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Piston Stories

The 2022 Founders Club Poster by Guy Allen

The members of the Piston Foundation Founders Club are car enthusiasts and collectors who are passionate about the heritage of the classic automobile and realize it faces a fragile future unless we can keep the craft relevant and the workforce growing.

By Christopher Perkowski

July 10, 2022

The Founders Club Poster

To recognize the significant donations these car community leaders make to the Foundation’s mission we memorialize their names on our yearly Founders Club poster. Each year, we commission an automotive artist to create a unique art poster that tells the story the Foundation’s mission. This year, we worked with renowned artist Guy Allen to create “Making Progress”, our Founders Club 2022 poster.

The poster itself features a depiction of a young student and mentor hard at work on the latest car restoration project. The contrasting shades of silver and red work to bring this snapshot to life, highlighting the purest form of this traditional American craft. Club Founders of 2022 will surely be proud to have their names displayed, knowing that their contributions have been steadily helping to turn the Piston Foundation dream into a reality.

The Man Behind the Art

A poster like this doesn’t just make itself. Credit for the gorgeous design goes to Guy Allen, a renowned artist and automotive enthusiast. He has over 25 years of experience creating designs for all kinds of printed media from books and magazines to movie posters and custom prints. “The Founders Poster was an interesting challenge”, he says. “It’s unusual and refreshing to be given a brief which isn’t simply about representing cars, but about telling a story.”

Automotive illustrator Guy Allen.

The Foundation provides a pathway into an industry which might otherwise be overlooked, and this should certainly be applauded.

Telling the Story

In order to relay the significance of the automotive craft’s legacy, Guy needed to come up with a design that would describe it all in a single image. “The relationship between the apprentice and the mentor was central to the poster illustration. We sketched out some different scenarios, and once the right approach had been agreed, it was down to the details.” It is safe to say Guy succeeded in evoking a strong narrative for the Founders Poster. He attributes some of this success to the many experiences he’s had working for clients in the automotive field as well as his own artistic expertise. “My style is often described as a mix of retro illustration with modern techniques. In that respect, it’s a good fit for a forward-thinking organization dealing with classic vehicles.”

Supporting the Piston Foundation

Guy is the type of artist who enjoys his craft just as much as he enjoys the subjects he illustrates. It’s because of his experiences with both art and automobiles that he can appreciate the work done by automotive craftsmen. “It’s always inspiring to watch someone execute their chosen craft to perfection, particularly if it falls outside your own skillset. I’m no mechanic, so I have great respect for anyone who has acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to work in this field.”

Guy also understands the important role the Piston Foundation plays in the car industry as very few of today’s youths are even aware of the opportunities available to them. “The Foundation provides a pathway into an industry which might otherwise be overlooked,” he says. “And this should certainly be applauded.”

What Comes Next?

Time certainly is of the essence when it comes to the future of the classic cars. Guy sees that our relationship with automobiles will continue to change as technology improves, but that doesn’t mean our appreciation for culture and history has to change with it. “It’s inevitable that over time, combustion engine cars will be outnumbered by EVs. Owning and running a piston-driven classic will become the preserve of the enthusiast. But there’s clearly plenty of enthusiasm left, so the industry will need a steady supply of skilled individuals to keep the wheels turning.”

Join the Founders Club

Become a Founder and help students and apprentices find their way to the education and training they want, and the fulfilling careers they deserve! Together, we can propel skilled trade education to the next level and empower young people to forge rewarding careers that will protect and sustain the collector car heritage. Visit our website to donate.

Early Poster Sketches

A look at the ideas and sketches that created this year’s poster, called Making Progress.

Support skilled trade education for future auto restoration technicians.


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