GM Futurliner 2004 Progress Reports
The following are Don Mayton's progress reports from the work sessions held in his pole barn. To read it in chronological order, start from the bottom and read up the page.
2004 Progress/Work Reports
THIS WILL BE THE LAST REPORT FOR 2004.
VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al
Batts, Nancy Batts (desert), Don Bratt, Carol Bowers (appetizer), Stan
Bowers, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, George
Ferris, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton (main meal),
Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Delores
Sigler (salad), Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts)
(Note: Just for your information, all those that provide food for this
group have never been reimbursed for their expenses. We really thank
them.) GUESTS: John Merrymen, Mike Harper, Ken Harper.
Jim Baker, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt*, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter
(desert), Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don
Feutz, Judy Feutz (main meal), Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (salad), Don
Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten,
Jerry Sigler and Howard Sullivan (doughnuts)
We generally receive on a weekly basis new information about the Futurliners, the Parade of Progress, or some aspect of the many arms that this project has led us. At the Kalamazoo Toy show, Eugene Watch, stopped by our booth and stated he had seen an article in an old Popular Science magazine about the American Crossroads exhibit. Eugene had found that article and photocopied it and then mailed it to us so we can add it to our archives. In the April 1949 edition of Popular Science is an article about how the American Crossroads exhibit functions. We appreciate Eugene following up on finding and mailing a copy of this article.
IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS AN ORIGINAL APRIL 1949 EDITION OF THIS MAGAZINE AND WANTS TO DONATE IT TO OUR ARCHIVES WE WOULD APPRECIATE THE GIFT.
FUTURLINER "T" SHIRTS
Our Futurliner "T" shirts are now on sale through the museum, NATMUS. They are $20 including shipping. Take a look at http://www.futurliner.com/tshirt.htm
"MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM"
Don Bratt spent the day at Calvin College working with Kevin. However, when Kevin went off to classes all work ceased. However, Don and Kevin are very close to finishing up on the video production. Stay tuned, as the release of this video is close at hand. Price will be $25 which includes shipping. You will be able to order it through NATMUS in either VHS or DVD versions.
REAR DOOR HINGE COVERS
Jim has completed the fabrication of the door hinge covers. He is now preparing them for painting.
With Mike Ball off sick Al took over the duties of the office, as well as doing the running to both the paint store and the hardware. He also continued to take our weekly photos.
SPARE FRONT AXLE
Del and Stan continue to remove parts from the spare axle for cleaning, sandblasting and ultimately painting. Today was not the ideal day to work outside as it was raining all day with a cold wind and temperatures in the 40's. They also drove over to Dave's Sandblasting to pick up the four sets of front wheels. Dave continues to donate his time and business to do our parts sandblasting. We thank Dave for this service that started six years ago.
After picking up these four wheels they were dropped off at Nelson Hansen's house. Nels has volunteered to do the priming as well as the final painting.
LEFT UPPER 16' DOOR
Jerry, Connie, and Art today spent time power sanding this large door. They removed all the highs and then proceeded to repair the lows. This door is 16' X 5' and it is very flat so it has loose metal that must be eliminated.
The door opening that is on the Futurliner for this door had to have extensive grinding done to eliminate all the previous welds that were required when we had the door attached with the piano hinge. Today Howard, Don F. and Paul worked on this.
RIGHT UPPER 16' DOOR
Ron, Paul and Ed today designed and started the construction of the hooks that will be permanently installed in order to lift this door off of the Futurliner. At the end of the day this was completed but cannot be installed until after all the body work is completed on this door.
DRIVER'S COCKPIT - UPHOLSTERY
Today Marty brought some panels that he had worked on at home and painted their final color. Today he spent time starting to install them. Dick worked on the mechanism that supports the cockpit hatch when it is in the up position. Fred worked at fabricating and preparing for installation one of the right side cab panels. Connie also completed the body work on the center console panel. Later Warren picked up that panel to do the upholstery. Warren also dropped off the center arm rest panel as well as a right side panel that he upholstered.
DISPLAY AREA - ELECTRICAL
Al S. installed the switches for the lighting fin lights.
DISPLAY AREA - FLOORING
Jerry, who's step sons-in-law own a floor covering business has obtained their services to provide all the materials as well as do the labor to install the final flooring material in the display area of the Futurliner. This material and labor will be a donation to the project. Brian Westmaas, of Flooring Installation Network, came to our work site today and discussed the flooring material options and what is required. We appreciate the future donation of all this material and work. Thanks to Jerry and Brian.
Wayne, using a donated chuck from Del, replaced the chuck on one of our drill motors that was simply worn out. Next he replaced the belt on our large table belt sander. Following that he and Don F. installed a peg board that Dick donated.
As we continue to work to complete the restoration of the Futurliner we appreciate all the financial donations that keeps this project rolling.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt*, Carol Bowers (Provided the
main meal.), Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter*,
Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Elaine Elzinga (Provided
desert.), Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing,
Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow (Provided
the salad.), Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan (Provided our breakfast -
doughnuts.), Warren Veurink
KALAMAZOO TOY SHOW
The toy show provided $233.75 to our funds to keep the restoration going. We thank all the volunteers who drove to Kalamazoo to man our booth, meet people, explain the Futurliner restoration project and setup our display.
Today we started work with the temperature at 30 F, heavy fog, and later a cold light rain. Since we again were going to install the right large 16' door we had to work outside.
LEFT UPPER 16' DOOR
Del first had to drive the Futurliner out of the barn. This left door had to be removed so that the body work on it could be performed in a horizontal position. Most of today's crew spent the first two hours moving equipment inside the barn in order to make a large enough space so the door could be worked on. Wayne then spent the day organizing the entire shop storing stuff we do not need at this time. He also is our sand blast cabinet expert, fixing it when it needs worked on. Ed positioned his high lift on the left side of the Futurliner, the chains were attached, the hinge pins pulled, and then the door was removed. Once this door was taken off the Futurliner it was placed on a rolling dolly that will hold the door until all the body work is completed.
RIGHT UPPER 16' DOOR
Ed, Jerry, Ron, Don F., Ryan, Connie, Howard, Paul, and others tackled the job of preparing the right door for mounting back on the Futurliner. Ryan had previously made the new hinges. The piano hinge was removed from the door. Then the right door was hoisted up on an engine hoist to grind all remaining welds smooth. Ed's high lift was used to position the door on the right side of the Futurliner. Once correctly positioned the four large hinges were welded in place. Next the door was attached to the Futurliner's lifting arms. Then the door was raised using the motors on the Futurliner. Door sag was checked and the problem has been corrected.
LOWER 16' DOORS
Jerry has constructed door spacers for these doors when they are in the down position. Today Jerry painted them to protect them for the future.
At home, Fred and his wife Marge, covered the three bulkhead panels with a fabric material. He brought them wrapped in plastic to protect them until they are installed. Fred then started to tap holes for the installation of these panels.
Dick, Marty, Paul, and Howard continued to fabricate metal for the inside of the cab for the upholstery. Warren showed up to take one large section to upholster.
FRONT STEERING AXLE
Del and Stan assembled the starter on the spare engine. They then tried out the starter and it works fine. Next they disassembled the spare front steering axle brakes.
Again our sandblaster, Dave, has completed the sandblasting of the front wheels. These are one of a kind wheels.
110 VOLT ELECTRICAL
Al S. started the process to wire in the 110 volt switches for the lighting on the lighting fin. Previously we had a temporary system of inserting plugs in the wall.
12 VOLT ELECTRICAL
Wally continues doing testing on the speedometer as directed from the folks we purchased it from.
Don B. continues to meet with Kevin at Calvin College working on the up and coming video. At the Kalamazoo Toy show we already took a few orders.
Jim continues to fabricate the door hinge covers.
We continue to receive material for our archives. Mike and Al B. had a big job to do today storing all the material from the Kalamazoo Toy Show. Al had to make his usual runs to the hardware store. Each week between work sessions he tries to get the materials that he knows the volunteers will need for the next work session.
Mike Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogurardus, Don Bratt*, Del
Carpenter, Connie DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz,
Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (fruit salad), Paul
Prinzing (beef barley soup made by Paul), Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al
Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow (desert - a great cake), Wally Snow
and Howard Sullivan (doughnut supplier) Again we were well fed.
REAR DOOR WEATHER SEAL
Jim has completed the fabrication of the metal pieces that the weather seal will be attached to. Today he mounted all the individual pieces and installed the weather seal to check everything out. He has a great fit. Now he must remove everything for final metal finishing and painting.
40th CIRCUS MAXMUS ANTIQUE TOY AND PEDAL CAR SHOW
Mike spent the day gathering all the material to transport to Kalamazoo for the toy show this Saturday. There in our booth we will be selling hats, posters, as well as our new Futurliner "T" shirts. We hope to see as many of you as possible. Come look us up.
This show is on Saturday, November 27, 2004 at the Kalamazoo County Fair grounds. If you are coming in from the east get off of I-94 at exit 81on Business Loop I-94 and travel to Olmstead Street. Right on Olmstead and then left on Lake St. Drive until you see the Kalamazoo Fair grounds on the left.
From the west get off of I-94 on exit 80 on Sprinkle Road and go north to Business Loop I-94. At Business Loop I-94 turn left and drive to Olmstead Road and turn right. Go north to Lake Street and turn left. Look for the Kalamazoo Fair grounds on the left.
