When you see a particularly beautiful piece of pinstriping work, you know you’re seeing something special. Sharp designs done with decals can be nice, but mass production just doesn’t inspire that same little zing you get when you see a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. That’s why learning about Triumph’s master pinstriper, Gary DeWine, is almost like magic. Recently, Bennetts Bike visited DeWine at Hinckley HQ to have a chat and shoot this video.
DeWine is a fourth-generation Triumph employee. His dad, granddad, and great-granddad all worked for various generations of the company long before Gary got there. In 1976, he got his first job at Triumph, in the paint shop. Originally, he wanted to get into the machining and engineering side, but gradually fell in love with pinstriping over time.
In 2021, DeWine is The Man when it comes to pinstriping at Triumph. Only six operators throughout the world can do the pinstriping work that he does for various Triumph models, and guess what? He’s also the one who trained everyone else. Although he’s about 60, DeWine says he’d happily continue doing this job into his 80s if Triumph will have him. You know that old saying about how if you find the right job, you’ll never work a day in your life? It sounds like DeWine could be the guy who’s living it.
If you’re thinking of getting into pinstriping, DeWine says a lot of whether you’re good at it depends on your temperament and patience. If you’re willing to keep working at it, and practice every day for months, then you might start to get somewhere. However, if you find it boring and your mind wanders, it’s probably not the job for you.
As for special equipment, DeWine relies on special squirrel hair brushes to do his work, which are imported from the U.S. He says that if you take care of them and keep them oiled, they’ll pretty much last forever—and that his current set is probably between 15 and 20 years old. The right tools, technique, and mindset are what’s needed if you want to be a solid pinstripe artist.
One other interesting thing you may or may not know: If DeWine or one of the other Triumph pinstripers has painted your tank, each artist signs their work at the base of the tank. If you have a special-edition model with pinstriping, lift up your seat and check that little bracket where the tank attaches, just under the front of the saddle. If it says “Gaz D,” it was done by Triumph’s own modern master.