Tammy Allen's Story
There's a storybook quality to Tammy Allen's life and her love affair with automobiles. It began at an early age. Her dad was a car enthusiast, bought new models every two years, and polished and detailed them himself. His enthusiasm for cars was contagious, and it rubbed off on Tammy. She fondly recalls family vacations with idyllic road trips into the American heartland. The cars themselves have become part of automobile legend—among them, a 1954 Ford, a 1957 Oldsmobile, a 1957 Chevy, and a 1960 Mercury station wagon.
Tammy gets her first pony
Tammy Allen got her first car at 16, and of course it was a pony car—a black 1976 Ford Mustang. This was the second-generation Mustang, also known as the Mustang II, that Lee Iacocca—then president of the Ford Motor Company—had wanted to be "a little jewel" when it first came out in 1974.
Rarest of rare cars
Other cars followed, and then Tammy got her first collector car—a cherry red 1960 Jaguar, a thoroughbred by any standard—in 1984. She had fallen in love with Jaguars long before, loving their rakish profiles and the well-bred purr of their engines. And now that she owned one, she was ready for the next level.
That was when Tammy's dad gave her a gift of something few people who've spent a lifetime collecting cars have been privileged even to see—a 1988 Armaretta, a car so rare that even Google has a hard time finding information about it (only 30 or so Armarettas were made between 1985 and 1988). The Armaretta, which may have been inspired by a 1930s-vintage Cord, had a fiberglass body. It's chiefly remembered today as the automobile that turned Tammy Allen, car lover, into Tammy Allen, car collector. Tammy still waxes poetic about the Armaretta's "gorgeous and extravagant lines."
It was a transformative moment: When she recognized the Armaretta as a work of art, she began to see all cars as fine art—and, like all serious collectors, she developed her own criteria for collecting. In Tammy's case, it was the car's uniqueness that mattered, not the type or make of car or a particular era. The unique collection of cars in her gallery is so appealingly diverse, there's something for everyone.