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Randy Treadway

'39-40 Legacy

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More photos found on flickr.com this past week.

The caption says

GM Futurliner. Picture taken in Van Nuys in 1994 near Vanowen and Balboa. This was one of 12 made for the 1939 New York World's Fair .

So what's the story with the GM Futurliner? Have any of you heard of it before?

It looks like if you sliced off and kept just the 'upper' deck, it would look something like the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

Futurliner1.jpg

Futurliner2.jpg

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Hi,

I read that link quickly, but failed to see anything about these actually being at the 1939/40 Fair - just that some were made in 1939/40. Anybody else read or know diffeerently? Were thses at the Fair? I never heard of one there or seen on in photographs or slides.

MB

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Hi all,

Not quite sure either about the Futurliners being from the NYWF. But....

One thing that they said on the website is in 1939 the Futurliner debuted at GM's Parade of Progress. Was that one of the other exhibits in the GM pavilion along with Futurama, and Highways and Horizons?

WorldsFairEnthusiast

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I saw the Van Nuys Futureliner driving around for years-- but it's since been repainted red and white and relocated somewhere else. I know there are several articles posted online about its restoration and owner (who has also been featured on TV) but I've never seen any evidence of them at the 39/40 NYWF.

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The Edmunds article refers to the Futureliner as a bus. However, I don't see any windows or door for passenger entry in the pictures. It looks more like a truck to me. Can anyone clarify?

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The 12 Futureliners were designed to take GM's World's Fair displays on the road to a nationwide audience when the Fair closed in 1940. All 12 were built in 1940.

They were not really buses (not designed for passengers), although they were built on GM's bus assembly line. They were built with fold-up walls on the sides for displays.

Read these articles:

http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bv/futurliner.htm

I like the video in this one, especially the dioramas that flip over to show future infrastructure upgrades.

http://www.jeffjobin.com/futurliner/

The most detailed report, this one says the first show using the new Futurliners and NYWF exhibits hit the road in February 1941, with the first show in Miami, Florida. That would make sense, since they probably needed some time after the World's Fair closed, to adapt the Futurama exhibits to a traveling display. Were any of the Futurliners 'shown off' by GM at the World's Fair in late 1940 as they came off the assembly line? Don't know.

http://www.busmag.com/PDF/futurliners.pdf

GM_Futurliner_DV_07_CC_02.jpg

50_GMC_Futurliner_manu-06_01.jpg

GM_Futurliner_DV_06_BJ_02.jpg

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that pdf report is interesting. It says that all 12 Futurliners always traveled together, crammed with exhibits, although a few of them just carried generating equipment instead of exhibits, since they couldn't always count on stopping adjacent to a power source. I would imagine they sort of parked them near each other in a line or semi-circle and 'daisy-chained' them together with power cables so they could all operate off of those generators. GM probably simply took that technology off their railroad trains.

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Spotted this as part of a temporary kiddie pedal car display at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana today. Sorry, no further info.

4737510402_2f6343c20a_b.jpg

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While visiting the following place today,

http://www.natmus.org/

I found out they have a connection to this topic, being affiliated with a group of ex-GM employees that restored Futurliner #10, which is now touring about to various locations.

http://www.futurliner.org/

I bought the book and video on the hstory and restoration (which I haven't had time to look at yet), and also got a 4-page flyer of "Futurliner News", which I have no way of scanning while I'm on the road.

According to the news flyer, #10 was most recently in St. Paul, MN and at the MN State Fair grounds (June 18-20). Next is Iola, WI on July 9-11, then Grand Rapids, Mi and 28th St. Metro Cruise on Aug 27-28, then Holland, Mi Sept.19.

If anyone seriously wants to schedule an appearance of the Futurliner at an event (it takes a group of their staff, some effort and, I suppose, money), the contact is given as:

Don M. Mayton

Project Director

4521 Majestic Vue

Zeeland, MI 49464

616-875-3058

donscar "at" i2k "dot" com

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here are postcards of displays at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Although they do not say the displays came from the Futurliners, I believe that is the case. The two displays may actually be different stages of one unfolding display, but I think the one I remember started as a country crossroad, not a seaside location, and ended up as the modern city.

GM at MSI PCs.pdf

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From the Chicago Tribune today: The restored Futurliner at the National Automotive Truck museum in Auburn Indiana is going on auction.

Magic bus: GM's Futurliner

Source: chicagotribune.com

When the lights were switched on at the Chicago World's Fair on May 27, 1933, the city was celebrating "A Century of Progress." By the time the last visitor left the park two years later, 48 million people had marveled at the displays, including General Motors ' technical tours de force: How Sound Stops Sound, The Magnetic Stove, a Photo Elastic Stress Study and Music on a Light Beam.

61588883-13151509.jpg

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