Jay Leno vs. Alexis DeJoria: Which Road Warrior Has the Best Newport Mansion?

The talk show host and the drag racer, both retired, bought multimillion-dollar Newport estates in 2017. Who did it better?

Jay Leno via Wikimedia Commons. Alexis and John Paul DeJoria via Facebook.

Alexis DeJoria hit the finish line first.

The drag racing star — who announced her retirement from the sport in October — bought her $11.65 million Newport estate, Firestone, on January 27, 2017. DeJoria, who is married to reality TV personality Jesse James, purchased the iconic estate with her father, John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire entrepreneur behind Paul Mitchell and the Patron Spirits Company. The property boasts thirteen bedrooms, a playhouse, an ocean-facing pool and garages with more than 500 feet of ocean frontage.

According to a press release from Lila Delman Real Estate International, which listed Firestone, Dejoria says of the purchase: “My father and I invested in this property so all of our family can enjoy it. We appreciate the estate’s rich history and plan on retaining its Gilded Age grandeur.”

Then, nearly ten months to the day after the DeJorias’ big acquisition, former “Tonight Show” talk show host and car nut Jay Leno purchased Seafair, another iconic Gilded Age mansion with twelve bedrooms, an infinity pool, private beach, tennis court, garden and a six-car garage over nine acres of oceanfront. The mansion was diced up into four condos, but the total sale amounted to $13.5 million. Seafair was listed by Gustave White Sotheby’s International.

DeJoria’s estate, which sits six blocks off Memorial Boulevard — so early in the Cliff Walk route that the most short-winded among us would stroll by — is more public. Jay Leno’s Seafair, aka the “Hurricane Hut,” is set back on Ocean Avenue and is as private as can be (unless, of course, you approach by boat).

Will Bellevue Avenue host some impromptu drag races in 2018? If not, we’ll still hold out for celeb sightings at Newport’s famed Audrain Car Museum.

Here’s a look inside the two Newport mansions, which represent the biggest real estate sales in Rhode Island in 2017:

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