This General Motors Craftsman’s Guild Napoleonic coach contest model was made by Emil Kostron in 1932. It was donated by Ron and Sandy Kostron. The model coach won the 1st place in the Paintcraft division of the Indiana regional finals. Also included is a photo of Emil Kostron at the age he built the model. 

Ron Kostron noted the following about his father:

“Emil Kostron, was the ultimate perfectionist. He could do most anything with his hands, a self taught jack of all trades from the old school. He often proclaimed that if you can’t do it right the first time, don’t do it at all. Growing up, I remember him studying books on watch making and then going off to Indianapolis to take the exam to get his watchmakers certificate. He took a lot of pride  in everything he did. During the day he worked at Kraus Jewelers in Gary, Indiana repairing clocks and watches. He would come home, have supper, get a few hours of sleep and go off to work the 11-7 shift at US Steel’s sheet and tin works as an instrument repairman. He claimed to only need 4 hours of sleep but I suspect he had a place in his repair room to catnap a little.

He had a work bench in our basement that was always neat & tidy. Every tool had its place and was back in its place when he was done with it. I recall his 1937 Plymouth 4 -door. When he would come home for lunch,  I’d meet him down at the end of the alley and he would let me ride on the running board back up to the house. He took such good care of that car. Once I watched him pull the straight-6 engine out and rebuild it right there in the garage. That car got washed and waxed so many times that when in 1956 he traded it in for a new Ford Fairlane, no one would believe that it had its original paint. It was still pretty much like new. He wanted both me and my sister to go to college so we would have good jobs and not have to work in the steel mill and live in Gary. It was his idea that I should go to pharmacy school and my sister should be a teacher. He worked 2 jobs for over 20 years with the goal of sending his 2 children to college. I am so grateful.”

Exhibit added: October 2, 2012 - Last modified: May 3, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship