Come great power come great responsibility, and even then, such great power can sometimes be a little too much for the pros. That’s exactly what happened here when former late night legend, Jay Leno, experienced an accident in a 2500hp HEMI-powered drag car, during a filming session for his series, “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
To get the more pertinent news out of the way, Leno thankfully survived the accident with very little harm, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that Leno experienced a crazy and petrifying ordeal. To also clear another important detail, Leno was the passenger, while this special drag car was being piloted by renowned stunt driver, Bob Riggle. Riggle too walked away without a scratch.
According to the video, Leno was in the process of filming a segment of getting a ride along in a heavily modified Plymouth Barracuda, nick-named the Hemi Under Glass, which also happens to be one of the most famous classic drag cars in all of human history. The Hemi Under Glass gets its name because of its wicked modifications. For instance, the engine no longer sits at the front where it originally was in a standard Barracuda. Instead, the V8 was placed in the middle of the chassis, where the rear bench normally would be.
The design was originally introduced by the engineering team at Hurst, who thought of it as a way to maximize grip for faster drag times. But due to the altered weight distribution and the immense power, the Hemi Under Glass developed a very strong reputation for popping wheelies. Because of its special setup too, this also means the car is not very susceptible to changing directions since the whole idea of the car is to get it to track as straight as possible.
This of course is all bolstered by 2500hp, which of course means, this is a lot of car to handle, even for a reasonably seasoned driver like Riggle. In the video, he can be seen driving Leno around in the modified Cuda, when Riggle goes to make a U-turn to perform another wheelie. That’s when you can visibly see that the Cuda’s stiff suspension and grippy tires, literally caused the car to go head-over-heels from its own weight and center of gravity, from too fast of a turn. During the turn, the car can be seen bouncing as the suspension fails to compensate for the body motions, leading the car to skip across the pavement and ultimately flipping.
See it all happen in the video below.
– By: Chris Chin