If coming from either the south or north get on I-94 and drive to either exit 80 or 81 and following the above directions.
NOTE: I e-mailed some folks last week and told them what room we would be in. However our booth location has been changed and I do not know at this point what booth we have.
Al B. spent much of the day running for parts. When not doing that he was doing his photographing.
UPPER 16' DOORS
Previously we reported that the upper doors were at Sparta Sheet metal for the purpose of making new ones. Ed has been working with Don at Sparta and they discovered that the 16' piano hinge that we used to attached the door to the roof had a bind. This bind was causing the door to sag in the up position.
Today Ed driving his truck with his trailer loaded with the two upper 16' doors arrived. Following him was Ryan with his truck and trailer with Ed's fork lift truck loaded. Ed's crew consisting of Ryan, Ron, Howard, Connie, Don F. prepared the left door for mounting back on the Futurliner. Don at Sparta, and Ed had designed and built four new large hinges to mount the door to the roof of the Futurliner. They mounted the door on the Futurliner and at the end of the day were operating the left door without door sag.
Al this work has to be done outside so the work started with Del driving the Futurliner outside. Fortunately it was not raining or snowing but it was blowing and the temperature was 45 F.
While the left door was being mounted onto the Futurliner the right door was being prepared to be mounted. Last spring, using everyone's ideas to eliminate door sag, we added all kinds of braces. Today all this metal was removed by cutting, burning, and grinding it off. This job was done by Jerry, Paul, Wayne, Connie, and Don. Next week we will tackle this door assuming we have decent weather.
Dick and Marty continued to fabricate sections for the interior upholstery.
Wally and Del decided to get the speedometer working. They jacked up the rear wheels, put jack stands under the rear axle, then blocked the front wheels. They spent the day tracing wires and trying everything to get this speedo working but to no avail. Wally plans to call the manufacturer to sort out what is wrong.
Al S. worked at cleaning up the electrical in the display area.
STARTER - SPARE ENGINE
Ken, at this machine shop, has fabricated a spacer to allow the starter we have to be mounted to the spare engine.
Don B. again spent the day with Kevin at Calvin College working on the video.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Boguardus, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt*,
Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Connie DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul
Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Deloris Sigler, Jerry
Sigler, Wally Snow and Howard Sullivan. GUEST: Burt Wymsma.
Howard provided our breakfast of doughnuts. Sue provided the main meal, Deloris provided the salad and Paul the desert. Thanks again for all the cooks that work so hard to feed this big group.
ANNOUNCEMENT from NATMUS
John Martin Smith has announced at the Board Meeting held October 26, 2004 that he is retiring as President of NATMUS after 16 years of faithful service. John Martin Smith will remain as Director Emeritus and continue to be involved but not in the day to day operation. John Martin Smith has retained two major responsibilities for NATMUS:
The first is the Futurliner Project and the second is the Eckhart Building. He will have full authority to be involved in these projects. He also indicated that he will be involved in the Library but not at the present time.
John Martin's successor as President is Len McCollough. He is a retired businessman and will do an excellent job.
John Martin Smith's reasons for retiring at the present time include an extremely busy schedule at his law office, books that John is writing as well as the national truck show that NATMUS is hosting in June in Auburn. I talked to John and as far as the Futurliner project nothing has changed as a result of these changes. We appreciate John being our advocate for this project.
Retro 1-2-3 expects the first delivery of the models within the next month. We are looking forward to the arrival of this Futurliner model. I have been asked is there any benefit of the sale of the Futurliner model to the restoration project. Retro 1-2-3 has agreed to donate a portion of the sales directly to the Futurliner account at NATMUS. This will aid in our finances and we thank John Betts for this.
Jim has designed and today started the process to fabricate the rear door hinge covers that are required.
The process of receiving material related to the Parade of Progress, the Futurliners, the Streamliners, or any display related to this project such as the Fisher Body Craftsman guild involves the following. All material gets reviewed my Mike. Next if the material is to be returned copies are made including photo copies by Al. All this material is then shipped to Jim Crame our webmaster. Jim then reviews the material and then adds what is appropriate to our web pages. Also material is sent to Dean our newsletter editor down in North Carolina. The material is then shipped back to Mike where it is filed. In the case of material that must be returned to its original owner is separated and mailed back. Excuse us sometimes when it takes longer to process this material as we only meet on Tuesday. However our volunteers are working at home on there own making this process work. We thank them for many hours of this unseen work that is done.
MECHANICAL - SPARE DUAL WHEEL FRONT AXLE
Today, in the rain on the outside, Del, Stan, and Ken disassembled the spare dual wheel front axle. They noted that all the bearings must be replaced. DOES ANYONE HAVE A GOOD CONTACT WITH A BEARINGS DISTRIBUTOR?
Fred and Ron worked at installing the front and rear panels for the bulkheads.
Al S. completed the junction box and wiring for the 110 volt lighting and plugs.
LOWER DOOR FLOORS
Jerry, Ed and Art worked at installing the left lower door flooring. This involved cutting, painting and installing the plywood flooring material.
Our single grinder finally just wore out. Wayne picked up a new one and he and Don F. installed it today. After lunch they spent time organizing more tools.
Paul with Howard welding started the process of fabricating and welding the eight jack stands required to support the lower doors when they are opened for display.
Dick, Marty and with Connie welding continue working in the cab installing sheet metal for the upholstery.
Wallly has solved some of his electrical problems by locating a bad connection. Today he got the air pressure tank gages working.
Don B., working with Kevin at Calvin College, managed to get addition hours working on our video this AM.
We thank all our volunteers and those that continue to support this project.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Carol Bowers, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter,
Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter *, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz,
Wayne Jackson*, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul
Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler and Wally
Snow. GUESTS: Phil DeVries, Allen Dickerson (Allen brought along
more Fisher Body Craftsman Guild information.), Henry Atsma, John Atsma,
Rich Saddler, Carol Scholten and Marge Carpenter.
Howard was back from his vacation with his doughnut donation. Today Wayne and Wes had planned to provide the main meal. However, Wayne had a funeral to go to so he supplied the main meal supplies. Fred took over and did the cooking. Wilma provided the salad and Carol B. supplied desert. Mike had the job of doing all the setup as Al was on a run to pick up part of the main meal from a local restaurant. Again we thank those that provided food for this large group.
LEFT UPPER DOOR
Today Ed arrived with his equipment trailer, hauling his high lift truck. Ed, Howard, Don F. and others quickly attached chains and then using the high lift truck removed the left upper door. Ed then loaded the door onto his equipment trailer and took it to Sparta Sheet metal. Sparta Sheet metal are the builders of the two new upper doors. Ed later returned to continue working on the other projects.
Mike continues to sort through all our incoming material. Today we received more material one of our Paraders. Al had a lot of running today for all our volunteers picking up materials from the lumber store and two trips to the local hardware to the tune of almost $600. If you recall we usually spend an average of $300/ week on just things like screws, bolts, broken sockets, band saw blades worn out, and lots of drill bits. We have about $2,000 left in our local account and that should last us until January 2005.
Our next opportunity to replenish our account is a toy show in Kalamazoo the Saturday, November 27, 2004, after Thanksgiving. Bruce and Dee Beimer's, one of our volunteers, hosts the annual "CIRCUS MAXIMUS" at the Kalamazoo Fair Grounds. This is a one day show starting at 9 AM until 3 PM. This is their 40th show. Bruce and Dee are donating to the Futurliner effort a table so that we can sell Futurliner ball caps, posters, pins and our new "MIRACLE IN BEAVERDAM" tee shirts. These tee shirts are only $15 and they show our Futurliner on the front.
So if you are in the area, stop and see an outstanding antique toy and pedal car show. Look us up and say high.
Several years ago during the restoration of the drive-line we decided that this restoration project would be done only once. Therefore we started to accumulate spare drive-line parts that are unique to the Futurliner. These parts would also serve as spares if required. A second decision was to make these spares into a display. Tom Kuhlman is supplying a portion of a Korean War vintage army truck to mount the engine, Hyramatic transmission, rear 3-speed/ PTO transmission, generator and controls and the unique dual front wheel axle. This display will be a running display and will be taken to some of the future shows that the Futurliner will be shown in.
Today Del and Stan spent the day disassembling the hubs off of the dual wheeled axle. They also had Howard do some repair welding on the special wheels. Del and Stan also removed the tires from the special Futurlilner front wheels. Next these wheels will go to the sand blaster.
MAIN DISPLAY AREA
The front and rear bulk heads will be covered plywood and then covered with material. Today Ron, Art and Jerry started cutting the plywood in preparation of its mounting.
The floors on the lower inside doors continued to be covered with wood flooring by Jerry, Art and Ed.
Al S. continues to wire the 110-volt junction box at the rear of the Futurliner.
Fred continues to gather material and make plans for the display inside the Futurliner. He is getting help from his wife, Marge and Al's wife Carol.
At the "EYES OF DESIGN" show that the Futurliner was featured at in June 2003, GM provided some beautiful display boards for us to use. In order to use these in our future inside display Howard had some metal frame-work made by Sterling Sheet Metal of Muskegon, Michigan. The fabrication of these frames was a donation by Sterling. Today, Howard and Wes started cutting down our display boards and assembled the frames. We thank Sterling for this donation.
