Cohort Classic: GM Futurliner – The Parade of Progress

GM Futureliner f

Here’s a vehicle that never fails to get my juices going. I remember seeing pictures of them in some old magazines or such as a kid, but then they fell totally off the radar. I remember having daydreams about finding one and turning it into the ultimate motorhome. But the ongoing frenzy to restore old GM show cars from this era inevitably led to the Futurliners being “rediscovered”; and with a vengeance. One sold for $4 million at auction back in 2006. dmala77 posted this at the Cohort, shot on parade at Agawam, MA. Now that’s my idea of a parade vehicle.  Of course, the original genuine Parade of Progress would have been the one to see, with up to twelve Futurliners rolling into town:

GM Parade of Progess1

Here they are, rolling into the next town on their tour of America. The Parade of Progress was first undertaken in 1940-1941, and then again from 1953-1956.

GM parade of progress 3

A big tent was erected, and the Futurliners all opened up their big rear side doors for their various exhibits.

GM Parade of Progress 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 -a

Like this one showing off the latest jet engine behind that 1954 Olds 88. Futureliners were obviously built on GM bus chassis, end the earlier ones used a Detroit Diesel 4-71 engine and manual transmissions. Later versions reverted to gas engines, the big 302 GMC six and a four-speed Hydramatic. Now that wasn’t very forward looking!