Mail and Information staff member Vincent Scarelli and his motorcycle appeared on a recent episode of comedian Jay Leno’s YouTube show about vehicles.
In the 20-minute interview, which first aired on February 16, 2019, and can be viewed here, Leno raves about the motorcycle that Vincent spent 11 years transforming into a street-legal race bike.
According to the show’s website, the focus of “Jay Leno’s Garage” is to “showcase Leno’s journey throughout America as he searches for unique rides and the stories behind them.”
The former Tonight Show host first saw Vincent’s motorcycle at a Los Angeles bike meet in November 2018, at which time he asked for Vincent’s contact information. The next day Vincent was contacted by a producer for the show to set up a date to film an interview for the show.
Comedian Jay Leno (right) talks with staff member Vincent Scarelli (left) about his motorcycle (center).
The filming took place at Leno’s garage/studio in Burbank on December 11, 2018. “The biggest thrill was being able to wander unsupervised through both buildings that house Jay’s collection and workshop” Vincent said. “The place was absolutely incredible. Two vast buildings full of vehicles. Room after huge room of jaw-dropping treats for the motorhead”.
“Jay was just how you’d hope he would be: very friendly and casual, and when you speak with him, it’s easy to forget that there’s a bank of cameras watching everything” Vincent said. “He’s amazingly knowledgeable about all his vehicles, knows all of their quirks, and seems to like them all for what they are. It was an excellent experience.”
“I saw some amazing pieces of equipment when I toured the garage,” he said. “Jay’s crew is able to laser scan a rare engine or car part and then make a 3D resin copy of the part, use the resin piece to make a mold, use the mold to cast a new piece in aluminum, and then machine the piece, paint it, and install it on a car. Another tool is a CNC waterjet, which uses computer-guided fine jets of ultra-high-pressure water to make precision cuts in aluminum and steel up to three inches thick.”
The day after the video aired, Leno called Vincent at home and urged him to read the responses that viewers posted on YouTube. (In just the first 24-hours after it aired, the video received 10,000 mostly positive responses.) Leno told Vincent that he might be contacted by people from around the world who are interested in his bike because the show is very popular overseas, particularly in China, Japan, and Malaysia. “It is a very “clean” show,” Vincent said. “The Chinese government doesn’t see any reason to censor it – there are no politics, nothing racy, it’s just people talking about vehicles”. Before they ended their call, Leno encouraged Vincent to stay in touch, which he intends to do.
Vincent, an Administrative Specialist in the department’s Mail and Information Office, first became interested in motorcycles when he was 19-years-old. In addition to his race bike, he has five other motorcycles – a 1970 Triumph Bonneville, a 1977 Honda Gold Wing, and three non-running project bikes. On most weekends, weather permitting, Vincent and his friends take motorcycle rides through the backroads of Southern California.
Vincent recently brought his famous bike to UCLA to show to co-workers and graduate students. View the video here.
Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, firstname.lastname@example.org.