LOWER DOOR JACKS
The photos show that when the Futurliners were at a Parade of Progress event and had their lower doors opened they supported these doors with portable jacks. Today, Paul, with Mike providing the photos, designed these door jacks by looking at the photos. Al B. picked up the necessary supplies at the hardware and then Paul and Howard started the fabrication.
Wally is now checking out all the gauges as well as the lights in the cab. Today the entrance light was installed, wired, and tried out. Wally had a check list of ten items and got through 3 items.
Dick, Fred, and Marty are working the inside preparing panels for upholstery. Last week Fred took home four small panels to have his wife Marge install the upholstery. Dick and Connie worked on the fabrication of the linkage for the top cockpit hatch.
Don Bratt was not at the regular work session, however he was busy working on the video project with student Kevin at Calvin College. Don utilizes whatever time he can get Kevin between classes and his studies at Calvin. We thank Don and Kevin.
Although we do not have this display to work on yet we have started to make plans in order to restore the American Crossroads.
If and when we get the American Crossroads for restoration the first thing we must do is to move into building large enough to accommodate both the Futurliner as well as the American Crossroads. However to equip another building to work on both the Futurliner and the American Crossroads we will have to have the following:
The following is an update on took donations. The donations will show as [ ].
+ Tool cabinets - 2 [11-9-04, Howard donation a machinest tool chest. We still need a roll around tool cart to mount this tool chest on.]
+ Brooms - 4
+ Trash containers - 2
+ Supply cabinet - large
+ Air compressors (2) or one large one with out lets for three hoses, connections etc.
+ Drill motors - 3
+ Complete drill sets - 3
+ Hack saws - 2 with blades
+ Philips screw driver sets - 3
+ Flat blace screw driver sets - 3
+ Hammers - small, medium, large - 2 sets
+ Metal shears - 3
+ Punches -
+ Set of allen wrenches - 3
+ Pliers, vice grips, channel locks - large assortment
+ Wrench sets - 3
+ Socketr sets - 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" regular sets 1, deep sets 1
+ C- clamps - 6 sets
+ Tap and Die sets - 1
+ Hole saws - 1
+ File set - 1
+ Tool cart work station - 1
+ Work benches 30" X 72"
+ Bench vices - 2 [11-9-04 Don M. one vice mounted on a tool bench.]
+ Bench grinder -1
+ Drill press - floor model - 1
+ Drill press - bench model - 1 [ 11-9-04 Wayne Jackson, one drill press mounted on the above tool bench.
We do need your donations. If you have that extra tool or one that has not been used in ages consider us.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Del
Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne
Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema,
Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler and
Today dough nuts were supplied by Paul. Our salad was provided by Wilma. The main and dessert was provided by Carol.
REAR DOOR WEATHER SEAL
Jim continues to fabricate and install the custom metal to hold the weather strip.
ARCHIVES, OFFICE, AND LUNCH SETUP
This job has gotten so big that when either Mike, or Al B. are absent I start worrying whether everything will be taken care. Mike was late due to voting but he showed up in time for Al and he to take care of setting up for lunch. They must turn a workshop into a lunchroom. In addition Mike continues to search our archives for technical information. Al had to make runs to both the local hardware as well as the lumber store.
VIDEO AND DVD
Our student volunteer at Calvin College is back at full time studies and his time is very limited to due the video editing that Don B. needs to complete our up and coming video/ DVD. In the meantime Don B. through his advertising contacts has had printed 2,000 jackets for each, the video and DVD. Again, Don managed to get this done as a donation.
MECHANICAL - CARBURETOR
The carburetor on the Futurliner has a vacuum operated control governor. Dean Tryon, our carburetor expert took back our second carburetor to sort out why under full throttle the Futurliner lost power. Without going into the technical description of how this governor (which I do not understand anyway), he fixed the problem and I picked up the carburetor when I met him at Hershey. Since then he and Del have communicated by phone and they, together, think they have worked out the problems.
MECHANICAL - STARTER
We have briefly outlined the problem we have had in getting the second rebuilt starter to fit our spare engine. Last week Tom Kuhlman and Del talked by phone and today Tom showed up with starter nose cones that he removed off of 24-volt military starters that were on GMC 302 OHV engines. Tom has many GMC military engine parts.
Del, Stan, Ken and Tom then found out that these military starter nose cones do fit our spare engine. The original Futurliner engine - transmission combination was the military version except for the 24-volt system.
RIGHT FRONT DOOR
Fred and Paul installed the covers on the hinges for the right front doors. Part of this installation was included the wiring for the turn signals that are housed in this door.
ELECTRICAL - VEHICLE
Wally has completed his wiring checkout regarding all lighting. He now has a few instruments to get functioning like the low air pressure alarm.
ELECTRICAL - 110 VOLT
To run the motors that operate the doors and lighting fin, as well as the circuits to power the inside display lights and the lighting bar lights we has simply run a cord with a plug to each of these systems. Today Al S. completed powering up display lighting. He then started consolidating the different individual circuits into one box.
LEFT UPPER DOOR
Ed, Don F., Ron, and Wes started the process of removing all the welds that hold this door to the body of the Futurliner.
RIGHT LOWER DOOR
When the lower side doors are lowered they become a floor. The inside of these doors will be covered with 3/4" plywood and then linoleum. Today Al B. brought back the 3/4" plywood sheets and Jerry, Wes and Art cut up the sections to fit these doors. Later they then painted the under side of these plywood sheets to protect them from moisture.
Dick continues to fabricate parts for the hatch mechanism to raise it. Wayne fabricated some brackets for Dick.
Although we do not have this display to work on yet we have started to make plans in order to restore the American Crossroads.
If and when we get the American Crossroads for restoration the first thing we must do is to move into building large enough to accommodate both the Futurliner as well as the American Crossroads. However to equip another building to work on both the Futurliner and the American Crossroads we will have to have the following:
+ Tool cabinets - 2
+ Brooms - 4
+ Trash containers - 2
+ Supply cabinet - large
+ Air compressors (2) or one large one with out lets for three hoses, connections etc.
+ Drill motors - 3
+ Complete drill sets - 3
+ Hack saws - 2 with blades
+ Philips screw driver sets - 3
+ Flat blade screw driver sets - 3
+ Hammers - small, medium, large - 2 sets
+ Metal shears - 3
+ Punches -
+ Set of allen wrenches - 3
+ Pliers, vice grips, channel locks - large assortment
+ Wrench sets - 3
+ Socket sets - 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" regular sets 1, deep sets 1
+ C- clamps - 6 sets
+ Tap and Die sets - 1
+ Hole saws - 1
+ File set - 1
+ Tool cart work station - 1
+ Work benches 30" X 72"
+ Bench vices - 2
+ Bench grinder -1
+ Drill press - floor model - 1
+ Drill press - bench model - 1
This is our initial list. Some of these items we can move from my workshop. However, many of these tools I currently use on a daily basis and they cannot be taken to a new workshop. It would be nice to have some tool company sponsor this effort.
Again we thank all of our volunteers as well as those that support us financially. We also thank those that follow the project and give us words of encouragement.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Dorthy Bratt, Stan Bowers, Del
Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Judy DeJong, Ed DeVries, Jeff
Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, George Ferris, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Dick Saddler,
Al Scholten, Wally Snow, Warren Veurink and John Wiltjer. GUESTS:
Steve Ferris, Casey Keckstra, Rog Wesseldy, Gary Gallenoar, Walt Davenport
and Nels Hansen.
Doughnuts today were compliment of Fred Carpenter. Lunch for this big gang was compliments of Dorthy Bratt, Judy DeJong, Connie's son-in-law and Carol.
Jim is fabricating the retainer for the weather strips for these two doors.
DISPLAY AREA CEILING AND LIGHTING
Ed DeVries and his crew of Don F., Ron, Don B., Wes, and Al S. completed the ceiling installation and installed 23 of the 24 light fixtures. The wiring is also being done.
Wayne and Wes worked at installing a tool board to free up space in the toolboxes. They completed the project.
Fred, Paul and Wally completed the front turn signal wiring and checked everything out. The front turn signals are housed in the front doors and when they light up there is actually an arrow that flashes.
Stan and Del worked to install the starter on the spare engine. We still have a problem as every starter that we have tried has a slightly different nose cone that will not fit up to the engine. Del plans to stop at the generator repair shop to show them exactly what is required.
Art and Connie worked at painting the door face on the right rear of the Futurliner.
Dick continues to work in the cab and on the mechanism that operates the top hatch. Warren dropped off some more of the upholstery that has been completed.
Mike and Al B. had lots of company today to deal with along with there normal job of getting material out for the volunteers. Today George Ferris, who is co-authoring the Futurliner book was also here digging through our 13 binders of material.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter,
Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Paul
Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow and Howard
Sullivan. GUESTS: Nels Hansen, Bob Parshel (Bob had the original
Futurliner tape made into DVD's for each of our volunteers. We thank Bob
for this.) Elwyn Jones (Elwyn, is Fred's cousin from Wales. He assisted
Fred today working on the Futurliner.)
