A repairman's day By: Andrew Spoon

On a street like any other, this old fashioned repair shop is nestled within the heart of the Piqua Ohio community. Although it may not seem like much at first glance, inside houses a man that exemplifies the passions and dreams of small town America. Busy workbenches and cluttered spaces reflect this mans work ethic in that appearances do not matter as long as the work gets done in a timely and quality manner.
Owner and manager, 55 year old Allen Guillozet, specializes in the meticulous practice of rewiring cars and replacing alternators. On this day, Allen found himself working on a project by special request. He can be seen here discussing with a customer the steps he will take to repair the wiring of this car in the hopes of eventually showing it at local car shows. The age of the 1950s sports car poses a unique set of challenges for Allen, but this does not stop him from taking on the job.

Like a seasoned veteran, Allen approaches the job methodically. He cuts no corners and certainly doesn't rush. In the same way that artist approach their pieces on a canvas, he approaches the wire work under the hood. The step by step nature of his work may take longer, but it assures quality.

As the day went on, Allen attempted to start the vehicle multiple times. Finally, On his third try, a thundering roar filled the automotive shop and the car had started. With no thought of noise, Allen revved the engine over and over again to assure his success with the running engine. A brief cheer ensued and Allen felt that he could finally take a step back for awhile and work on something else.

The victory of finally starting the car gave him the opportunity to catch up with an old friend from the community. The shop frequently houses vehicles that range from high end sports cars, rust buckets, and even ATVs. Seen here is the 1950s sports. Because of the wide range of vehicles there's never a shortage of work to be done, but Allen doesn't let that stop him from forming relationships and talking to friends on the job. Allen prides himself on the fact that Automotive Armature is a word of mouth establishment with a customer base rooted in trust and community.
Piles of alternators like this are a common occurrence at Automotive Armature. Seen here is a pile still in need of processing. On the other end of the garage lies finished, untouched, broken and fixed alternator piles. From an outside perspective it could seem impossible to keep everything straight or even find anything you need. However, this auto shop and everything in it is second nature to Allen. Years worth of time spent here has allowed him to practically memorize every nut, bolt, alternator and everything in-between. To Allen, it's about being able to quickly pickup whatever he needs regardless of aesthetics.
When he's not leaning underneath the hood of a car or catching up with friends, he's ordering parts online. For Allen, this is the most necessary part of the job, but definitely not the most fun. This process requires him to first find the broken part among the sea of tools and equipment. Luckily for Allen, he knows the place like the back of his hand and has no trouble finding what he needs.
Allen's technical skills aren't exclusive to cars. Every Sunday on his free time he volunteers at a church to run their sound system. No matter where Allen is spending his time, the shop seems to stay with him; like a sort of, "natural" tattoo. It's rare to see Allen without a faded layer of grease on his hands. This grease is accompanied with rough cracks that seem to illustrate a lifetime of hard work.

Outside of the shop, Allen has two grown children. If possible, he would spend every waking moment with them. However, Allen doesn't allow the business of auto work to interfere with his family life. Seen above is the pride and joy of Allen's life, his new granddaughter, Dakota. "If there's not a wrench or a clump of wires in my hand i'm usually holding Dakota." Allen said.

Here's one storage area of Automotive Armature that is designated as the, "wrench space." The "spaces" inside the shop tend to carry over from one to another. As you can see here, many tools and pieces that aren't wrenches have found their way onto the table. This trend is held up no matter where you happen to look.

Seemingly endless shelf units line the walls of the garage. In some form or another, all the equipment at Automotive Armature will find a way to stain your hands. "It's real dirty work." Allen said.

Towards the end of Allen's work day he is performing the final touches on a customers car. He does these tune ups dozens of times a day so he can practically work with his eyes closed. It's not uncommon for Allen to be in the midst of working on a car with his head in the opposite direction talking to a friend.
Allen Guillozet's days are spent inside of an old, cluttered shop, on a street corner like any other in Piqua Ohio. Regardless of how this place looks on the outside or inside, Allen has managed to make it into a home. He finds joy in the small things and doesn't let business get into the way of his relationships or ethics. Work to Allen is an outlet for him to express his own form of art for all who work with him. For this repairman, day to day life is full of love, laughter and meaningful victories.

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