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Venus Models Online was at the 2006 Sema Show in Las Vegas when superstar Jay Leno showed off his EcoJet mid-engine turbine coupe with General Motors, Ed Welburn, and Frank Saucedo, who heads the automaker’s west coast studio, penned the design concept.

EcoJet

EcoJet

Leno has both a motorcycle and a pickup truck powered by “jet” turbine engines, so the plan was to create an automobile that would run on a similar powerplant fueled by biodiesel.

The EcoJet was initially a static exhibit, but one thing about Jay’s Garage is that everything runs. So Jim Hall, Bernard Juchli and the other wizards in the Burbank shop set about to turn the EcoJet from a barely rolling display into a complete running automobile.

It was a challenge to turn a static show car into a running automobile. Problems like mating the electronics of the turbine to those of the gearbox and then creating a dashboard display so Leno can monitor functions when driving.

Jay Leno with his Echo Jet

Jay Leno with his Echo Jet

Now the EcoJet is a runner…like 150-plus mph in one test. We had a chance to spend a day with Leno and the jet machine and can confirm it is impressive.

The EcoJet is without a doubt eye catching and is cruising and is cruising it looks like something from star wars or the Jetsons.

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