Howard arrived on time with our supply of doughnuts. He will be on vacation for the next few weeks and we have to have him UPS the doughnuts to us. Our lunch was provided by three of our ladies; Audrey supplying the main meal, Carol salad, and Sue desert.
SPARE ENGINE -- STARTER/GENERATOR
One of our continuing contributors to the Futurliner project is a small generator - starter repair business in Coopersville, Michigan. Adema Starter / Generator repair has just finished the restoration of both the starter and generator for our spare engine. We thank them for this contribution. Adema is used by most of the old car folks in this area as they will repair any of this old stuff.
Today Del and Stan proceeded to install these components. One of the first things they had to do was to sandblast and paint the generator bracket. While waiting for the paint to dry they removed all the letters on the Futurliner's left door in preparation for its removal.
Wyrick Products in Zeeland continues to supply the Montana Paint products that we need for the Futurliner. We continually make trips here to pick up their products. Again we thank them.
REAR DOOR WEATHER SEALS
Jim has about 3/4 of the lip for the weather seal constructed for the two rear doors.
Mike in addition to all the archive work has sort of become our office manager. Today Mike, Wayne and Al Batts put away all of our Hershey supplies. Mike also tallied up what we took in at Hershey and paid out some bills today. We thank all the volunteers who sold at Hershey, the total gross was $1,200. This will certainly help with the weekly expenses of keeping the volunteers working. Al Batts had to make a run to the paint store as well as two hardware stores today.
Wayne takes on the job of shop manager when things need done. Today he again worked on getting the three sets of drill bits sorted and some sharpened. In addition he added places to hang tools to make them more accessible for all of our willing workers.
DISPLAY AREA CEILING
Ed picked up the pre-painted display area ceiling sheet metal today. He along with his crew of Don F, Ron, Don Bratt, and Al S. went to work installing this ceiling. Al S. also started installing the wiring to each of the light fixtures.
RIGHT UPPER DOOR
This door is presently at Sparta Sheet Metal where they are making a new door. However today Howard and Connie were working to make the upper door opening face ready for final paint. The large door opening faces we had never did the final painting and they are preparing this area for paint.
Lots of activity here. Wally had designed and had printed the identification for each of the instrument panel switches. Paul, who is very good at detail work took on the job of installing these preprinted identification labels for each of the instrument panel switches.
Dick had worked out the mechanics of the upper cockpit hatch arms and started the fabrication of his system. He also worked on the upholstery installation.
Wally also worked on the wiring.
LEFT FRONT AND LEFT RIGHT DOORS
Fred with his cousin Elwyn worked at running the wiring for the turn signals (mounted in each of these two doors) into the Futurliner. These two doors had hinge covers. The door that accesses the engine this hinge cover was painted. The door that accesses the cab, this hinge cover was originally covered with upholstery. Marge had previously covered this hinge with upholstery. Fred and Elwyn started the installation of these hinge covers.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter,
Ed DeVries, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Dick
Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow and Howard Sullivan.
Howard again provided our coffee break doughnuts. Carol made lunch with the salad coming from Paul and desert from Sue.
Dick and Jerry are working on installing interior panels.
Wally continues to wrap up the electrical system.
REAR DOOR SECURITY
Jim is installing a means to lock the rear doors.
Insulation material was installed by Ed, Ron, and Don F.
STARTER - SPARE ENGINE
Our spare engine, that was built by Bill Bicknell, does not have a starter that fits. We found a starter that was on a GMC 302 engine, had it restored but it does not fit. We stopped at the local generator/ starter rebuild shop and they told us to compare the two starters. Today, Del took the starter off of the running Futurliner and placed it along the spare engine starter. The nose, or gear-end of the spare engine starter, is quite different than the one on the Futurliner. The generator / starter shop told us that they could possibly change the gear-end. Today when Wally left he took the two starters to the shop for them to match the good one and rebuild the spare.
LOWER CARGO DOORS - RT
Wayne installed the inside lower cargo door covers.
Connie repaired an area on the upper roof body that he was not satisfied with.
Howard and Don M. worked on some miscellaneous items that needed done.
Don Bratt has been working with a local vendor to develop tee-shirts with a photo of the Futurliner on them. Don, working with the shirt company, designed the shirt. It looks great. Don is to pick up the shirts this Friday just in time for Hershey. He and his wife are financing the first batch until we get enough money to pay him back. Thanks Don and Dorothy.
HERSHEY AACA ANNUAL CAR SHOW
Today Al B. and Mike gathered up all of the display materials as well as the articles that we would be selling so that we can transport them to Hershey.
Look for the volunteers at the annual AACA Hershey car show. About a 1/2 dozen of the volunteers have regular booths at the swap meet. In order to continue to raise money for the restoration of the Futurliner we sell a few items. If you are going to Hershey please stop by. Here are a few items that we will be offering:
+ Futurliner pins.
+ Tee shirts. THIS IS A BRAND NEW ITEM, AND SHOWS OUR FUTURLINER ON THE FRONT. THE SHIRT WAS PRODUCED USING A PHOTO THAT AL BATTS TOOK WHEN WE HAD THE FUTURLINER OUT SIDE.
NEXT TWO TUESDAYS
No work for the next two Tuesdays as we will be at Hershey.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Sue
Carpenter, Don Feutz, Judy Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton,
Wes Myrick, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wally
Snow and Howard Sullivan. GUESTS: Rob Engmen, RVTV - Canada; Paul
Cruickshenk RVTV - Canada; Allen Dickerson, Fisher Body Craftsman Guild
Howard provided our daily calorie count with doughnuts. Judy provided the main meal, Carol provided homemade bread, a fruit and veggie salad from Audrey and desert from Sue.
RVTV - Canada
Today Rob and Paul from RVTV, Toronto, Canada and spent four hours taking videos and interviewing the volunteers. Although this is a Canadian TV show they said the program usually ends up in the US. It will be airing some time in 2005.
FISHER BODY CRAFTSMAN GUILD
The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild was a design-and-build, model car competition sponsored by Fisher Body. Fisher Body was the car body and stamping division of General Motors. They sponsored this competition and the grand prize was various levels of college tuition. The competition was for young people on into college. Fisher Body laid down the guidelines, which included building a scale model car of a certain scale starting with a clay model and then advancing to a wood model. Completion of the model included trim, painting and installing the wheels.
Allen, from nearby South Haven, Michigan called last week and explained he was a winner in both 1953 and 1954 with the model car he built for the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild competition. He also stated he had a photo of himself and other winners in 1953 standing in from of the Futurliner that show cased Fisher Body's Craftsman Guild. I explained to him that the Futurliner he was standing in front of in 1953 when he was 13 years old was the one we were restoring.
Today he was reunited with that Futurliner and he also brought along his winning model cars. Of course photos had to be taken. Al has changed a little since that first photo was taken 51 years ago.
Al will, in the future, fill us in more about the Fisher Body Craftsman Guild and this competition.
RETRO 1, 2, 3
I have been getting e-mails asking about the Futurliner model. Their web site is www.retro1-2-3.com Check it out.
MORE HISTORICAL INFORMATION
Louanne Kay sent us an envelope full of personal photos, a Parade of Progress pamphlet, copies of news articles, and other materials. Richard, her husband was a Parader and is currently bed ridden. We thank Louanne for this contribution of materials. It again continues to complete our history of the Parade and the Futurliners.
With today's visitors Mike and Al B. were kept very busy. They are so valuable to this project. They often serve as tour guides just so the rest of us can get some restoration work done.
Look in the Detroit News Paper, the Wednesday September 22, 2005 issue, as there is scheduled to be an article about this project.
Jim has been working to correct the latch problems on the rear doors.
Over the past five years we have accumulated a lot of stuff to restore the Futurliner starting with all the materials taken from Canada when the FIDO Futurliner was restored. Today was clean up and throw away all that "STUFF" that never will be used. Every body got into the act to make sure nothing important was thrown away. However leading this charge was Ed, Wayne, Don F., Wes, Al B.,Al S., Fred, and Mike.
Del did some engine checks today to try to determine why the Futurliner runs hot. He tightened belts, topped off the radiator, and some other general maintenance.
RIGHT UPPER DOOR
Last week the right upper door was removed. Howard spent today grinding all the welds that were cut away last week preparing the Futurliner for the new door.
Wally continues to clean up the last of the wiring. Today he also painted the Autronic Eye its final color.
Dick continues to make and fit metal panels to the inside so that they can he upholstered by Warren. Today he was assisted by Don F. and Jerry.
Our first show for next year is the truck show in Auburn, Indiana June 2, 3, 4, 2005. Even if we received the American Crossroads exhibit today we could not have it ready for this show. Fred, Al B. and Mike B. today started the process of designing a display so that when we do go to shows starting in 2005 we will have a story to tell. However, we are going to keep the display secret so that you can come and see it yourself.
This project would have been dead year one if it were not for all you who continue to support this project financially. The cost of building the two upper doors will be about $5,000. We do have just about that in our savings account at NATMUS. To finish the upholstery we have enough in our account here in Michigan. However we still will have miscellaneous expenses just as materials for our interior display, cab flooring material (ordered today), pay off the loan that financed the purchase of the trailer ($25,000), the air conditioner rebuilding, and I could go on and on.
