Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Model Car, 1961

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This is the automobile model entered in the 1961 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Contest by 15-year-old James W. Green of Ohio. He was awarded the third-place National Scholarship Award in the Junior Division, a $3,000 prize. The body of the car was made of balsa wood covered by fiberglass, with chrome accents. The cabin has a hollow interior with translucent windows revealing the interior.
From 1930 until 1968, the Fisher Body Division of General Motors sponsored the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild and its annual model-building competition. For the first seven years of the contest, the young men in the Guild built models of a Napoleonic carriage (the Fisher Body logo) to show their high precision skills in craftsmanship. In 1937 the contest expanded to include model automobiles, which became a source of inspiration for new GM automobiles. By 1948 model cars became the only accepted entry for the contest. Winning car models were both practical and stylish original designs made with superior craftsmanship on an exacting 1/12th scale. For General Motors, the competition was a major public relations success while also serving as a type of design aptitude test for the entrants. For the young men of the Guild, the contest was a chance to win scholarships, cash prizes, and an once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses paid trip to Detroit for the regional winners. Designs featured in these models would often presage production automobiles, as many winners went on to work for General Motors or other automotive companies as designers.
Currently not on view
Green, James W.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 15 in x 6 in x 4 in; 38.1 cm x 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
James W. Green
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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