Fisher Body Craftman's Guild
The Fisher Body Craftman's Guild was opened to teenage boys throughout the United States from 1930 to 1968. It consisted of competition ranging from building from scratch the Napoleonic coach that was the symbol of Fisher Body to building models of future cars. At its' height it was second only to the Boy Scouts in nationwide membership. Over 8 million American teenage boys - over the period that the program existed - participated in the Fisher Body Craftman's Guild with college scholarship money and trophies for the top modelers. Many of these young Americans went on to study aspects of the American automotive industry.
It is sad GM did away with the program after 1968 since that segment of the population is precisely the one they are having the most difficulty in reaching. A modern version of the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild could be a valuable method of bring young Americans back to the GM showrooms and new car dealer lots. With today's technology, these young Americans might teach the designers at GM a few things about design concepts for the future, and also help GM recapture a spot in the education and imagination of Americans once again in the design and development of the best cars in the world. A new and improved program would be much more than drawing pads, glue, and paint than the one I participated in at the conclusion of 1968. And it would most certainly have female participants, which was the not the case during the duration of the Fisher Body Craftman's Guild.
It was a program that was ahead of its time and one that should be reinstituted if General Motors is to once again recapture its rightful place among the greatest automobile manufacturers. It was educational, interesting, and above all fun to participate in, which is sorely missing from GM in 2009.
Danny L. McDaniel
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild, 1968 Honorable Mention