I know this is the time of year everyone is asking for donations starting with the politicians. I also know that each of us have our charities that we faithfully donate to year after year. However, after fulfilling the above priorities if you have anything left over throw it our way.
We again thank the volunteers, our financial supporters, those that provide free services, those that continue give us materials to complete our story, and those that support us with their encouraging comments.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Don Feutz,
Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Wes
Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey
Snow, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan. GUEST: Paul Schurr.
Howard arrived with his weekly doughnuts for our sweet treats. Carol provided the main meal with a salad by Wilma and desert from Audrey.
RIGHT UPPER DOOR
Both upper 16' doors we had previously sand blasted, repaired all the rusted out frame sections, and then reskinned the outer skin. They were installed and all the mechanics hooked up and tried out. Every thing worked out however we noticed that when the door was in its extreme upper position it had a sag of 2" in the center of the door. After extensive reinforcements we reduced the sag to about 1-1/2". We also noticed every time we raised the door we were putting enough stress on the upper doors to cause small ripples. We even had a GM body engineer visit us to see if there was a repair that we could make. After following his instructions we still had the sag. Next we had a local sheet metal shop visit our work site to evaluate what could be done. The bottom line is, because of the extensive original rust, and then the sand-blasting operation there was enough metal taken away that made the door weak.
Last spring we made the decision that the first job this fall would be to remove these upper doors and make new ones. Since we do not have equipment to bend 16' long sections of steel we have contracted Sparta Sheet metal to make the two new upper doors. They have done work for us in the past, both as a donation as well as more extensive work that we had to pay for their services. This will be the biggest job they have done for us so it will be a pay job.
Our decision to make new upper doors is based on our desire to do this restoration correctly so that the Futurliner can be used for many years in the future with out problems.
Today, Ed with a big crew of Don F., Paul, Wes, and Jerry started removing all the chrome letters and next the chrome trim. Next come-a-longs were attached to the inside of the door to hold it in place until the door was cut from the roof frame of the Futurliner. Howard then got up on the scaffold and started cutting away the welded piano hinge that he had welded in place previously. Large "eye" hooks were installed on the upper part of the door.
Ed had brought on his trailer his fork lift truck. Ed drove the fork lift truck up and then chains were attached to the door and it was lifted off the Futurliner. It was then loaded unto Ed"s trailer and later transported to Sparta Sheet Metal. They will use the original door as a pattern to make a new one. They have made a field trip and understand the problem.
Wally and Al S. continue to check out all the electrical circuits.
CAB - INTERIOR
In the top of the cap are some metal panels. Today Art and Connie prepared them and painted them their final color coat.
Dick, Don F. and Wes started the installation of some of the upholstered panels that Warren had dropped off this past summer.
REAR DOOR LATCH
We have had some trouble with the rear door latching mechanism that we built so Jim spent the day analyzing and making repairs.
Mike continues to file material that has arrived over the summer months.
Al B. continues to document the restoration with videos as well as still shots. Don B., at home, continues to do editing to complete the video. He is having a little scheduling problem with Calvin College as all the students are back. However they said they would fit us in some how.
Friday, September 10, 2004, the Futurliner Restoration team hosted the
Alumni from the west Michigan area of Kettering University. Kettering
University is the former General Motors Institute and is located in Flint,
Michigan. It is a cooperative engineering school with disciplines in all
the engineering fields. Many of General Motors engineers and managers are
graduated from either Kettering or GMI. In fact Futurliner volunteers,
Dean Tryon, Stu Allen, and I graduated as a mechanical engineers from GMI.
Volunteer Dick Saddler's son, Rick, is another Kettering alumni. Plus we
have many other supporters of this project that are alumni.
There is a loose connection of Kettering University, GMI , The Parade of Progress, and the Futurliners. General Motors first Chief Engineer and their most prolific inventor was Charles Kettering. Charles Kettering's more famous inventions included:
+ Electric cash register
+ Electric auto ignition
+ Self starter for automobiles
+ Spark plug
+ Freon for refrigerators and air conditioners
+ Anti-knock high compression gasoline
+ Quick drying paint for automobiles
+ Safety glass
+ Portable electric generator
+ Four-wheel brakes
+ First mass produced Automatic transmission
+ Electric railway gate
+ First synthetic aviation fuel
Charles Kettering initiated the General Motors Research Labs and then General Motors Institute. That is why when this school was no longer under the umbrella of General Motors it was renamed Kettering University.
Charles Kettering was also the instrument that created the Parade of Progress and thus the reason for the vehicles that transported this engineering and technology exhibit all over North America. First in 1936 came the Streamliners carrying the show, followed by the Futurliners in 1941.
We have a photograph of Mr. Kettering hovering over the first clay models of the Futurliner. We also have a photograph of Charles Kettering at the introduction of the Parade of Progress in 1941 in Florida.
Today at the event we had about 30 of the volunteers along with some of their wives. Our guests, Kettering University Alumni, numbered about 100. We had volunteers from both our group as well as from Kettering prepare for this gathering.
I want to thank all the Futurliner Restoration team for the hard work at preparing and hosting our visitors. We also thank John Martin Smith for coming from Auburn, Indiana. I also want to thank all the Kettering University staff starting with Sue Weiss and the lead Kettering University alumni Armen, for the outstanding planning job that was done. It was a very successful day.
I cannot pass up a comment on the "Chief of Stress", alias "Cecil DeMille" on his work on our up and coming video. All kidding aside, Don Bratt has been doing an outstanding job on putting this video together. He is down to capturing a few last video shots of the Futurliner. One that he desperately needed was the Futurliner riding off into the sunset. Today was clear as a bell here in Western Michigan. Our Kettering event was scheduled to terminate just after sunset. Don B. suggested now or never to get this sunset shot.
To our guests delight we fired up the Futurliner. Don B. had his staff with him and had Del doing the driving. The President of NATMUS, John Martin Smith, and his wife, Bobbie, rode shot gun in the cab and off into the sunset they went.
John Betts brought along his 1:12 scale Futurliner model. It is fantastic. This was the first time I saw the model. John's company only plans to produce 325 models, each model being numbered. At a price of $1,845 for each copy I know that this model is not for every one. However John's company, RETRO 1, 2, 3, has every door on this vehicle that can be opened. Take a peek at the web site.
TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS
Again we thank each of you, our contributors, those that are following the web site, those that have donated information and those that simply give us moral support.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Bruce Beimers, Del Carpenter,
Ed DeVries, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art
Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow and Howard
Sullivan. GUESTS: Bob Parshall, Joe Mayo, Steve Perez (Detroit
News), Cal and Norma Schulte. (Donations today from our guests, $151.00.
We thank you.)
Most of our day was spent cleaning up the Futurliner. Del started it up and drove it out of the barn. Next they raised up the lighting fin. Ed and Al S. put up ladders and used the vacuum to clean out the roof recess where the lighting fin lays. Then they started a chain of removing each fluorescent bulb out of each fixture, passing it to the ground where a crew (Wes, Howard, Paul, Wayne, Al B., and others) cleaned each bulb. Over the years of working on the Futurliner the bulbs had over spray as well as weld speckles in addition to the normal dust. However, each bulb ended up shining.
All the lights in the lighting fin were tried out and pronounced ok.
The remainder of the crew cleaned the aluminum siding, rubber along the lower side, the aluminum letters, and the painted sides.
Warren over the summer had completed four sections of upholstery. Today Dick mounted the padded bolster that is just below the windshield on the left inside of the cab. He also started the installation of the same part for the right side of the cab.
Wally and Al S. continue to check out the wiring solving some of the problems today.
Wayne mounted another large vice that we obtained over the summer.
Our "Cecil DeMille", Don B. and photographer Al B. continued to add scenes for our up and coming video.
Mike had his hands full with a summer's collection of photos, articles, letters and other literature that we have received from all over. We appreciate those that keep finding past and present articles about the Parade of Progress, and the Futurliners.
John Betts, Retro 1, 2, 3, had the prototype Futurliner model at this past weeks Auburn Kruse show. From some of our folks that were there we had glowing reports of it. Also, one of today's guests, Bob Parshall, was in Auburn and ordered one from John. Bob called this AM and asked if he could come and see the real thing. We thank our visitors for showing their interest.
Photographer Stephen Perez, from the Detroit News, was present to take photos of the Futurliner that will be featured in an up and coming article in the Detroit News. Judith Stock, from the LA area in California, is the writer. The article should show up next Wednesday, September 15, 2004 in this newspaper.
Mike Ball (Assistent Director), Al Batts (Camera Man and Logistics
Director), Don Bratt (Director), Del Carpenter (Driver), Don Mayton
(Flunky), Kevin Vuist (Off site at Calvin College) and John Howard (Off
site at WOOD TV Studios).
GUEST: Mike Anderson (From California)
Our mini work session started with us installing the rear taillight, brake light bezels on the rear doors. We even involved our guest Mike Anderson in this work. We were preparing the Futurliner for more videos.
Our "Cecil de Mille" (alias Don Bratt) really did some directing today for the video shots he wanted. He had a list of 36 items he wanted recorded for the video. He had Del driving the Futurliner all over the Beaverdam area getting various shots of the Futurliner on the road. Don B. and Al have spent a lot of time at Calvin College working with Kevin (College Student) cutting and inserting the narration. Don B. and Al also have spent considerable time at the local TV Station (WOOD TV) working with the person that has volunteered his voice for the video. John Howard, our voice for the video is a professional who sells his voice for many commercials in this area. Mike continues to dig out all the still photos that Don B. requires.
