Fifteenth Year Anniversary Special Throwback
Jeff Allison Edition:
It is hard to believe that in May of 2024 it will have been fifteen years since I carved out a hole in my basement and started recording this podcast! Many listeners have tuned in and followed along as I met people from all across the automotive world and simply asked the questions we all wanted to know about business and cars. I had no idea that 15 years later I’d still be in the business, nor did I have a clue what a life defining thing this would become. In a nutshell, this podcast (and you) have changed my life. As a tribute to you the listener, please enjoy this step back in history to when the podcast was new and the journey was just beginning.
It is amazing to look back and see how certain events changed whole lives and to know that a particular conversation had the power to redirect the whole arc of multiple careers forever. The Muscle Car Place Episode #72 featured that exact discussion for both Jeff Allison and myself because this was the point where our lives came together and changed forever. This was the time that Jeff offered to build my Chevelle FOR FREE as a way to launch his automotive build business and make my business and automotive dreams come true all at the same time. It was the unbelievable too-good-to-be-true moment that we all have dreamt of, but in my case, it was indeed true!
Little did we know he would turn it into a Pro-Touring wonder that not only turns heads to this day, but also took us to SEMA on the main floor and introduced us to so many influential people while totally defining the next ten years. I know full well he did not expect anything that came next , but it launched us both to the next level.
Jeff Allison was an airline pilot with big dreams of becoming a shop owner who buildt custom cars. He always had a passion for building cars that not only lookws cool but that were driven and performed very well. The idea of one of his creations just sitting still and not getting rock chips in it was not to his liking. Jeff would drive long hours to get to the airport for his day job of flying large jets and listen to this podcast and hear me talk about how I would love to race autocross and turn the Chevelle into a Pro-Touring racer. He decided that it was time to stop putting off opening his shop and use this as an opportunity to help me realize my dream with maybe get a little advertising on the side. I decided to take him up on his generous offer and see where this would take us. Eleven years later I am proud to say he is one of my best friends and that we have had a great time together.
Once he started on the project he put his heart and soul into it getting it done in about the same time (or less) than a normal 9 to 5 shop would have and with more features than any other shop would have thought of. This is not to say the project was easy as there were many obstacles found laying under the aged metal skin. The base vehicle, my dads “family car”, had already been restored previously so those fixes needed to be fixed, plus all of the additional rust and damage that had not been caught previously.
To say it was rough, compared to most base cars, is being nice, but Jeff knew why it had to be this car and he understood the passion behind building this particular car. He knew there were memories that had to be preserved but also added some new passion to the history that would be appreciated by all. The hard work and attention to details that he put into the build is evident for anyone to see and he cut no corners on this “pro-bono” project.
After building the Chevelle into a SEMA going, magazine spotlighted, race track ripping, head turning masterpiece, Jeff did it again with another Chevelle and went to SEMA a second time. He also developed his website at Allison Customs into a great informational tool, and he started a YouTube channel where he works on many other amazing projects. You can follow along on Project Car TV. Jeff also wrote a blog while he was building the Chevelle if you would like even more nostalgia on what it took to put together a SEMA show car at Jeff Allison’s “Building Your Project Vehicle” series at The Musclecar Place.
Thanks Jeff for believing in the show and for being my friend
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!