The 426 Hemi Duster was given to Leno before its creator passed away. Needless to say, it’s in excellent hands.
Paul Annunziata was a brilliant mechanic and race car driver who spent five years transforming a 1975 Duster into a street-legal pro-stock drag car. A first-time effort on the lottery bagged him $10,000 that kick-started his project of wedging a 426 Hemi V8 from a Super Bee into the body-in-white chassis of a Duster. The engine bay was extensively modified in order to house the monster powerplant, onto which a huge Roots superchargher was bolted; the rear of the body was also tubbed to keep the tires in place.
That said, everything on the car works as per a factory model, and over the years it picked up a host of awards for being simply bad-ass.
Sadly, Annunziate passed away recently with lung cancer. Knowing the end was near, he donated the car to Jay Leno on the condition it would be well looked after and never be sold. As a gesture, Leno made a donation to McPherson College, setting up a scholarship fund that offers four-year programs in automotive restoration and mechanics. The 1,000 Duster now resides in Leno's garage from where the main man gives it the once-over before taking it for an obligatory spin around the block. Check it out by hitting the link.