"Tonight Show" host Jay Leno chats in a video with CHP Capt. Matt Guthrie about the agency's new vehicle. He also talks older CHP rigs and chauffeurs retired Commissioner Dwight "Spike" Helmick in a '69 Dodge CHP car. Youtube

The Buzz: Jay Leno previews CHP's new Ford Explorer

Published: Monday, Jul. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

What's in Jay Leno's garage?

"The Tonight Show" host and car enthusiast recently posted an online preview of the California Highway Patrol's new Ford Explorer, plus reviews of five classic cars the department has deployed over the years.

CHP Capt. Matt Guthrie goes through the Explorer's features with Leno, while former Commissioner Dwight "Spike" Helmick talks about the old cars and the old days.

The first nine CHP Explorers are on the road in the Sacramento area, according to spokeswoman Fran Clader.

The state has authorized up to 751 Explorers to replace the CHP's Crown Victorias, which Ford no longer produces.

Cost per Explorer: $26,578, about $2,500 more than the Crown Vics cost. The price includes a five-year/100,000- mile power train warranty.

The Explorer's CHP version – which Guthrie called the "police interceptor package" – sports a 3.7-liter, V6 engine with 300 horsepower.

It goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, and its top speed meets the CHP's specs in the 122 to 128 mph range, according to Guthrie.

And no, Joe Citizen can't buy it.

– Jon Ortiz


For a special election during a hot Valley summer, the 16th Senate District battle between Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez is turning out to be a high-money showdown. Together, they've raised more than $3.2 million. Independent groups have pumped in well over $1 million to run full-on campaigns for their candidates.

– Fresno Bee


"I'm tempted to subscribe to Rolling Stone so that I can cancel my subscription."

JON FLEISCHMAN, publisher of the conservative California-based FlashReport blog, tweeting about the magazine's controversial cover picturing Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

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