RESUME/ABOUT                        Metalsmith DWIGHT H. BENNETT


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R&T Magazine (February 2001) said:

"Dwight Bennett:  Designer of the Road & Track Trophy"

By age six, my father started taking me to dealerships to see the new cars at each September’s rollout.  I was enticed

by the metal ornamentation on automobiles:  Emblems, grills, handles, knobs and hood ornaments.  Eventually I started to

appreciate similar embellishments on architectural façades.

For whatever reason after college, I started attracting clients who would approach me, picture in hand, to custom-make

or reproduce some intricate piece of hardware.  The photographs they generally offered were most often pictures of entire

automobiles or entire buildings—from which I was supposed to determine the detail on say, a door handle!  I found an

abysmal nonexistence of detail photographs of specific pieces of hardware, so I began building a personal visual resource

file:  A huge quantity of close-up photographs of metal ornamentation, whatever the source, so that I might have that one

close-up photograph I needed for when that need came.


From Indiana State University:

Master of Fine Arts, Metalsmithing (essentially silversmithing and/or goldsmithing)

Bachelor of Science, Geography (emphasis in cartography and meteorology)

Since College:

I moved to Long Beach.  In California, I combined my whole life's interest in automobiles with my relatively new

interest in jewelry design by producing high quality sterling silver key rings catering to the niche market of owners of high-

end, exotic automobiles.  I sold through automotive dealers, galleries, retailers, boutiques and catalogue companies for a

dozen years.

Simultaneously, I was making custom photo props, one-off car emblems, hand-wrought sterling hollowware,

accessories with/without corporate logos, public art, photo-etched plaques (like those used on trophies) which led to

designing and producing the coveted ‘The Car We Would Most Like to Drive’ trophy that Road & Track Magazine gives at

major automotive events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

each year.

From Pebble Beach, I acquired a new genre of clientele who sought my advice on restoration or reproduction of difficult

one-off antique automobile parts that required problem solving or special attention to detail.  Then came custom

architecturally oriented interior accessories, exterior façade detail and historic conservation.

Partial List of Clients:

I have proudly produced directly or indirectly for these, amongst others:

●Ruf Automobile  ●Road & Track Magazine  ●Toyota Racing Development

●Anadarko Petroleum Corp.  ●Honda Research America  ●General Motors Corp.

●Editel Pty Ltd.  ●Automobile Magazine’s Larry Crane and Richard Pietruska

●Nethercutt Collection  ●U.S. Customs Service (‘ICE’)  ●(Dean) Siracusa Productions

●Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories  ●(John) Willhoit Auto Restoration  ●(Dick) Troutman Ltd.

●R. Straman Co.  ●(Dick) Guldstrand  ●Freehand Gallery  ●The Historic Rancho Los Alamitos

●Lili Lakich  ●The Found Theatre and a multitude of other companies, nonprofits, artists,

galleries and private collectors.

"My expertise for over thirty years has come from challenging research, repair,

restoration, reproduction and problem solving for clients with discriminating and

specialized needs."

In 1993, U.S. Customs Service (ICE) discovered I had an innate ability to do a specialized, onsite covert activity that

aided special agents in the field.  ‘Customs’ used my services regularly through 2007, when Homeland Security changed

their priorities.

In 2007, I was contacted to repair some extraordinarily ornate exterior coach pulls from a 1947 Rolls-Royce

Saoutchik Sedanca Coupé.  These pulls were so abused and damaged, that I suggested they be left for posterity and

then reproduced.  After my dedication to high quality detailed restoration was recognized, I was brought onto the team that

was renovating the car.  In addition to replacing the ornate coach pulls, they wanted me to research and replace about

thirty-five pieces or pairs of original hardware that was completely lost or unaccounted for.  I was given several

contemporaneous, fuzzy black and white photographs of the entire car from which I was to determine all this visual detail (a

particularly good example of no close-up pictures).  With research, I was able to hypothesize and later confirm most all the

hardware’s ‘look’ by observing other Saoutchik-bodied cars of the era in private collections.  My next step involved

sculpting quality reproductions that would be unquestioningly accepted as original to the car.

Additionally, I have done a decade of consultation and conservation work restoring, repairing, fabricating parts for,

and reproducing or locating ‘new old stock’ architectural hardware (while thoroughly documenting everything I’ve done and

why) for the non-profit Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch in Los Angeles County, CA.

