Restored Futurliner #10 in 2007
|Built By:||GMC Truck and Fisher Coach & Body.|
|Height:||3.5 metres (11 feet 7 inches)|
|Width:||2.4 metres (8 feet)|
|Length:||10 metres (33 feet)|
|Wheelbase:||6.3 metres (20 feet 8 inches)|
|Weight:||13 tons (30,000 pounds) (approx)|
|Fuel Capacity:||340 litres (90 gallons) (2 45 gallon tanks)|
|Powertrain(1940–1946):||4-cylinder diesel/manual transmission|
|Power Train (1953–1956):||GMC 302ci 6-cylinder /4-speed Hydramatic plus 2-speed manual gearbox|
|Top Speed:||65 km/h (40 mph)|
The GM Futurliners were a group of stylized buses designed in the 1940s by Harley Earl for General Motors. They were used in GM's Parade of Progress, which traveled the United States exhibiting new cars and technology. The Futurliners were used from 1940 to 1941 and again from 1953 to 1956. A total of 12 were built, and 9 were still known to exist as of 2007.
Parade of Progress
The Parade of Progress was halted by WWII. The vehicles were refurbished by GM and the Parade resumed in 1953, and were discontinued in 1956, a victim of the technologies the Futurliners had featured: television.
In addition to the Futurliners, the Parade of Progress included 32 support vehicles.
After the Parade
Following the Parade of Progress, the twelve Futurliners were disposed of by General Motors.
Twelve Futurliners have been found and documented with history. Of the 12, one was wrecked (considered totaled) during the 1956 parade year and was not replaced. Futurliner #11 sold for a record US$4,000,000 (plus premium) on Jan 21, 2006 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona; as it was too large to ship, it was driven to its new home in Chandler.
As of summer 2008, Futurliner #8 was delivered to its new home in Sweden. The new owner plans to restore it over a 10-year period; it is the first and only Futurliner to be relocated to Europe.
Of the other six known surviving Futurliners, one is used as a motorhome and another in advertising. Two others (one in Maine, and one in California) are currently being restored.[when?] Another in California is for sale[when?] and in original condition. Two buses are generally beyond restoration and are in storage. There are still two Futurliners unaccounted for - see a history of the GM parade of progress at futurliner.com.