HomeCar CultureVideos make scale-model cars appear to be full size

Videos make scale-model cars appear to be full size

‘Carthropologist’ series on YouTube spreads the word about the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild


model cars, Videos make scale-model cars appear to be full size, ClassicCars.com Journal

Jim Grace is a self-proclaimed “carthropologist.” 

A what?

According to Grace’s Linkedin page, a carthropologiste “seeks to highlight the role and significance of the automobile in our culture, lifestyle and history.”

One of those ways is a YouTube video series he’s doing on the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild, a national automotive design and model-building competition for teenagers that was held from 1930 to 1968. Prizes were scholarships which propelled many to careers in automotive design and engineering, as well as into other arenas.

The cars were done in 1:12 scale and typically were the result of 1,000 hours of work in design, modeling — first in clay, then in making a template so the design could be done in wood — and in painting, finish and trim work detailing. Except for the rubber tires which were supplied to the contestants, all parts were handmade, down to the hubcaps and window trim.

Several automobile museums and a concours or two have displayed the Guildsmen’s work, and Grace is calling attention to the program, it’s models and the people who created them, through his videos.

One amazing thing about the videos is how Grace has been able to use the magic of videography to make the cars appear to be full-scale vehicles. 

He posted the first video, an introduction to the contest and the cars, in the fall of 2020:

And a second in the late summer of 2021. In this one, we see how the cars were designed and created as Guildsman Tony Simone re-creates and his filmmaking daughter, Meghan, documents a car he did but did not enter in the contest. 

Why didn’t he enter the car into the competition back in 1960? Because he also was working on another entry, for which he opted to make his entry, and for which he won a national scholarship award:

Grace’s YouTube series is titled The Amazing Cars of the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


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