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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The Cruisin Chiefs: Manitoba Ponitac Association, Newletter February 2006
The Cruisin Chiefs: Manitoba Ponitac Association, Newletter
February 2006
Review of 'The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild -- An Illustrated History', by John L. Jacobus in The Cruisin Chiefs: Manitoba Ponitac Association, Newletter February 2006
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T R A N S C R I P T    O F    R E V I E W
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
Editor’s note: This is a condensed version of notes from The Automotive Chronicles, as a book review:


The odds are that when you were a teenager you were dreaming of owning a special car. Not just an everyday mode of transportation, but something different that projected your personality. Buying popular magazines and visiting auto dealerships and car shows, you viewed the latest offerings and picked up the sales brochures. Great as the new cars were, the concepts or experimental cars were better. Longer, lower and sleaker, they were magic. They set your mind in motion as to possibilities for the future.

Prior to the Chrysler Airflows and Cord 810/812, most makes differed little other than grille shapes and chrome ornamentation. Suddenly, in the mid-1930s, the influence of aerodynamics was seized from the sleek monoplanes and incorporated into the styling of auto bodywork. The public was enthusiastic and we were all style conscious. Boys were sketching designs in their school notebooks and at home they decorated their bedroom walls with colorful drawings. Designs got wilder in the 1950s with fins and lots of chrome and sculpturing.

The Fisher Body Division of General Motors began in 1930 to encourage teenagers to compete for college scholarships by building Napoleonic coach models. The coach was their trademark and the contest concentrated on following precise instructions
that tested the competitors' construction skills. In 1937 the Fisher Body Guild contest unlocked the dreams of potential designers so they could display what they believed future cars should look like.

In his book, The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild, John Jacobus quotes from the placard in the Guild exhibit case at the Smithsonian Institution, "From 1930 to 1968 millions of boys fascinated by cars joined the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild. About
600,000 members enrolled each year in the 1950s making the Guild second in size only to the Boy Scouts of America for young men." John L. Jacobus previously worked as a Design Engineer for the Fisher Body Division, General Motors Corporation in Warren, Michigan. John studied Industrial Design at the Art Center College of Design in California and at Wayne State University in Detroit. As a youth,
he participated in the Craftsman's Guild from 1961 to 1966. His hobby and passion for the past 40 years has been automobiles, automotive history and automotive
design history. During the past 20 years, John has focused on auto stylists and designers and the collecting of Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild memorabilia. He was also instrumental in a Craftsman's Guild exhibit and collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Neither a textbook nor a dry history, The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild is more like a collection of short stories. The stories of the competitors draw your interest and by the time the book is ended one wonders, "Why did the competition end?" Apparently
no one knows.

At www.FisherGuild.com you will find a more comprehensive review of the book's contents. In brief, if you are interested in auto design, Guild history or
model making, you will enjoy reading this book. Even if you did not compete in the Guild, or have never heard about the Guild, as an automotive enthusiast the odds are you will find this book fascinating.

To learn more about the history of Fisher Body Divisions, GMC and the famous Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild (1930-1968) public relations program see:


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