Tammy Allen's car collection to auction at Barrett-Jackson

Tammy Allen is a pioneer. For the past three decades Allen has demonstrated that car collecting isn't just for the guys.

So when we learned that Allen had decided to sell more than 80 of her classics at Barrett-Jackson's Las Vegas auction this October, we were shocked.

Tammy Allen car collection
Tammy Allen began collecting classics in the early 1980s

Unfortunately, there's a sad story behind the sale.

Following the tragic death of her son in 2015, and her mother's diagnosis with cancer the same year, Allen's focus turned to her family. That meant closing her Colorado-based museum, Allen Unique Autos, and selling its contents.

What will be on offer in Las Vegas? Cars such as a 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton, a 1947 Studebaker Champion Starlight custom coupe, and a 1950 Mercury with a green paint job that has earned it the nickname "wasabi".

Yet our personal favourite is a 1954 Kaiser Darrin Sports Roadster, one of just 435 built. It was the first fibreglass American sports car and has the unique feature of sliding doors.

1954 Kaiser Darrin Sports Roadster
The rare 1954 Kaiser Darrin Sports Roadster has sliding doors

All cars will be sold with no reserve.

Allen will no doubt be sad to see the cars go, but can take comfort from the fact the vehicles will be going to appreciate new owners, and maybe even a few female collectors.

"I want women to know that there are a lot of women who are interested in cars," she told Paul Fraser Collectibles in a 2011 interview.

"It's such a man's world, it can be kind of scary or intimidating to get into. But it's really a lot of fun. I want them to know that, so that they're not afraid to go out and go to auctions and look at cars."

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