Published Photos:

This is an incomplete listing of published images of my work; the majority of the following are without credits to me per se:

Road & Track, December 2009, p. 80 (x2)

Road & Track, December 2008, pp. 114 (x3), 115 (x2)

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Program, August 2008, p. 161

Road & Track, June 2008, p. 103

Road & Track, January 2008, p. 13 (x2)

Road & Track, December 2007, pp. 101, 112

Road & Track, December 2005, p. 11 (x2)

Road & Track, September 2005, p. 156

Road & Track, February 2002, p. 11

Road & Track, February 2001, pp. 21, 104

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Program, R&T advertisement, August 2000, p. 43

Road & Track, July 1999, p. 30

Los Angeles Times, September 18, 1998, p. E3/E SE

Automobile Magazine, February 1998, Cover and pp. 9, 54, 60, 64, 67, 70

Road & Track, June 1997, p. 23

Road & Track 50th Anniversary Calendar, 1997, Cover

Road & Track, December 1996, p. 100

Road & Track, July 1996, pp. 20, 23 (x2)

MOPAR Xpressions, January/February 1993, p. 19

Import Automotive Parts & Accessories, August 1989, p. 69

Road & Track, July 1989, Cover and pp. 2, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50

Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone, July 1989, p. 34

Modern Jeweler, March 1989, p. 88

Modern Jeweler, February 1989, p. 166

Import Automotive Parts & Accessories, October 1988, p. 28

The Goldsmith, August 1988, p. 50

Jewelers’ Circular Keystone, August 1988, p. 90

D Magazine Advertisement, for June 1986 issue

Motor Trend, January 1986, p. 24

Road & Track, July 1984, pp. 42-43, 45-49

Import Automotive Parts & Accessories, September 1983, p. 43

Orange Coast, January 1983, p. 147

Porsche Pandemonium, Grand Prix Motor Boutique advertisement, December 1982, p. 15

Video Broadcast:

Speedvision:  Classics #28, Coverage of the Aug. 16, 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

@ 15:40, My Road & Track “The Car We Would Most Like To Drive” Trophy is jubilantly shown off by the

passenger of its winner, Bill Perrone of Huntington Beach, CA for his 1955 1500

RS 550 Porsche Spyder as he drives off the reviewing stand.


Reliable Motoring Accessories, 1989, p. 3

Auto Show Motoring Accessories, December 1984, p. 21

Reliable Motoring Accessories, Fall and Winter 1984, p. 10

Reliable Motoring Accessories, Spring and Summer 1984, p. 19

Reliable Motoring Accessories, Fall and Winter 1983, p. 16

Anything Ltd., December 1982, p. 17


My emphasis to commercial art after grad school has led to a short, unconventional exhibition record:

Methods of Reproducing Rare Automotive Parts, The Murphy Auto Museum, Oxnard, CA, 2013

Microcars:  The Minimum In Motoring, Invitational, ThePetersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles,


Of the Earth: Glass, Wood, Fiber, Clay, Metal & Stone, Juried, The Second City Council, Long

Beach, CA., 2006-2007, 2nd Place Cash Award

Motion and Sound, Juried, The Second City Council, Long Beach, CA., 2005, 3rd Place Cash Award

Ten @ Wille’s Tin, Invitational, The Second City Council, Long Beach, CA., 2005

America, Juried, The Second City Council, Long Beach, CA., 2001

Exemplary Contemporary, Juried, University of California Santa Cruz, 1999

Village Fusion, Invitational, The Historic Armory Building, Long Beach, CA., 1998

The Automobile in Art, Juried, Long Beach Arts, Long Beach, CA., 1996, Honorable Mention

Metals Invitational, Turman Gallery, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN., 1985

St. Louis Silversmiths, Invitational, Adjunct to the Yale University’s Silver in American Life Exhibition,

St. Louis Art Museum, 1980-1981

Sterling Silver Design Competition, Juried, Lever House, New York City, 1978

Indiana Crafts 1978, Juried, Indianapolis Museum of Art, IMA Craft Shop (2nd Place) Cash Award

Society of North American Goldsmiths Exhibition, Juried, Phoenix Art Museum, and in Henry Gallery,

University of Washington, Seattle, 1977

Gallery Affiliations Through Time:

Freehand Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Automotive Emporium, Dallas, TX

Contemporary Images, Los Angeles, CA

del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Allan Adler, La Jolla, CA

Concepts Gallery, Carmel, CA

Craft Alliance Gallery, St. Louis, MO

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