What Happened to General Motors' Ultra-Rare 1939 Futurliners?

Initially, there were 12 of them.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The photo credit line may appear like thisbinelli2011/Wikimedia

Have you heard of the General Motors (GM) Futurliners? They were a dozen of custom vehicles built back in the 1930s by GM and the few that are left today are worth at least a million dollars.

What were they built for?

GM's Parade of Progress is described as a North American traveling exhibition promoting future cars and technologies. Each display, therefore each Futurliner, had its own theme and name. There were the Miracles of Heat and Cold, Our American Crossroads, Power for the Air Age, Diesel Power Parade, World of Science, Energy & Man, Out of the City Muddle, Around the Farm House Clock, Reception Center, Opportunity for Youth, March of Tools, and Precision and Durability.

What Happened to General Motors' Ultra-Rare 1939 Futurliners?
Source: Bransonevans/Wikimedia

GM sponsored the parade of these vehicles from 1940 to 1941 and again from 1953 to 1956.

And these cars were no joke. They measured 33 feet (10 meters) long, 8 (2.5 meters) feet wide, and more than 11 feet (3 meters) tall. They also weighed more than 12 tons.

The fate of the ultra-expensive vehicles

One was destroyed in a 1956 accident, and another nine are said to have survived although their locations (apart from four) remain unknown. One is currently being restored in Sweden by Nicklas Jonsson. Futurliner number 10 was included in the National Historic Vehicle Register in 2014. Futurliner number seven is in Ilmenau, Germany owned by Marek Schramm since 2017.

What Happened to General Motors' Ultra-Rare 1939 Futurliners?
Source: Bransonevans/Wikimedia

Finally, Futurliner number 3 was put up for sale at the 2016 auction held by Reno-based Motorsport Auction Group (MAG) at the 30th anniversary of Hot August Nights (HAN). The article noting the sale is from Old Cars Weekly and is worth looking at as it has some pretty nifty pictures. 

“If you're a car collector, this is the Mack Daddy,” MAG spokesman Frank Yaksitch said at the time of the auction.

Another Furturliner, showed up in a street in Ludlow, Massachusetts, according to The Drive. Author Peter Holderith not only got to see it up close he even took it for a drive. This is another great article to read if you ever wanted to know how one of these bad boys feels up close and personal.


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