Note: This feature is in the Jan. TT&C 2019 issue.
A sampling of custom models by Tom Allen.
Tom Allen’s Ertl White 3000 COE, customized with a Buddy L wrecker body.
Tom Allen scratch built a working model of an auto rotisserie.
Tom Allen’s treasure hunt began at an early age in the auto salvage yard of his childhood home in northeastern Ohio where he was raised.
But the auto salvage yard, repair shop and towing business wasn’t the wonderland that most would think.
“It was actually a lot of work. Looking back on it, it gave me a lot of experience that a normal guy never has,” he shared. “Removing parts from cars and dismantling engines for scrap before I was 10 is probably where I got my mechanical abilities from.”
Tom put those mechanical abilities to use early in life, building model cars as a teenager. He still owns some of those models from the 1960s. Another early model he acquired as an eighth-grader, which he still owns, was a 1950 Studebaker promotional model he was given by his uncle.
“The first toy I can remember buying as a collectible was an Ertl Fordson tractor in 1969 and I still have it. I was walking past a hobby/craft store and saw it in the showroom window. That was the first time I had seen anything like it, so I had to have it. After that, I started noticing old 1930s pressed-steel trucks at the swap meets while searching for antique parts for my real cars. I ended up with quite a few of them,” Tom said.
The collecting bug had bitten.
Some of Tom Allen’s collection on display.
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JANUARY TT&C 2019 magazine!
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