Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Model Car, 1955

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This is the automobile model that was entered in the 1955 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild contest by Gilbert C. McArdle of Salt Lake City, Utah. He was awarded a $150 prize in the Senior Division as a state and regional winner. The wooden model has chrome trim at its front and rear with a strip running along the lower end of the car. The car has headlights and taillights that are made with white and red plastic. The car has a translucent canopy made of acrylic plastic.
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
McArdle, Gilbert
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 19 in x 6 in x 5 in; 48.26 cm x 15.24 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gilbert McArdle
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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