Jeff Allen was born with motor oil in his DNA. Racing Junk was recently able to sit down and talk with Jeff about where he’s been and where he’s going in the future. Since he was unveiling Ronin, his Coyote-equipped 1963 Ford Falcon, when we ran into him, we were also able to get the specifics on it and some background into why he built it the way he did and what originally gave him the inspiration to kick the project off.
Why the Name ‘Jeff Allen’ is Known in Automotive Circles
Allen originally came to fame as a co-host of the short-lived show The Car Chasers, which aired on CNBC for 40 episodes over three seasons – from March 2013 to February 2015. Since then, between celebrity appearances at car shows across the country and the SEMA Show in Vegas, he also hosts the acclaimed podcast Skidmarks, which combines Rock ‘n’ Roll and cars.
The Car Chasers was a show centered around Allen’s Flat 12 Gallery, wherine he would acquire and restore rare and celebrity cars like those from Tim Allen’s Collection and Hollywood cars like the from the movie “2Fast 2Furious.”The show was broadcast internationally by The Discovery Channel and appeared as ‘Automanicanos’ and ‘Texas Garage’ in some foreign markets.
The Road to Celebrity Status
He grew up accompanying his grandfather to Mexico from their home in Texas to get repaired cars painted for sale. He spent many of his off hours during grade school helping his father out in the family auto repair shop. If he wasn’t with either of them, he was in his mom’s living room customizing his Hot Wheels cars, often by spray-painting them on the carpet. Working for his elders allowed him to save enough money to buy his car when he was only 13 years old – a 1969 Camaro Z28, although in high school he drove a half ton pickup because “It was harder to get into trouble with than the Camaro.” He said both had Alpine stereos and Centerline Wheels.
After high school, Jeff started working for dealerships in the area. After more than ten years spent in car dealerships, his innovative marketing skills, an ability to turn failing dealerships successful and start up new dealerships quickly saw him become one of the youngest New Dealership General Managers. Allen spent his relaxation time during these years hunting down and acquiring collectible cars and competing in SCCA races.
Realizing that he’d reached the top of the dealership world in and around Lubbock, Texas, Allen decided his logical next step was to open his own shop. As a collector of fabulous cars, he decided his shop had to be special; it had to deal with the classic cars, rare and hard to find cars and movie/celebrity cars. He wasn’t going to be satisfied with a regular dealership or auto repair facility, so Flat 12 Gallery was born.
Along the way, he had appeared in a few car commercials and even made some spot appearances in films and shows like Cinemania. This is when The Car Chasers was born. After that show had run its course, Allen and co-host Ethan Demetrius from KISS FM got together and dreamed up their podcast Skidmarks. Allen has appeared in numerous TV spots and magazine articles and is also a classic car valuation contributor for Kelley Blue Book.
Allen Built Ronin – His 1963 Ford Falcon, Because He Wanted Something Fun
Although he has a stable full of cars (42 at last count, he said), Allen didn’t have one that he could “have fun with.” You don’t drive a celebrity or movie car “like you stole it.” When he came across this ‘63 Falcon one day, he knew he’d found his fun car to build. He decided it was going to be a car that would be at home on the street, a weekend autocross event, an Air Strip Attack or the amateur classes at a SCCA at local track.
You Can Hear Coyotes Howling When He Opens It Up
As this car was meant to be competitive in a variety of disciplines, so there had to be plenty of power at his command when he hit the straights. A 5.0 Coyote engine out of a 2014 Ford Mustang was acquired and built upon. A Roush supercharger packs the air in, while fuel is squirted by the stock fuel injection system. This combo puts more than 675 horses at his right foot’s beck and call. A Griffin Thermal radiator keeps the Coyote cool no matter how it’s being used.
Those horses gallop through a stock Mustang six speed manual gearbox that’s been rebuilt with a Centerforce Dyad clutch. A narrowed nine-inch with 3.55 gears and 31-spline solid axles translates the engine’s power to the Black Pearl and Matte Graphite Forgeline GT3C Concave wheels wearing Nitto NT05 tires.
The Stock Suspension and Brakes Get a Few Upgrades
Ronin currently runs through the Falcon’s stock solid axle, but Jeff plans on converting it to Independent Rear Suspension in the very near future. The old worm gear steering gearbox was replaced with a Mustang/Pinto power steering rack to make control crisper.
The stock coil spring front and rear, equipped with aftermarket performance leafsprings, are both kept in firm touch with the road thanks to QA1suspension products at each corner. Baer Full-floating six-piston calipers and vented 14-inch rotors keep the ponies under control.
Wait, That’s Not a Falcon Interior!
If you thought that when you first saw the interior above, you would be right. In keeping with the Mustang flow from under the hood, Jeff decided when he had the Falcon’s old interior out that something more modern (and safe for the speeds in question) had to go in in its place, but there wasn’t much that wouldn’t require extremely extensive modifications except for the same 2014 Mustang GT that virtually donated its Coyote engine. So now Allen looks over a 2014 Mustang GT steering wheel and dash, out through 1963 Falcon glass and over a Falcon hood modified to fit the Roush supercharger.
You can expect to keep seeing Allen and Flat 12 Gallery turning out fantastic restorations and resto-mods for quite some time to come, because “You can buy a wrecked car and build power without breaking the bank.” He said he “may go off-road next and do something new to test my boundaries.”