.
The legal action was just settled. As is the norm in such matters, exact details are always confidential. News reports indicate that while the Straus family got money, it did not come from Leno. The car itself was never very pretty said Leno. It was built to ferry wealthy people around New York City. Leno does enjoy driving the car around reliving the days of yesteryear.
Source: Daily Mail, Jay Leno Settles Vintage Car Legal Dispute Over 1931 Duesenberg, 21 June 2011