The Fisher Body Craftsman Guild -- An Illustrated History, By John L. Jacobus published by McFarland & Company, Inc., July 2005. Contains 171 period-vintage photographs, 330 pages, hardbound.

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ISBN: 978-0-7864-1719-3
[Old ISBN: 0-7864-1719-6]
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Review by
Old Cars Weekly, August 23, 2005
Old Cars Weekly
August 23, 2005
Review of 'The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild -- An Illustrated History', by John L. Jacobus in Old Cars Weekly, August 23, 2005
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T R A N S C R I P T    O F    R E V I E W
By Gerald Perschbacher

Most boys who were raised during the golden years of American automobile history knew exactly what the impact was of the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild. Stretched over four decades (1930-1968) the guild ignited wholesome competition among potential engineers and designers with the goal of receiving college scholarships. General Motors backed the project.

So this hardbound, 331-page book on the subject tells the story, gives background information, and provides insights on the overall impact of the guild. Author John L. Jacobus is a retired auto engineer and notes some important names of guild competitors who became auto designers, such as Virgil Exner and Charles Jordan. The book relates interesting tales and tidbits about the contest. Example: In 1963 more than 65 percent of participants were in senior high (ages 16 to 18).

The author notes, "In 1946 the sons of GM employees submitted 19 models and won four prizes, and in 1947, the sons of GM employees submitted 44 models and won 12 prizes." By 1960 there were 158 awards in six national regions, so GM families did not dominate the competition.

Just about every major aspect of the guild competition is revealed in this book, in interesting and informative manner. About 150 photos-many in color-amplify the text and let the reader see the scope of models that had been made. You can discover how the guild was formed in 1908 and how it turned to the model contest per the idea of Fisher's advertising agency in the late 1920s. In the kickoff year, 32 chapters of the guild were formed across the U.S. A beloved portion of the competition was the building of a winning Napoleonic Coach, the symbol for Body by Fisher.

More than you could probably ever expect to learn about the contest is contained in this marvelous book, highly recommended for any car enthusiast's bookshelf. Price: $49.95; order from McFarland Publishing Company by calling (800) 253-2187 (www.mcfarlandpub.com).

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