I might add that we got permission to do all this work at Calvin College from the department head of their audio/video department. At this point I only know how to spell his first name which is Randy (when someone pronounces one of these Dutch last names I have no clue how to spell it).
Again all this work is being done with volunteers and using professional facilities that these organizations have donated so that we can produce this video. We want to thank each of these people. We also want to thank Mike Anderson as he gave us a donation of $500 prior to leaving today.
We continue to communicate with GM regarding the American Crossroads exhibit. I know that presently they (GM) are having discussions as far as the proper way to allow us to restore it and use it. Stay tuned.
FALL WORK SESSIONS
Our fall work sessions will officially begin the day after Labor Day.
I have mentioned previously that we discovered that the Goebel Beer Company had once owned our Futurliner, #10. When we disassembled the Futurliner we discovered Goebel Beer literature behind the seats in the cockpit. Later, volunteer Howard Sullivan, looking through literature at a swap meet, found a post card with a Goebel Beer Futurliner. Now the rest of the story.
Fred and Marge Carpenter have a business selling automobilia. They attend many car meets over the eastern half of the country. This summer they were at the annual Oldsmobile Homecoming and along with their material they always show case some Futurliner material. Fred and Marge have been great in promoting this project through their business contacts.
Al Batts has made several color booklets for the volunteers to carry with them. Fred had one of these hanging at their booth in Lansing. One of the attendee's saw the booklet and exclaimed to Fred that he knew the person that drove the Goebel Futurliner. Immediately Fred turned his business over to Marge and Fred engaged this person in conversation.
To make a long story short Fred was promised that this person would get the person who was the Goebel Futurliner driver to call Fred. Subsequently Fred Carpenter received a call from Frank Frye who worked for Goebel Beer in the late 1950's. Here is Frank and Jack Frye's story that Fred received by phone as well as letter:
"The public relations department of Goebel Brewing Company on Rivard St. in Detroit bought Futurliner #10 (our present Futurliner) in 1956. Goebel had it refurbished at a display firm in Detroit. (A black and white photo shows the right side with painted graphics on the side just above the aluminum ribbed trim and GOEBEL BEER on the front and the sides.
The refurbishment for Goebel Brewing Company included making the curb (right side) a stage for the speaker for Goebel. In fact, the photo shows Frank Frye himself posed making his speech. On the opposite (left side) is a miniature brewery that lays out how Goebel Brewing makes their beer.
Frank Frye was the first driver in 1957 or 1958. Frank worked previously as a part time tour guide in the Goebel Circus Room all through college. He then took the full time driving job for about 2 years.
As Frank recalls, Goebel used it initially only in Michigan. However, since Goebel also marketed in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Frank remembers driving it down there for two or three weeks. (Does any one down in New Orleans have photos or has time to search the local newspapers or library?)
Frank used to keep a cooler of canned been behind the driver's seat which was dispensed only to the local beer distributor sponsoring the activity. [Beer was never dispensed to the public.] One time, in Lansing, Michigan, the radiator sprung a leak and the engine was overheating, so Frank poured several cans of beer into the radiator and limped to the nearest GM Dealer for service. As a result, Frank made it to the next activity on time.
Since the Futurliner had a complete and powerful P.A. system, it was usually used as a Central Stage by the committee for many types of outdoor activities. Homecoming affairs for the many smaller towns in Michigan were one of Goebels most frequently requested activities with fairs and parades also quite popular.
When Frank left Goebel Brewing in 1958 to resume his graduate school work, his brother, Jack Frye, took over as the driver of the Land Cruiser. Shortly thereafter, Goebel Brewing started to experience financial problems and in 1960 had to discontinue the Land Cruiser program. Jack Frye was laid off and Goebel sold the Land Cruiser to Pulte Construction in Detroit. Pulte Construction subsequently hired Jack Frye to drive the vehicle to Florida where they had a large subdivision building project they wanted to promote. Just southeast of Tallahassee, near the town of Perry, the engine threw a rod and caught fire. Jack had to scramble out of the vehicle and seek help. Jack also remembers that a local newspaper reporter came out to the site of the breakdown and took pictures. He subsequently made arrangements to have the vehicle towed to Pulte's construction site where he left it and returned to Detroit."
We want to thank Frank and Jack Frye for providing this information. This type of information again fills in more details of the history of Futurliner #10 and its usage after its time spent with GM's historic Parade of Progress. We also want to thank Fred Carpenter for pursuing these contacts.
PARADER'S "ADVANCE PROMOTION"
Today Ed DeVries and Don Mayton met Fred Hoffman in Fennville, Michigan at
Transport Trailers to pickup the Futurliner Trailer. The necessary
modifications have been made for us to use the trailer.
Fred Hoffman owns Star Truck Rentals, Grand Rapids, Michigan and he personally drove about 50 miles (100 miles both directions) to pick up the Futurliner Trailer as a donation to this project. We really appreciate this donation. The trailer was taken to Ed DeVries's storage facility. Ed plans to modify one of his storage facilities to be able to store the trailer on the inside. Once the Futurliner is completed this facility will be able to store the Futurliner on the trailer inside the facility. From there it will be easily transported to shows or the museum, NATMUS.
The West Michigan Region of the Antique Truck Historical Society (ATHS)
visited the Futurliner Restoration work site today. They were impressed
with the progress as many of their members have been following the
restoration work. Their members were very generous in purchasing hats and
posters as well as leaving donations to the total of almost $200. We thank
them for their support in this historic restoration.
One of the members of the ATHS is Fred Hoffman. In the discussion of the Futurliner he asked if there was anything any of their members could do to help in this restoration. I stated that there was and that we needed someone to donate the services of a tractor to pick up our new Futurliner trailer. Fred said to call him and he would work something out.
|July 8||Don Bratt and Al Batts continues to work on the video gathering all the materials required and working with Calvin College personnel. We thank them for their dedication in doing this work as well as Calvin.|
Another important step in the project, our new Gooseneck-Low Boy trailer
has arrived in Beaverdam. A local church allowed us to use their parking
lot to meet with the hauler and trailer, and give Del Carpenter the
opportunity to drive the Futurliner on to the trailer for the first time.
Once on the trailer, out came ladders, levels, and measuring tapes to
ensure clearance tolerances are all met. After new anchor rings are
installed, and some adjustments are made, we should be road ready.
Oh yes, there is a matter of needing a tractor to pull it. (see pictures)
This will be our final official work
session until the Tuesday after Labor Day. In the meantime there
will be updates of anything happening during the summer months.
VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Ken Bogardus, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler and Howard Sullivan. GUESTS: Dale Buttermore, Bill Seavey, Junior Schreur, Ron DeYoung, John Vander Heide and Bob Messenger.
Howard again supplied our morning breakfast of doughnuts. We had lots of help with lunch today. The main course was supplied by Marge and Sue (ham and beans). Wilma provided two salads and Al S. brought another salad. Paul brought along desert. Yes, and we ate everything.
When we prepared the Futurliner for the show last year for the "Eyes of Design" we cut red plastic for the rear brake light lens. We did not like the look of our plastic even though the original lens were cut from red plastic. "Custom Tail Lights" owned by Johnny Smith out of Richmond Landing donated new custom lens that he cut for the Futurliner. They now look great on our Futurliner. He custom cuts lens for antique and street rod cars. His phone is (859) 369-2500. Thanks Johnny.
These lens had to be further trimmed and installed in the Futurliner's rear bezels. Ed, Don and Wayne took on this project today.
Jim continues to fabricate the metal flange around the rear door openings to attach the weather strip.
THE BATTS AND BRATT SHOW
Today at the end of the work session the Futurliner was taken out of the building and with us all standing in front of it photos and video's were taken. We plan to use this in our future video of the restoration of the Futurliner. Don, Al, and Mike have been spending a lot of time putting this video together. Mike digs out all the information, Al does the photographing and deBratt does the directing.
The area between the windshield and the trim had to be repainted. In the past few weeks Art and Connie have been preparing this area for painting. Today just prior to our morning coffee everyone pitched in and taped off and covered the Futurliner with plastic and paper to prevent over spray. This area was then painted when we all went to coffee. At the end of the day the paper, plastic and tape was removed.
As usual Wyrick has been visited several times in the past month again supplying Montana Paint products as a donation to this project. Also Wyrick gives us great discounts on the other paint items that have to be purchased. Thanks to Cal and Ray at Wyrick.
Fred, Ken and Wayne assembled the left rear door and then hung it on the Futurliner. They then hooked up the wires to the turn signals. The left turn signals are housed in this door.
Next they prepared the right front door for painting around the door edges. Connie and Art then painted this surface. Towards the end of the day when the paint was cured the inner upholstered panel was installed. Following this the door was hung on the Futurliner just in time for photos.
Al S. worked on assembling the entrance courtesy light. Don F. had to make a spacer bracket with Howard doing the welding.
Since this was our last session for the spring we had to do some major cleanup. We started with making a pile of scrap metal and rearranging our outside storage. Howard and Del did most of this work including stacking all of our surplus steel on the inside.
