Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Trophy

Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Trophy

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This trophy was awarded to Richard R. John of Arlington, Virginia as a regional winner in the junior division for his entry in the 1963 Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild contest. Richard John entered a sleek blue metallic sports car in 1964 that earned him the $5,000 first place national scholarship.
The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild contest was divided into junior (ages 12-16) and senior (ages 17-21) divisions. Winning designs from the state level would then compete in one of 20 regions. A junior and senior division winner was selected from each region to advance to the national level to compete for scholarships. General Motors awarded four scholarships in each division; first prize was a $5,000 scholarship, second $4,000, third $3,000 and fourth $2,000. Additionally, ten $1,000 styling awards could be presented to any model entered, regardless of whether or not it was a state or regional winner. Duplicate awards were presented to the sons of GM employees to remove any prejudice from the judging.
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.
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 3 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in; 20.32 cm x 9.525 cm x 19.05 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Richard B. Siday
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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