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Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:04 am
Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:10 am
I'm pretty sure this is the one that used to always be parked on Moorpark in Sherman Oaks:
I haven't seen it for a year or two. I miss driving by and seeing it. LOVED the design, but I always wondered just what the heck it was. Now I know! Thanks!
Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:10 pm
GM Futurliner tour bus
By David Pescovitz
David Pescovitz: This General Motors Futurliner was one of only 12 such vehicles ever built. They were introduced in 1940 as part of GM's "Parade of Progress," spun out of the 1933-34 World's Fair, themed "A Century Of Progress." There are nine known Futurliners that have survived. Three are in operating condition, including this 1950 model which sold at an auction last week for US$4,320,000. From the vehicle Web site:
Their sides opened up to form 16-foot self-contained, fully-lighted exhibits and stages which allowed the large crowds to tour the displays at their own pace. Many of the displays were animated and ran continuously. In the 1954 "Parade of Progress" the Futurliners' animated displays showed the evolution of communities, high compression engines and an automobile assembly line. Others displayed a cutaway jet engine, household appliances, powdered metal technology, "binaural" sound, microwave cooking, Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild concept car models and precision measurement technology among many others.
The Futurliners are imposing vehicles, 33 feet long, 8 feet wide and standing 11 feet 7 inches tall at the top of the driver's canopy. The driver's eyes are about 10 feet off the ground and in front of the steering wheels. In 1953 the driver's position was modified with a closed roof and air conditioning; the 1940 bubble-top version sat atop the front-mounted engine with no shade or air conditioning and was like riding in a heated greenhouse. Dual tires on both the front and rear axles were a unique Futurliner feature that made power steering a necessity. Power was provided by a 302 cubic inch inline six-cylinder GMC gasoline engine driving through a four-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission used in Korean War-era Army trucks.
Link (Thanks, Jason Tester!)
Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:57 am
I was watching a little of the Barrett Jackson automobile auction late at night over the weekend on the Speed Channel. They mentioned staying tuned for the sale of the GM Futureliner. Unfortuantely I was watching the inside of my eyelids by the time it came around to that one. They seem to rebroadcast that show pretty often, so I might watch for it.
More about the GM Futureliner
Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:08 am
Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:14 pm
Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:08 am
Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:16 am
Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:47 pm
Without bothering to check, I'm guessing the Bonneville concept must be 1953 -- as it has a very Corvette-concept-like front end, and that (those -- the Nomad wagon and a fast-back coupe accompanied the first Corvette show car) was 1953, wasn't it ?
I had (assembled ?) a plastic model of this car, I think -- it was a dark blue or green -- I guess like the real thing. I'd completely blanked on the vertical "Continental" spare, though !
So, the Futureliners were still going strong then -- I wonder if I would have seen them (also forgotten) at one of the mid-fifties Motoramas I attended at the New York Armory (is that right ?).
Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:23 pm
I came across this short five minute video of the GM Futureliners on another website. It is worth watching!
The video does mention the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild model-building contests!
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:01 pm
Just came across this thread (I've never ventured into the "Modern Transportation" part before!) and just had to throw my two cents in.
Several years back the Futureliner mentioned in Deanna B's earlire post was on display at a street fair-slash-auto show in Van Nuys. The owner was offering tours for a couple bucks a person, so I my then-girlfriend and I went up inside to check it out.
It was rather dark and quite cramped inside (it felt much smaller inside than it did outside) but it truly felt like I had stepped into a completely different world! I didn't have my camera with me at the time (I didn't even know they were having a car show until I got there) but I really wish I had. The streamlined curves--inside and out--were a sight to behold.
If any of you ever get the chance to see a Futureliner in person, bribe the driver/owner as much as you have to in order to get inside. You'll never forget the experience!
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:33 pm
It certainly is an interesting beast -- the closest thing to a road locomotive that we'll probably ever see. I'm amazed that I came from the era when these vehicles were made and I never heard of them until MRU showed us these pictures. I'd love to see one in the flesh. . .
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:25 am
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:32 am
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:29 pm
I think my hair would turn red and stand on end if I saw this thing coming at me ! It makes the average SUV seem like a low rider. Really, it's impressive.
The perfectly round wheel arches and that major corrugated aluminum (?) cladding are gorgeous. Is the curb-side front door the entry ?
Wait -- ONE windshield wiper ??
Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:20 am
Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:23 pm
Spotted the Valdez Futurliner sitting in a storage lot in Canoga Park/Chatsworth today! I had been wondering what happened to it.
If anyone is interested, it's north of Parthenia on Eton Ave. (between Canoga & De Soto).
Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:22 pm