A 1978 Hongqi CA770 stopped in at Jay Leno’s Garage for a brief visit and a drive.
If you’ve never head of the Hongqi (Hong-chi) CA770, not to worry as even before this particular video was shot Jay Leno himself had never heard of this car. But it looks like one of 847 of these Chinese State Limo’s that has been pristinely restored took a stop at Jay Garage for a tour and test drive.
Styled and inspired by luxury American sedans of that era, the Hongqi CA770 is definitely a throwback to the nascent periods of Chinese motoring. Check out the full video below. Let us know what you think about this Chinese state limo in the comments below!
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Right off the bat the video foreshadows what’s to happen during the test drive. Despite that rocky introduction, Jay gets into the history of this unique automobile and clues is on where it came from and how it came to be.
If you think the styling looks familiar, you wouldn’t be remiss. Taking inspiration from a 1950’s Chrysler Imperial the underlying chassis is pretty much all-American derived. However, all the bodywork was designed in China.
Underneath the hood of this dignitaries mobile is a 5.6L V8 (also from Chrysler) that made a generous 220 HP and 412 lb-ft. And weighing a whopping 6,084 pounds this super sedan needed all the power it can get.
Keen eyes will notice an American and Chinese flag flown opposite to each other. Staying true to dignitary car duties, with an American driving, one flag represents the home country of the visitor and the other flag represents the country where the car resides.
All in all, this Hongqi CA770 is an interesting import with American roots brought back to U.S. soil. It’s a shame that they had to end up pushing it thanks to a faulty battery.