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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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March 2006 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Building Dreams
By Robert McLellan
 
   
The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild
AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
By John L. Jacobus

Contact the author by e-mail and tell him that you read
about the book at The Automotive Chronicles
for a 20% discount off the retail price.
   

It has been a thrill to be associated with John Jacobus and his book. Because of my personal interest in the subject I wanted to be sure it received the public exposure it deserved and I have written two articles about it previously. But the book has taken off on its own power. It has invigorated the memories of thousands of former Guild participants and those who were associated with the Guild. The reviews are in and they are appearing everywhere. Patrick Bedard, "Car and Driver's" Editor-at-Large wrote a full page review in the March 2006 issue. If you have not read his glowing review, please take the time to do so.

The author's reaction?

"...You can't possibly buy that kind of publicity and I feel extremely fortunate that a top auto magazine took another look at the FBCG. As we both agree (think), the Guild is not mainstream or mass market, but a highly specialized niche. I liked that... finding the old carved block of word in the barn approach... 'Let me have that...' and then '...carving out a career'. A clever writer..."

Automotive design entered a period of rapid evolution in the mid-1930s, transforming utilitarian boxes into aerodynamic works of art. The bioplane became the monoplane and then the jet plane. By the late 1950s even cars had sprouted wings (fins). By the end of the 1960s cars had once again become conservative.

The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild flourished during the transformation period. Teenagers looked at Detroit's latest offerings and said, "I can do better". Few of these students of design knew of the masters — GM's Bill Mitchell, Studebaker's Raymond Loewy, Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg's Gordon Buehrig and others. They just wanted to design cars. Drawing in study halls and at home, they began to build Fisher Body Guild models.

For many of us the best automotive book for 2005 was The Fisher Body Guild: An Illustrated History. Looking at later production models, many of us believe we may have had an influence on GM in some way. The shape of the grille, or the chrome trim, looked familiar. Maybe we did.

 
GM Concepts from the Late 1930s
 
 
         
 
         
 
         

 
Concept Cars from the 1950s and 60s
 
 
 
   
   
 
 
 
 
   
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
 
 
   
 

Yes, some of us did influence the future designs of automobiles. Jacobus' book tells the story of many top Guildsmen who had careers in automotive design. 107 pages are devoted to the top competitors' success stories, plus photographs of their models. Learn about how they accomplished their goals in creating the car of their dreams and how doing so lead them down the path to a career in automotive design, or into careers that were influenced by their Guild accomplishments.

Related articles
Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild, The Automotive Chronicles - October 2005
Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Reunion, The Automotive Chronicles - November 2004

 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, March 2006
 
 
 
 
 
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