For Jeff Allen, family portraits weren’t taken at Sears. Flipping though childhood photo albums you’ll find toddler Jeff sitting on the hood of a 1967 Chevy Corvette with a triple carb, 427 engine, putting out 435 horsepower.
Growing up his father had a 1957 Chevy that Jeff, still to this day, lovingly refers to as his “older brother.”
His father was in the Air Force, but weekends were spent in the garage restoring and modifying old cars. His uncle was a car dealer and his grandfather had a transporter. He’d buy cars, haul them all the way down to Juarez, Mexico to get new paint and upholstery. Then he’d come back to Texas and sell them for a healthy profit.
Clearly, cars were in the family bloodline.
Jeff got his first car when he was 13 years old. It was the culmination of a six month adventure with his parents. This was the 1980’s, long before cell phones and the internet. So instead of clicking keys on a computer, the family would road trip around Texas and New Mexico. His father would call friends of friends on pay phones, hunting for the right car for his son. Such a cool way to find a first car… and he ended up with a doozy. At 13 years old, two years before he even had a driver’s license, Jeff became the proud owner of a 1969 Chevy Camaro Z28.
It’s a helluva story, but the cherry on top came months later. While watching the local news, Jeff and his father saw the guy they bought the Z28 from get arrested for a pretty hefty counterfeit money scheme. Luckily they bought that car before he went to prison!
In high school, Jeff and his family moved from Texas to Southern California. Always an avid movie lover, Jeff caught the acting bug. To pay the bills, he got a low-level job at a car dealership and used his acting chops to sell cars. He rose up the ranks and became the General Manager at the unheard of age of 30 years old.
Jeff was introduced to one of the main car builders for 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS. They hit it off, and Jeff soon found himself buying and selling cars for people like Charlie Sheen and Matt Damon. He was able to combine his two passions: cars and movies. And what followed was a successful business of buying/selling/renting cars to the studios for filming.
Jeff then shares two of his beloved cars from the movie FORD VS FERRARI:
The first is a convertible 1964 Chevy Corvette that raced in the Daytona and Willow Springs sequences.
And the second is a 1956 Porsche 356 replica complete with stopwatches (yes, stopwatches) and the coolest steering wheel you’ll ever see in your life. It features Saint Christopher… the Patron Saint of Travelers! How amazing is that?!
Check out the full conversation to hear Jeff also talk about his battle with asthma, his relationship with the legendary Eddie Paul… and why the used car salesman get such a bad rap here in America.