Jeffrey grew up in California. He is the son of a pilot and NASA Researcher, grandson of a farmer, rancher and heavy equipment mechanic. Painting his first car at 16, Jeff was restoring cars for a Danville, CA collector by age 18 with his first movie car being a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air in Peggy Sue Got Married. Later that year he moved to Phoenix, AZ to train for 2 years under Robert Flak, Jeff Carlson and Bob “Gomer” Saltsman at Pioneer Classic Autos. Gomer having come from the shop of George Barris, taught Jeff many valuable sheet metal and paint skills that allowed him to open his own custom shop back in California, JT Chroma Restorations. Jeff’s passion was fabrication. Chopped and suicide door, right hand drive, VW Bug and a shaved, filled and frenched 1936 Plymouth were two of his favorites. Jeff moved onto HD motorcycles and special construction. Before stretched tanks were mass produced, he would stretch tanks, widen fenders, rake frames and spray the custom paint. Appraising these projects was the beginning step in projecting build costs. He won several awards for best paint in the East Bay Area car and motorcycle show competitions.
Starting a family, after 14 years building and painting cars and motorcycles, Jeff chose to sell his business and get out of the shop, moving into what seemed to be a natural progression into khaki pants and auto appraising. Never able to sit still and missing the classics, Jeff continued on to be the specialty auto appraiser for Crawford and Company in California. After 11 years and feeling he had taken the position as far as he could, Jeff moved on to Nationwide Insurance and their Specialty Large Loss Team. This afforded Jeff the opportunity to get off the West Coast and cover the lower 48 states and Alaska. Jeff would personally inspect any specialty auto over $100,000. In his 9 years with Nationwide Jeff appraised approximately 1,200 specialty auto, classic auto, custom auto, sports cars, motorcycles and the occasional multi-million dollar catastrophe claims.
Jeff came to Mclarens in 2019 with an offer to handle some of the most technically challenging specialty auto claims in the industry, for after 21 years and thousands of appraisals, it was time to look forward to projects that took weeks or months, instead of hours or days. It takes time to research local, regional, national and international markets. It takes time to find the needle in the haystack. The quality of vehicle, time of year, fads, movies, celebrities, race wins and overall a good story affects the market value. Market values live on data and comparative analogies and this is where Jeff’s obsessive research thrives. In his 24th year as a specialty appraiser, Jeff has extensive experience in custom and classis auto appraisals and is in his happy place.
- Natural gas power plant switchgear, North Slope, Deadhorse, AK (USD 350 K)
- Komptech X63 impact investigation and failure analysis (USD 435 K)
- CAT Response, Hail loss in Gillette, WY (USD 465 K)
- CAT Response, Hail loss in Billings, MT (USD 235 K)
- Multiple losses, Case IH/ New Holland fire investigation and subrogation (USD 2.5 Million +)
- Building fire, 1,500 pieces of equipment and inventory (USD 1.2 Million)
- Caterpillar D-11 tractor fire, Re-power investigation included (USD 660 K)
- Caterpillar D-10 tractor fire, Re-power investigation included (USD 450 K)
- Komptech X60 compost turner fire, investigation included (USD 465 K)
- Catastrophe, California Central LNU Complex Fire, Multi-line (USD 420 K)
- Auto Auction Flood, 2,500+ cars survey and appraise (USD 17 Million)
- Catastrophe, Hurricane Ike, Multi-line (USD 7 Million +)
- Racing trimaran upset at sea, remote island inspection (USD 225 K)
- 300-ton crawler crane rollover, supervised repair and commissioning (USD 980 K)