GM’s Great Talent Search


The FBCG provided labels and specs for constructing a shipping box. One of my models took a long time to return. “CA” was mistaken for “GA” so it traveled to Georgia on its route back to California. This was before ZIP codes.


A reunion of many participants in the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild was held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, January 18 and 19. Models representing the ’50s through the ’70s were on display. There was a lot of interest; the display area was constantly crowded. John Jacobus, author of the two FBCG books, was also there. Ron Will, FBCG National Award Winner, former GM Designer, and creator of the Turbo Phantom, did an outstanding job organizing the event.

I recognized several designs I remember drooling over as a teenager from several of the Guild’s How to Design and Build a Model Car books and other publications, so it was a real treat to be able to meet the designers, a renew old acquaintances. This post is a photo essay of the event. Enjoy!

There are several posts about the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild in the Dean’s Garage archives, including scans of many original publications.

There were many photos taken at the event. Send me your photos for a future post!

The Arizona Republic ran two articles about the reunion, one on January 7, and another on January 15.



January 18


January 19


January 20

  1. Paul Aitchison

    Very Interesting. Where are all the 16, 17 & 18 year olds, mentioned on the display tags? All I see in the pictures are old men ;>) lol

    What materials were used to make the various models? IE; What was used for the excelent chrome pieces?

  2. Gary,
    Thanks for not letting any grass grow in the parking lot, what with getting these great pictures of the 2013 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild REUNION
    posted for all to see post haste. Those of us Guildsmen who were unable to attend can at least appreciate what appears to have been a great show and gathering of Guildsmen and their fine models from all over the country. The pictures are very telling, and the models and their builders have survived the test of time quite well. This showing has not only made history, it is also preserving the rich history of the FBCGuild for future generations to discover, appreciate and learn from.

    Congratulations to Ron Will’s efforts for a ‘job well done!’ All the hard work paid off Ron!

    John M. Mellberg
    FBCGuild Alumnus
    ’66 2nd National, Sr.

  3. So many of these would fit right in in today.

  4. Rogerio Machado

    Really a fantastic event. I want to see in person some day… Congratulations.

  5. Thanks for the great photos and coverage of the beautiful FBCG cars. I still have all of my original instruction sheets, templates, rules and yearly applications from the 1950s and 1960s. I have managed to save one original FBCG car built by a friend and I have several unfinished cars that I began in my teen years. I salute anyone who was able to actually complete one of these cars. It was a lot of work and expense for a teenager back then.

    I miss those times dearly!

  6. So many great designs, what an amazing thing to get these people and models together in one place… Hope this becomes a yearly event… I think it would be enough to get me to start going to Scottsdale again.

  7. Walter Gomez

    Excellent! It’s great to see some models that I recognize from the FBCG instruction sheets!

  8. John Barbour

    Really great to see about this reunion – I wish I had known about it – I would have been there with at least a couple of cars. I won a number of first state wards over a few years in the mid-sixties and a regional and National Design Award with scholarship back in 65 along with the 3-day trip to Detroit for the annual convention. Almost went into car design at that time but ended up in architecture.
    How can I learn about the next reunion? or get on a list of some sort?

  9. Awesome cars and great shots of them, hope I can go to the next show!
    Rob in SF

  10. Now that there have been 3 FBCGuild REUNIONS, the first in 2004, held at GM Design & Eyes on Design, the 2nd in 2008, held in Boston, and now the 2013 Reunion held in AZ, quite a number of models have survived the time since their creation. It would make for a great Dean’s Garage showing to pictorially reveal all of these models as they exist today, preserving the images of these wonderful models. Perhaps even the printing of a booklet documenting these model cars and the 3 Reunion events is in order?

    John M. Mellberg
    FBCGuild Alumnus
    1966 2nd National, Sr.
    Automotive Designers Guild

  11. Tom Weber


    Thank you to all the FBCG Members who created these MAGNIFICENT works and saved them all these years for this special exhibit. There are at least another 60 years’ worth of design inspiration for future vehicles within this collection, alone!

    I am particularly interested in the undercarriages of the models, the techniques of making the tires, and how the chrome wheels/hubcaps/trim were fabricated. Also, would you explain how the plastic windscreens and “glass” elements were made?

    Will you please also show each FBCG member posing with his own sculpted creation with his identity/name tag clearly visible? Each one of these artists deserve recognition for their achievements.

    Again, MORE! MORE! MORE!

    PS– My female work colleague inquires if there were any girls/women who submitted car models during the Guild’s decades of competition.

  12. Charles McInerney

    I entered the Fisher body contest in both 1955 and 1956. I still have the cars, both came in 2nd in Arizona in their respective years. I had no idea that there was any interest left.

  13. The 2013 Guild Reunion in Scottsdale at the Talking Stick Hotel with a 2-day public model display nearby at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix was a real blast. Guildsmen attended from all over the country including Hawaii. Many national scholarship award winning models were on display making this a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. A number of Guildsmen who became professional auto designers also attended with their Guild designs. Having the Guild model display at the same venue as the R&M auto auction was pure marketing genius. The audience (foot traffic) and the exhibitors were very compatible. We thank you Ron Will for a very well planned/executed and memorable reunion. Also, thank you John M. Mellberg for the 2004 Guild Reunion you organized with Charles M. “Chuck” Jordan at the GM Tech Center. Tom W. Graboski designed and produced 2004 and 2008 Guild Reunion books with exhibitor bio-sketches. Plus the MFA Boston produced a hi-quality color catalogue in 2008 for which Ron Will did all the photoshop work.

  14. my name jose cardoso Brito of Portugal have a great admiration for fischers body craftsman guild, to the point of building a replica scale 1/12 of the carriage of Napoleon, boys school, which is on display with my collection of coaches in Cascais Portugal thanks for continuing with the spirit of fischers body craftsman guild. José Brito.

  15. John Barbour you can get on the Guild Reunion Mailing List by contacting John Jacobus

  16. For commenter John Barbour who requested reunion feedback : he was a 1965 Regional & National Styling Scholarship winner in the FBCG competition. The next Guild Reunion will be held October 22-23, 2016 at the Art Center College of Design in conjunction with the Art Center Car Classic. Contact John Jacobus or Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. A formal “Save the Date” notice from ACCD is expected around May 16, 2016.

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