As a child Jeff grew up in southern California in its golden years, the 40's, 50's and 60's learning his profession and knowledge from a true master, his step father Ben Jones. Please read the Gazette-Times article by Pat Knight "Car Happy" Monday March 29, 1982.
Jeff's earlier work and support for Nancy Flegal's Philomath Food Bank was the genesis for a Saturday June 12, 1982 fundraiser and benefit with cars, food and music by much acclaimed band "Lodestar" for the Philomath Food Bank and Community Center fund.
The car show and fundraiser was such a tremendous success that people associated with women’s athletics at Oregon State University contacted Jeff about organizing a source to help fund women’s athletic programs. In the early 70' and 80's women’s athletics was terribly underfunded. This gave birth to OSU's first "Concours D' Elegance" August 15, 1982 and continued for many years thereafter. The concours drew entrants from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and as far away as Las Vegas Nevada. The concours were held on Sundays and ranged from between 250 to 400 cars of all classes and makes. Auto Cars Unlimited was the major sponsor and host of the Saturday night dinners and dance held for the car owners, class and trophy sponsors, judges, staff and crew, cooking crew, various company representatives and OSU staff people. The cost of the Saturday night social was $25 per person and it was always heartwarming to have 150 to 200 people standing in line for dinner throughout the evening as adjacent photos show. Auto Cars parking lot was turned into a beautiful open air event, 10th Street was blocked off between Main and Applegate Streets. Many of the car owners would bring their vehicles to the dinner which was always a treat for the local folks.
The restoration of Philomath's first fire truck OLD #1 was started and stopped over a period of several years due to lack of funds and the professional expertise to take on such a major task. Jeff had been a longtime supporter of Philomath's volunteer fire department and had personal friendships with several of the volunteers. Jeff made a proposal to the volunteers that Auto Cars would spearhead the restoration project and the volunteers would help when and where they could. The new crew reached out to the community for support and received it. #1 was stripped to the frame, sandblasted and painted semi-gloss black epoxy. The project took several years and thousands of man hours to complete. With research and assistance from the department a rich story was put together covering the entire history of Old #1 and is shared with all when the department participates in numerous events around the state including the annual Philomath Classic Car Show. Go to Fire truck link to see more photos and learn more.
Jeff's long time friend's Larry and Becky Plum were extremely happy and proud of their brand new Chevy Blazer. About a month after they took ownership of it an 18 wheeler ran a red light at 3rd and Harrison in Corvallis and ruined their day. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured which was amazing considering the extensive damage to the vehicle but does speak well of the durability due to the design and construction of the Blazer SUV series. Larry insisted that the insurance company have Jeff Lamb at Auto Cars Unlimited do the repairs or buy the family a brand new Blazer.
As you can see from the photos the difficulty of the degree (repairs) of the dive (as in Olympic diving competition) as the judges would say, is a 10. This was one of the most challenging repairs that Auto Cars had undertaken. It's not bad to be referred to by your peers as Dr. J.R. (The Hammer) Lamb.
Below are some more fine examples of Jeff's Auto Cars restorations.
It has been said that if anybody can work for or with Jeff Lamb that it was the best possible job reference you could have. It has also been said that Jeff could teach you more in six months than a two year course at Linn-Benton Community College Auto Body and Painting Program, and he paid you to learn! Jeff was a no nonsense task master and tutored dozens of promising craftsmen. Many went on to open their own businesses and their reputations off of what they learned at Auto Cars Unlimited. In the photo above from left to right are Steve Bodeau, Gary Smith, Shane Reynolds and Scott Nelson.