Name: GM Futurliner
Year Produced: 1939
Number Built: 12
Body Type: Customized bus
Engine: GMC302ci 6-cylinder
Top Speed: 50 mph
Fuel Capacity: 90 gallons (340L)
Transmission: 4-speed Hydramaticplus 2-speed manual gearbox
Length/width/height: 32ft.,10in /7ft.,10in/11ft., 6in
Wheel base: 20ft., 8in.
Selling Price: US$4 million (Barrett Jackson auction for Futurliner #11)
General Motors has always been at the forefront of inspiring technological awe and wonder among the general populace, and this passion for innovation has been epitomized by their legendary concept car/bus the Futurliners. Of the dozen such buses GM made, No. 10 has arguably had the most colorful history, and since its retirement in 1956 it’s now finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Autoblogger Noah Joseph gives a brief account on this icon of American technology. “The tenth Futurliner toured the country as part of GM’s Parade of Progress in 1940 before being “retired,” but the 12-ton, 33-foot behemoth lived a rich life after its initial tour of duty. It had its engine and some of its bodywork replaced, and in the 1950s went back on tour across 35 states and three Canadian provinces. It subsequently changed hands time and time again, bouncing from the Michigan State Police to a musician, a brewery, a restaurant and a handful of museums, but now it’s found what could be its final resting place.”
After its eight year restoration by a group of volunteers led by Don and Carol Mayton of Zeeland, Michigan, Futurliner #10 made its debut at the 2003 Eyes on Design show in Detroit, and they have kept it on the road ever since, taking it as far west as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2008, and to dozens and shows in between. #10 finally found its home and is now on display at the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States in Auburn, Indiana where it finally. It also earned its rightful place in the National Historic Vehicle Register, and is catalogued and documented by the US Library of Congress.