Colorado's Tammy Allen is the daughter of Bill Allen and worked on the board of VECO Corporation until the company's acquisition in 2007.
The company was an Alaska-based oil pipeline service and construction company, perhaps best known for its part in the clean up following the Exxon Valdez oil spill when eleven million gallons of crude oil leaked into the waters of Prince William Sound.
Exxon Valdez was the worst oil accident until the recent BP disaster, and VECO was credited with preventing the damage being even worse than it could have been, thanks to its quick actions.
However Bill Allen was jailed in 2007 having been charged with perjury in connection with the corruption trial of Senator Ted Stevens, after footage of an interview between himself and the prosecution was discovered in which he contradicted evidence that he would later give at trial.
Tammy Allen, now known by her married name of Kerrigan, succeeded her father as board chairman, and negotiated the company's sale to CH2M HILL, commenting,
"This is a wonderful outcome for VECO. When we look at CH2M HILL's clients, their strong financial and global industry position, and their employee ownership model, it clearly is a natural fit for our business and workforce."
Now, amid rumours that Allen may be setting up her a rare car hire company, she has been making a name for herself at auctions of rare and collectible cars - so much so that the internet has been buzzing with questions from car fanatics who want to know more about her.
In January 2009, the Serial #1 50th Anniversary black striped satin-gold Hurst/Viper unveiled at the sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction for a record-breaking $250,000 to Allen who also bought the #2. The proceeds were donated to charity.
Viper Magazine approved. "Hurst/Viper is a striking alternative for an enthusiast who wants something special, something that comes with the legend of Hurst and up-to-the minute Viper performance." it noted.
In 2009-10 Allen has bought dozens of cars especially in Las Vegas, including a Messerschmitt KR-175 (Mini) and Vipers 1996 GTS 8600 and RT/10. (Allen paid $69,000 for the RT, a price which surprised some collectors, but was endorsed by others as a car likely to pick up value quickly over the next few years.)
She is happy to bid over the estimate to get what she wants, but eventually backs off if the prices become ridiculous.
"She and her people know cars. I would pass on the blonde jokes - she's a pretty sharp lady", commented a Viper Club of America (VCA) web forum user.
Another poster concurred: "We should be recruiting her for the VCA!!! I really love her taste in cars!"
The No 5 Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Mustang, bought
Perhaps Allen's most notable purchase was of the No 5 Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Mustang (video of the sale in which 'the blonde' Allen appears) at Barrett-Jackson in October 2009.
Lee Iacocca, the "Father of the Mustang," returned to the company to build the limited edition car himself and just 45 were made. Following much excitement, and frenetic bidding, Allen took the car home for a stunning $352,000.
"This is a stunning, modern day muscle car from the visionary who started it all," enthused Steve Davis, president of Barrett Jackson.
Regardless of Allen's intentions for her collection, it seems that she will remain a force impossible to ignore in classic car collecting for some time to come.
Are you a petrol head? Check out the world's 10 most expensive cars in our exclusive video, or check out our stunning 1970 Maserati Ghibli Convertible before Tammy or another collector drives it away!