Dayton, Art Center invite Craftsman’s Guild to show exotic models

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Some of the models created when future car designers were aspiring students | Larry Edsall photos
Some of the models created when future car designers were aspiring students | Larry Edsall photos

Motorama-era car designers weren’t the only ones who were creating futuristic automotive dream machines. From 1930 through 1968, the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild, a competition for high school and college students, identified many of the stylists who would go on to work in the various automakers’ studios.

Craftsman’s Guild participants created 1/12-scale model cars of their own design. The best were rewarded with scholarship money that, for many, led them to professional careers.

The models draw a lot of attention when put on display
The models draw a lot of attention when put on display

Many of those artists or their surviving families still cherish those models, and a few have become part of the permanent collection of The Smithsonian Institution. Occasionally, the guildsmen gather for reunions or are invited to events to showcase their models.

In 2016, two such events have asked the guildsmen to display their models — September 18 at the Dayton Concours d’Elegance in Ohio and October 23 at the Art Center Car Classic, the annual car show at the country’s leading automotive design school in Pasadena, California.

Previously, such gatherings have been held at the General Motors Tech Center (2004), the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (2008), in Phoenix (2013), and last year in Salt Lake City.

Hand-built models show amazing detail
Hand-built models show amazing detail
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.