Later everyone pitched in on this effort.
Dick, Marty, Ron, Paul, Jerry and Ron all worked on different sections of metal being fabricated that ultimately will be upholstered. Connie and Art did the preparing and painting of some of these pieces.
Wes supplied the remaining parts for the windshield wiper and Del then completed its assembly. It was tried out again and it works fine. Previously a NOS wiper washer bottle and pump was donated by Bruce Berghoff. He sent us another e-mail stating what other components he has in order to complete the entire system. Wes volunteered to take the e-mail and then working with Bruce accumulate the balance of the materials.
Art took the steering wheel home to apply its final coat of paint.
SUMMER SHUT DOWN
This will be our final official work session until the Tuesday after Labor Day. In the meantime there will be updates of anything happening during the summer months.
This summer some updates may include:
+ Trailer progress
+ American Crossroads.
+ Future challenges and opportunities.
+ Financial update.
We again thank all our faithful volunteers, those that support us financially, and the business that continue to support this project. Also thanks to those that follow this project and give us notes of encouragement.
Jim Baker , Mike
Ball, Don Bratt,
Dorothy Bratt, Ken
Veurink and John
Joe Polonowski and Seth.
Buick Driving Enthusiasts (about 120
Fred provided the doughnuts. Dorothy prepared and Don brought the main dinner course as well as the desert. Wilma provided our salad.
BUICK DRIVING ENTHUSIASTS
After lunch today the Futurliner volunteers were hosts to about 120 members of the Buick Driving Enthusiasts (BDE) organization. They arrived in approximately 60 antique Buick ranging from 1939 up through the 1990s. Most of the cars were in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. They were show cars being driven and that is what this club likes to do -- drive their Buicks. The owners were from all over the USA. In fact they limit the participants to 60 cars and have to turn folks away.
After their arrival, Del fired up the Futurliner and drove it out of the barn so folks could get a better view of it as well as photograph opportunities. The light fin was raised as well as the left 16' doors were opened.
Not only did this group enjoy the Futurliner but also had a good look of some of the old cars that the volunteers drove in for the day. The BDE members really showed their appreciation by purchasing Futurliner hats, posters, and pins to the tune of $576. We thank them for supporting this project in such a great way.
Mike, Al, and Don B. did a fantastic job of setting up all the displays, video, even getting Don F. and Art to paint the shoes on our "dummies" that wear the original Futurliner uniforms. Everyone else became tour guides with that many people.
Approximately six months ago we reported that Wayne spotted a low boy trailer and with Ed's help got it donated to our project and then hauled to Ed's place of business. At the time we figured that we could restore this trailer, lengthen it, and then use it to haul the Futurliner. However, after really looking it over and recognizing its deteriorated condition we came to the conclusion that this was not a good idea.
Ed, being able to sell refrigerators at the north pole, managed to recently sell this trailer for $500. This money has been collected and now added to our finances. Thanks to both Wayne and Ed.
Jim continues to work on the weather seal frame on these doors. Jim also took home our steel sheet nibbler that gave up the ghost. He has repaired it and built a new trigger switch (the old plastic switch simply broke and fell apart).
FRONT LEFT DOOR
Fred, Ken and Wayne worked at installing the door lock mechanisms on this door. Wayne had previously called and ordered parts from "THE FILLING STATION" (Chevrolet and GMC reproduction parts). Once they heard it was for the Futurliner project they donated the parts.
Stan, Del and Wes spent time trying out the windshield wiper. The Futurliner has one windshield wiper positioned in the center of the windshield. This wiper is an air operated double cylinder mechanism. It works great. Although we have a windshield wiper arm we have yet to locate a wiper blade. Wes assured us that with all his old car stuff he would find one.
LEFT SIDE LOW
Connie and Art successfully eliminated a low spot on the left front of the Futurliner.
Those working on the fabricated parts that will be upholstered included Paul, Dick, Ron, Marty and Wes. Today Warren got to take home several pieces to upholster.
Gray Bar Electric supplied four new 110 volt sealed beam lights for the lighting fin. Al S. and Ron today replaced these lights and then tried them out; everything is ok.
Jerry had the job of cleaning up our wide white wall tires and then wiping down the rubber that is around the entire Futurliner.
Art and John have the done the work to prepare the steering wheel for paint.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Del
Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron
Elzinga, Lois Jackson, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick,
Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Dee
Sigler, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, John Wiltjer and John
Wissink. GUESTS: Gerry Petersen, Jim Veresh, Jim Stranways and
I failed to mention for our trip to Stubbs, Fred and Marge provided our doughnuts. Today as usual Howard provided our doughnuts. You would think we could not function without our fix of doughnuts. Lunch was provided by Lois, with salad from Dee and desert from Audrey's garden - rhubarb pie.
WEEKLY WORK SESSION REPORTS
In case you think that all this information comes from me weekly, Mike does an invaluable service of keeping me informed with a lot of information as well as digging through the archives when I need specific data. Thanks Mike.
After a lot of detail work for the past few weeks Jim and Don B. assembled the completed bezels for the two rear doors.
Don B. continues to dig information out with Mike's help and has Al B. taking specific photos of the work progressing. Mike and Al had to make runs to the hardware store also.
FRONT DOOR LOCKING MECHANISMS
It has been decided to install the original key locking mechanisms in the two front doors. In the process of doing this work Fred and Ken have discovered that critical pieces are missing. Ken has volunteered to make these pieces.
FRONT END ALIGNMENT
Today Del and Stan jacked up the front of the Futurliner and adjusted the tow-in. Unfortunately when they let the Futurliner off of the jack stands the toe-end changed. They have been advised by long time mechanic Wes, that the toe-in must be adjusted with the vehicle sitting on the ground with the full weight on the tires.
Connie and Art today spent time painting smaller parts including the storage compartment box for the cab of the Futurliner.
Dick, Art, Ron, Paul and Jerry today all were working on fabricating components that must be upholstered.
Al S. arrived with two stainless steel door hatch slide brackets that he had made at several local machine shops. Again another donation. Al also sanded these brackets and then Ron did the final buffing.
Howard spent the day welding and grinding parts for others. Every time I turned around he was welding for others.
Jeff removed one of our 110 volt spot lights from the lighting fin. When we were at the EYES ON DESIGN show last year we blew all these 110 volt spot lights out due to insufficient voltage. They had provided a very long extension cord (a couple hundred feet) and due to the voltage drop these four spotlights all blew. He also discovered that the ballast in one of our other lights was not defective, again from the same problem.
Wally continues to tie up his wiring into a neat and presentable fashion.
WORK PLACE ORGANIZATION
Wayne and Wes, using a cabinet picked up from a garage sale, mounted it on the wall to better store our materials. Wayne then gathered all the sandpaper, grinding supplies, and masking tape and properly stored them. It sounds mundane but the less looking for stuff the more efficient we are.
John continues to work on the steering preparing it for final paint.
is a special report of the Futurliner Restoration volunteers traveling to
Stubbs on Thursday, May 6, 2004, to look at the AMERICAN CROSSROADS
exhibit that is in storage.
Traveling to the H. B. Stubbs facility were the following volunteers:
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler and Wally Snow.
Volunteering to use their vans and driving the 3 hours to Warren, Michigan were Fred, Wayne and Wally. Our host at H. B. Stubbs was Paul Grondin. Paul has been with Stubbs for 33 years and has a detail knowledge of the AMERICAN CROSSROADS display as well as its history.
The purpose of the trip was to determine the condition of the AMERICAN CROSSROADS exhibit and again talk to GM representatives of the possibility of reuniting this display with the Futurliner that we are restoring.
H. B. Stubbs built the AMERICAN CROSSROADS display for the first Parade of Progress that used the Futurliners. This particular show started in February of 1941. This display was used until World War II started in December of that year. Again after the war the display again was used starting in April of 1953 until the Parade of Progress was terminated in July of 1956.
(We have one document that states that the AMERICAN CROSSROADS display was built in 1932 for the 1932 World Fair in Chicago. However others refute this and state it was built specifically in 1939-40 for the 1941 Parade of Progress. The vehicle used to transport the display was the Futurliners. If anyone has documents and/or photos showing in being used prior to 1941 we would appreciate that information.)
To again bring up to date exactly what the AMERICAN CROSSROADS display is I will briefly take a few facts out of a GM Press Release about the display:
"Our American Crossroads
This 16-foot animated diorama, through voice and action, demonstrates the transformation of a rural community of 50 years ago into a thriving suburban community of today (1953). The exhibit emphasizes the major part the automobile has played in bringing the country and city together.
Crossroads is one of the Parade's most popular exhibits -- and certainly one of the most complicated ever built. It represents a real step forward, in the opinion of GM officials, in exhibit technique and showmanship.
The complete exhibit, not counting the Futurliner in which it rides, weighs more than 4,000 pounds (we found it stenciled with 6200#). and contains practically every metal as well as various plastics, synthetic enamels, rubber and wood. Exhibit techniques used in Crossroads include stop-motion, conveying chain, automatic light dimming, synchronized sound and action, and diminishing perspective in motion. Altogether the mechanical construction and modeling took more than 15,000 man-hours of labor. This intricate exhibit involves the proper synchronization of some 25 electrical motors and 70 contacts.
