by Ron Will
The Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild contest was promoted by GM Design genius Harley Earl as a way to seek out young talented car designers. Young men from 11 to 20 years old were challenged to build 1/12 scale car models of their own design. The reward for the best designs were college scholarships and a chance at landing a job in the prestigious GM Design studios. Thousands of models were entered over the years. For hundreds it was the first step toward an automotive career.
During the 1950s and 1960s GM Styling or Fisher Body bought several hundred of these 1/12 scale Fisher Body contest model cars from their teen age builders. These were then used to promote the Guild Design contest at department stores, Motorama Shows, schools. and in the GM Futureliner Bus tours. Most of the models purchased were top national or regional winners. Several winners did not want to sell their models, so GM made casting replicas of them to display with other models.
All of these models have since disappeared without a trace. Were they destroyed, given to employees, or are they still hidden in deep storage somewhere in the GM archives? If they were stored, they would probably have been stored in their shipping boxes. It’s hard to believe that these treasures of design would have been thrown out. These are two of the missing models are the 1st place winners from 1954 and 1955.
If anyone has any information on what might have happened to these models, please contact Dean’s Garage. It is one of the unsolved mysteries of the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild. Note: Neither the GM Archives and Special Collections or the GM Heritage Center has any idea where the models disappeared to.