‘Last Man Standing:’ Tim Allen and This Castmate Bonded Over Their Shared Love of Vintage Cars

by Taylor Cunningham

Tim Allen and Jay Leno are well-known car aficionados. And that shared love is exactly what brought them together for Last Man Standing.

In the 90s, Leno and Allen were both helming their own massive TV hits. Allen was the star of Tool Time and Leno was in the prime of The Late Night Show. And somewhere along the way, the guys realized that they each had an impressive vintage car collection. Because of that, they started talking. And they built a friendly competition around having the best wheels. That competition still stands today.

In 1995, the duo tried racing 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats on a public road. Unfortunately, the cops broke up that party. So we never saw a winner. And Allen once walked into Jay’s garage blindfolded and perfectly guessed the make and model of several cars just by listening to their engines rev and going for a ride.

Tim Allen Developed Inherited His Car Passion From His Father

Jay Leno once shared with Cars and Culture that his love for cars comes from their unique history. He has an appreciation for the beauty and power of classic vehicles. But he chooses each purchase for its story.

For example, he bought a 1967 Chrysler Imperial from a man named Pumpkin because he was an impressive fellow who dedicated his life to a cause. And Leno will forever attach that backstory to that car.

Tim Allen developed his passion while bonding with his father. His dad died in an accident when Allen was only 11. but he still loves cars despite the fact that the subject of his hobby is exactly what took his dad’s life.

“A car crossed two lanes of traffic, flipped, and landed on my dad’s car,” he shared during an interview with GQ. “I don’t blame cars. My dad loved cars. I don’t have many memories of my dad. The love of cars is all I have of him, really.”

But while their reasons are very different, they still share a deep friendship based on the love. And that love has kept them close for decades. In fact, it brought them together for Last Man Standing. And their characters have a similar relationship to the actors.

In the series, Jay Leno played Joe Leonard, a mechanic at Outdoor Man. The two are friends on the show, but they often poke fun at each other over various things, including cars. And in the final episode, they both came together over the memories of Allen’s Mike Baxter’s stolen and destroyed 1956 Ford F-100.