Eclectic car collection rolls into new venue

Allen Autos

Misty Allen, director of marketing and finance for Allen Unique Autos, leads an impromptu tour of a new Grand Junction facility that will serve as an events center and car museum. (Business Times photos by Phil Castle)

Misty Allen walks along what’s got to be one of the most eclectic group of automobiles ever parked in a single row.

On one end of the long row sits a pair of sleek gold Dodge Viper sports cars, on the other end two 1966 Ford Mustangs customized for performers Sonny and Cher. In between sit a mix of sports cars and luxury cars, among them a Jaguar convertible and Cadillac and Rolls Royce limousines.

Allen grew up around the cars her mother, Tammy Allen, long has collected. But soon, most of the collection of more than 120 vehicles will be brought together under the one roof of a newly renovated facility in Grand Junction that will serve as both an events center and museum.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Misty Allen, who serves as director of marketing and finance for Allen Unique Autos.

The new facility, located at 2285 River Road, is scheduled to open for special events on Nov. 15. The facility is set to open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays starting Nov. 19. Admission will be $8 for adults and $5 for children.

Allen said the events center and museum showcases her mother’s passion for cars — a passion she wants to share with the public.

Over the years, Tammy Allen, owner and chief executive officer of Allen Unique Autos, has collected more than 120 rare, vintage and unique automobiles,. The collection includes old cars, new cars, domestic cars and foreign cars.

Allen frequently attends Barrett-Jackson car auctions, where her recent acquisitions include a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado convertible she purchased with a winning bid of $150,000.

“It’s a little bit of everything for everyone’s tastes,” Misty Allen said.

Tammy Allen also has acquired a number of vehicles previously owned by celebrities, including not only the Sonny and Cher mustangs, but also Rolls Royce vehicles owned by Nicholas Cage and Zsa Zsa Gabor, a Mercedes owned by Evel Knievel and the personal limousine of Bruce Willis.

The collection previously was stored in three hangars at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, but will be brought together for the first time in the new facility.

Allen Unique Autos spent more than $1.5 million to renovate the building that will serve as a combination events center and museum, Misty Allen said.

The 27,000 square foot building now features 12,000 square feet of garage space for the cars, along with another 4,700 of showroom space to highlight select automobiles. A mezzanine was added to a portion of the building to display another 14 to 20 cars, Allen said.

The interior is fitted with elegant decor, including a large sculpture fashioned to resemble a hood ornament that greets visitors when they enter the lobby of the new facility.

In addition to the events center and museum, Allen Unique Autos also operates a limousine service featuring not only traditional vehicles, but also unusual cars. The company’s fleet includes Cadillac, Lincoln and Mercedes limousines, but also three Hummers and a long pink Mini Cooper that features a hot tub in the back.

Misty Allen said she expects to combine operations when Allen Unique Autos hosts special events and also offers limousine service to and from those events.

Phil Castle is editor of the Grand Valley Business Times, a twice-monthly business journal published in Grand Junction. Castle brings to his duties nearly 30 years of experience in editorial management positions with Western Colorado newspapers. In addition, his free-lance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor's degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University.
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