GM Futurliner Restoration Project National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States The 1933 Chicago’s World Fair and its Technology display inspired GM corporate executive, Charles Kettering, to create the Parade of Progress to communicate advances in science and GM technology to small American towns. Twelve Futurliners were used by General Motors to transport the GM Parade of Progress show from 1941 to 1956.
The Futurliner is a massive bus-like vehicle measuring 33’ long, 8’ wide, 11’-7" tall vehicle with a huge 248" wheelbase. Clam-shell doors opened up on the sides for all to view the featured displays. The Parade continued until the television rendered it obsolete. When GM discontinued the Parade of Progress, the Futurliners were sold off to various interests. From the Michigan State Police to Oral Roberts Ministries, the Futurliners continued their rich history. In fact, this is Futurliner #10, which was purchased by the Goebel Brewing Company, headquartered in Detroit.
Don Mayton, a retired GM Plant Manager, saw his first Futurliner on a trip to California and had to have one. Realizing quickly that this was beyond his means, his research led him to the National Automotive and Truck Museum (NATMUS) in Auburn, Indiana. He was thrilled to learn they offered a "Partner Program" which enabled him to take it home to restore, and help raise the estimated $200,000 to complete it!
As a seven year labor of love, he assembled an all-volunteer restoration crew located in Zeeland, Michigan. Joe Bortz, of Bortz Auto Collection, Illinois, donated the Futurliner to NATMUS and Valley Truck oversaw and assisted with the body restoration. Wyrick Company and ChemSpec USA, donated the Target Red and Artic White paint.
Special thanks goes out to Ray de Longpre and the support of his company, Wyrick Company, to provide these GM custom colors. De Longpre states, “Wyrick is proud to help preserve history. We enjoyed being a part of this project.” The Futurliner tours during the summer to promote the NATMUS museum and the restoration of a legend. Check out their video and the playbook at www.futurliner.com.
Call ChemSpec USA at (800) 328-4892, x 2247, or online at www.chemspecpaint.com.
Back to the Future with GM Futurliner!