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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

GENERAL MOTORS PARADE OF PROGRESS- FUTURLINER OR STREAMLINER?

I know you are saying geez this subject has been covered so why is CARHUNTER dragging us through it again?
Five, yes I said 5 Futurliners wound up in the hands of Joe Bortz, we will get to him one day!
He donated one to the National Auto and Truck museum in Auburn Indiana and I have seen it.
Let's jump in the time Machine and examine something that slips past many of those that call themselves experts! The secrets are hiding in this display case!
UPDATE! I just was in the AACA museum which is also the bus museum and as suspected the 1936 Streamliner and Early smaller Futurliner models are hand made from wood!
Explains why I could not find any reference to a Streamliner model!
READ BELOW 
 A restored Futurliner as presented by Kindig It on Velocity channel's Bichtin' Rides
This is most well known design to all.

Very exciting because the Streamliner has been produced in 1/43 limited quantities and of course I grabbed one!
The Futurliner is also available in 1/64 and 1/43, once also in big scale as seen in the showcase for big $$$
 It was just a fantastic restoration, but what kept urking me was it being referred to as the 1939 Futureliner??
I did not want to chew cabbage twice (or 1000 additional times) so quickly; The Parade of Progress was a traveling circus like event that brought General Motors New cars and technology to small town America - A fantastic sales tool for sure!
12 of this style were designed by Harley Earl and I just referenced a very wrong Wikipedia Page declaring this as the 1939 Futurliner for the 1939 World's Fair- I have no evidence they were at the World's Fair in 1939!
Best I can tell these vehicles were first used in 1940 (technically I guess built in 1939) and only traveled from 1940-1941 as World War II sidelined them and then again hit the road 1953-1956 then retired! 
I think it's heyday would have been the mid 50's.
 Must have been some sight on the road along with support vehicles and a row of brand new GM cars in tail!
The fate of the original 12 and then we move on to the actual blog subject!
I am not sure of the complete accuracy of this list, but it is close!
#1 UNKNOWN
#2 UNKNOWN
#3 THE KINDIG IT TV RESTORED ONE 
#4   BEING RESTORED IN MAINE
#5 USED AS A PARTS DONOR, BUT MODIFIED INTO A CAR CARRIER
#6 UNKNOWN
#7 OWNED BY PETER PAN BUS LINES- SEEN IT
#8 REPORTED TO BE IN STORAGE WITH PETER PAN MAY NOW BE IN SWEDEN
#9 CONVERTED TO A WORKING MOTORHOME MAY BE IN GERMANY NOW
#10 PART OF THE NATIONAL AUTO AND TRUCK MUSEUM COLLECTION
#11 WENT THROUGH A BARRETT JACKSON AUCTION - UNKNOWN HOME $4 MILLION SOLD FROM RON PRATTE COLLECTION
#12 UNKNOWN 
ONE WAS TOTALLED, ONE WAS ONCE A MOBILE STAGE FOR ORAL ROBERTS REPORT TO BE IN SOUTH AMERICA NOW 
The facts are cloudy, but not as cloudy as the 1st vehicles used, it is often mentioned that the 1939 "BUSES" were modified into the vehicle above? NOT TRUE AT ALL!
Here is one most never saw or heard of?
 The seed was planted! It says Previews of Progress!
As the concept developed new technology support by GM would visit schools in new GM station wagons.

In the 1930's Charles Kettering and Alfred P. Sloan (GM Execs and later namesakes Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) exiting the 1933 World's fair decided to continue that concept of fair-like displays on the road showing new technology, two of these trucks were built to just transport the displays around the country.  
In 1936 GM's Fisher Body division custom built 8 display bus/trucks named the Streamliner's and briefly the whole circus was named the Caravan of Progress quickly changed to the Parade of Progress! 
This is the Fisher Body Division in the Fleetwood Plant, Fleetwood Body was purchased by GM Fisher Body Division- Yes Fleetwood built car bodies, years later the name would be a Cadillac Mainstay name!  
I love the 1930's, A stylish lady and the 1936 GM Streamliner both looking like a million dollars! 
Where did class and style go to?
Designed by the famous GM designer Harley Earl 

Have you ever seen this vehicle?


Oh what a site in small town America in the 1930's, remember media was limited!
You walked through each bus I think, one was a stage and trailers also supplemented the displays. Three of the trailers were 1- 35 KW Winton Diesel generator to power the whole mini-city, 2- a locker room for the crew and 3- a motion picture projection room to process movies!  
A field of dreams, if you build it they will come!







Look how they promoted it all, the custom built command car served as an office and led the convoy!! That custom 185" Chevrolet sedan had a Public Address system to play music and announce the arrival of the parade plus it was Air Conditioned by a Delco-Frigidaire unit! A/C only found it's way into production cars via Packard in 1939!  Can you imagine if that car exists today in a barn someplace? 
It's FREE and for ME, I will be there!















What a spectacle this must have been!
Along the way the NEW GM cars would be traded in at dealerships reaching 2000 miles and replacement cars delivered to the PARADE! 
One Streamliner after it's GM service made a short appearance at an Army base as donated, but the fate of all 8 Streamliners is unknown!!! CARHUNTER wants one! 
ENJOY THIS LITTLE HISTORY VIDEO of the PARADE OF PROGRESS
I could not resist some color photos of the very early 2nd generation Parade support vehicles!

Some of the confusion is the 2nd generation vehicles named Futurliners had different body configurations and paint schemes so NO the 1936-1939 vehicles were not modified, but YES the 1939-1941 Vehicles were
This configuration only hit the road from 1940-1941


Why did the Parade of Progress end? One of the Technical advances promoted was TV and network TV suddenly brought all this advertising and promotion into everyone's home with no need to travel 1000's of miles anymore!
CARHUNTER needs to know if any of the 1936 Streamliners survived??  



1 comment:

  1. What great world we lived in. The lack of technology open the doors to a clean compensation. Love it

    ReplyDelete