Keilman cashes in on talent


Rhian Davis

Junior Taylor Keilman paints the hood of a car in auto collision.

What does a bowling pin, a spray gun, and a pair of fishnet stockings all have in common? These are the items that junior Taylor Keilman used to earn himself $5,000 worth of auto-shop tools in the PiN MASTER challenge.
This year the automotive aftermarket business FinishMaster partnered with CREF, the Collision Repair Education Foundation, to create the first annual PiN MASTER challenge, a competition that allows high school and college students within North America to compete to win highly coveted auto tools. To enter the competition, students were required to take an old bowling pin from a bowling alley, repair the cracks in the surface, and paint a unique design on the pin using automotive paint. After completing the remodeled bowling pin, participants sent their entries to Illinois, where the pins were judged by a panel of collision repair professionals.

It’s definitely going to help me because I don’t have to save up my own money to buy a new paint gun and all the tools.

— Taylor Keilman, junior

Keilman, a Kingwood Park student in the auto collision repair program, chose to take a unique approach to painting his pin. He first sprayed a solid purple color onto the pin as a base, then he applied fishnet stockings to the surface and sprayed on a layer of gold paint. The end result was a smooth and shiny bowling pin that looked as if it were the hide of a mythical golden snake.

Keilman’s snakeskin bowling pin ended up placing third in the contest, a placement that won him a top-of-the-line $4,000 SATA spray gun and a $1,000 toolbox filled with high-quality tools.

“It’s kinda cool,” Jeff Wilson, Keilman’s auto collision teacher, said. “I mean this is across the United States and Canada, and he won third.”

Keilman, who plans to go into the auto collision repair industry after high school, will put the tools to good use. He believes that the gadgets that he has earned from the PiN MASTER challenge will give him an advantage when trying to start his career.

“It’s definitely going to help me because I don’t have to save up my own money to buy a new paint gun and all the tools,” Keilman said. “So now that I have the tools it’s going to be a lot easier for me to have a starting point.”

For students interested in getting involved in auto collision repair, Keilman couldn’t recommend Wilson’s class enough. According to Keilman, the class is a blast and Wilson is “amazing.”

“For people that are looking to join collision repair, I strongly advise it,” Keilman said. “Painting cars is like the most fun I’ve ever had.”