O. Donavan Allen

Inducted 1974

Through his highly successful automobile dealerships, he taught the automotive industry valuable lessons about the power of promotion and advertising Established 16 automobile dealerships from New York to Florida, and each became major volume producers Donovan Allen made selling cars a celebration. Allen’s extraordinary energy, flair and showmanship transformed the business of selling automobiles into grand social events. He created an atmosphere of fun with carnivals, picnics and contests that showered the community with gifts and prizes, and also created a pleasant and enjoyable work atmosphere for his employees. Allen opened his first enterprise, a Chevrolet dealership, in 1936 in Albany, New York and quickly expanded with other dealerships in many states east of the Mississippi. Promotional events such as a parade of clowns or the appearance of his own 35-foot blimp would enliven the streets of each community where a Don Allen dealership became established. Allen dealerships also excelled at more than the sales spectacle. His dedication to customer care and 24-hour repair service were expressed in Allen’s professional motto, “We are never satisfied until you are.”

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