Our American Crossroads is designed to show the part the automobile has had in changing the face of America -- and not only the nation's looks but also her way of life. It covers four decades in the life of an imaginary crossroads community, Pleasant Corners. To cover these changes, the entire scenery is shifted three times -- from 1902 to 1920 to 1953. "
After the Parade of Progress was over the AMERICAN CROSSROADS display was stored at H. B. Stubbs. At one time there was discussion by GM to destroy the display but at this point several GM people as well as Stubbs employees (including Paul Grondin) stepped in to save the display. Subsequently it was restored and then moved to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Again after a long tenure at the Science and Industry Museum the display needed considerable refurbishment to keep it running. Again there was discussion to have it destroyed. Again GM and well as Stubbs (Paul Grondin and others) stepped in to stop this from happening. It was again placed into storage at Stubbs.
For the 2001 International Auto Show in Detroit at COBO hall the AMERICAN CROSSROADS exhibit was again repaired for this show. Software was developed and computers were employed for the electrical as well the audio portions. The firm hired to do this work rented all the equipment to Stubbs and as a result once the show was over the rented equipment went back to the electronics firm. So presently the AMERICAN CROSSROADS exhibits is without its brains to function.
That brings us to today. The AMERICAN CROSSROADS exhibits sits in a warehouse. It cannot be used until it again is restored and furnished new brains. The volunteers of this historic Futurliner Restoration project are still seeking a way to sometime reunite a working AMERICAN CROSSROADS exhibit with the FUTURLINER. Stay tuned
VOLUNTEERS: Del Carpenter, Don Mayton, Conrad DeJong and Art Meidema.
After session after session of the interior framework being put in to support the interior decorative walls and ceiling this all had to be painted. Since you cannot paint the inside of a vehicle as large as the Futurliner on the inside of a building due to the safety of the individuals as well as being able to see what you are doing it had been decided that the first warm day forecast (above 55 degrees) that this job would be done.
On Tuesday, our regular workday, the outside of the Futurliner was completely wrapped in plastic and paper to prevent overspray. All materials were removed from the inside. Then on Wednesday morning, Del fired up the Futurliner and drove it outside. Next, the side doors were opened to allow a breeze of air to circulate through the vehicle as it was being painted.
Art and Connie spent the next 5 hours priming and then painting the interior walls to protect the vehicle from rust. Although all these walls will later be covered with pre-painted aluminum panels we wanted to prevent rust so future generations could enjoy this vehicle.
Later that evening Del drove the vehicle back into the barn.
We also must again thank Montana Paints and Wyrick Products in Zeeland for providing the paint products as a donation.
Also today, Del and Don M. traveled to Fennville to make some further measurements on the Futurliner Trailer that was ordered. I talked to the manager of Witzco Trailers in Florida about the fact that the trailer was delivered outside our specifications. He stated that they would do everything they could do to correct the situation. The manager specifically asked me to make these further measurements. Again, stay tuned.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Carol Bowers, Stan Bowers, Del
Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ron Elzinga, Don
Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing,
Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow, Howard
Sullivan, John Swanlund, John Wissink and Warren Veurink. GUESTS:
Nels Hansen and Gail Bumber.
Howard showed up with our weekly supply of calories in the form of doughnuts. Carol M. made lunch, Carol S. provided desert and Sue made the salads. To feed this crowd Howard has to order the doughnuts the night before and then in the morning pick them up, and the gals must make 3X recipes of food. Again our faithful crew of Mike and Al do all the work to setup for lunch.
FUTURLINER AND FUTURLINER TRAILER FINANCES
The question has been asked by some of our donors with the problem with the trailer not meeting our requirements what about the finances. All donations for the Futuriner project go to the museum (NATMUS). There it is kept in a separate Futurliner Restoration account from the regular museum accounts. The museum auditors do a thorough analysis of the Futurliner expenses and we submit all our receipts of expenditures to the museum. The donations specifically for the trailer are kept in the same account but we have been keeping a separate account of those monies.
We do have a small checking account here at a local bank that is kept to keep current the small expenditures we make such as the local hardware, the paint store, or our volunteers who frequently stop on the way to our work site and purchase materials for the job they are working on. We require receipts for all these type expenditures.
Occasionally we have a group that visits and usually that ends us in some cash donations. This money is also deposited in the local checking account.
The money donated for the trailer will be used for that. We only have a small percentage of that money so far. In order to pay for the trailer a person that wishes to remain anonymous has loaned the museum $25,000. This, with YOUR DONATIONS will pay for the trailer as well as the upholstery. Of course sometime in the future we must pay back the loan.
Bruce Berghoff, who made the financial challenge, myself and the volunteers all thank those that have so generously given to this project. I urge you to encourage your friends to join us in becoming stakeholders in this venture, as we have not met our goal and we will have future obstacles (opportunities?) to overcome.
Today I talked to the general manager of the company that made the trailer, Witzco Trailers. We are working on a plan to walk through each of our requirements to see if alterations to the trailer can be made so that it will be fully functional for our purposes. Stay tuned.
Due to the tight clearance of the rear doors Jim has been visiting all the local RV dealers, truck repair shops, truck parts supply shops in order to find the right weather seals for the rear doors. He does have a sample that will work except he has not located who we can purchase it from.
Today Don B. had arranged for a truck with a sky bucket to arrive to do the video taking of the guys arriving to the work site. Our volunteer for that service was Jim Swanlund. Al B. had the privilege of going up in the bucket to do the video recording. Mike, Al and Don today continue to work at making this video production.
Most of the major mechanical items are cleaned up. Leave it to Del and Stan to find more work. In addition to many small jobs today they checked the toe-in of the Futurliner and discovered it needed adjusted.
FRONT PASSENGER DOOR INNER
Fred, and Don F. worked at the lock system of this door. Connie and Art worked at preparing for paint the inner face that is at the edge of the upholstery panel. It needed a little body work and paint.
Dick, Ron, and Marty continue to fabricate sections that have to be upholstered.
Jerry and Wes completed a storage box that will go into the cab. Warren returned today with another upholstered panel.
The hatch in the cab is held up with two brackets with a knob that holds the hatch in whatever elevated position necessary. Of course like everything else these brackets are greatly rusted. Al S. today took a tour of all the scrap bins located in the metal shops in Holland, Michigan trying to find some stainless steel in order to make these brackets. He finally hit pay dirt at Genzink Steel. After finding the stainless he needed he headed to several machine shops to see which one would cut a 12" long slot in each of these brackets. Again he hit pay dirt and talked one shop into laser cutting the slots, and he talked them into doing it as a donation to this project.
Wally continues to tidy up all the wiring and making sure everything is identified correctly.
Wayne had picked up another drill press at a garage sale that he donated to our work shop. Today he installed that on a bench. He also moved a machinist vice to a better location.
Howard and Paul completed the framing work on the inside of the display area. Art and Connie then started preparing this area for painting primer and then its final coat of paint. At the end of the day they enlisted everybody to cover the Futurliner to prevent overspray. At present it looks like a great big wrapped Christmas gift. It just needs a RED BOW.
In order to paint the inside the Futurliner has to be taken out side, the doors opened for ventilation and then the painting done. It appears that tomorrow might be the day as it is predicted to get to 60 degrees.
John today worked at preparing the steering wheel for final painting.
Jim Baker, Mike Bal, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Ken Bogardus, Carol Bowers, Stan
Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Elaine
Elzinga, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton,
Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry
Sigler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, Warren Veurink and John Wissink. GUESTS:
Art Klooster, Bruce Wolfort, Dave and Marge Day and Boon Shangle
(Bruce Beimer's grandson)
Doughnuts again provided by Howard. Carol M. made lunch with Carol B. providing the salad and Elaine providing desert. Mike and Al setup and again took down all the lunch tables.
Can you believed it snowed off and on all day today. That's Michigan!
FUTURLINER TIRE WITH RAISED LETTERS
Al B. has been working on the mold form (at home) that Select Engineering has asked us to do. Al traveled to Select Engineering (Muskegon, Michigan) and showed Ross Gates the mold form that he has been working on. They are very pleased with the progress. Some day we will have whitewall tires with the raised letters just like the originals.
REAR TAIL LIGHT LENS
The rear tail light lens on the Futurliner were a red plastic material. Although we purchased some red plastic material and made lens they did not look like the original. Fred, while at Spring Carleigh ran across a person that custom builds lens. He has volunteered to make new lens for the Futurliner brake, and tail lights. Unfortunately I did not get the name of that person that volunteered to do this. Today Jim made an engineering drawing of the sizes of the four lens we need and Fred will be contacting that person to custom build new lens.
Don B. and Al B. have been very busy taking videos of each of our volunteers for the video we intend to produce. In the meantime Mike continues to dig out the still photos and information that is required for this video.
LEFT FRONT DOOR (Door to the engine)
Fred, Ken and Wayne completed the internal wiring (turn signals) and the inner metal cover for the left front door that accesses the engine compartment. At the end of the day they started on the inner panel for the right door.
Due to the fact that we have a major problem with the trailer that was ordered as far as dimensions it was decided to rebuild the cover plate for the power step in order to increase ground clearance. This has been completed by Stan and Del. Next they worked on completing other cover panels that shield the under side of the engine.
OLD FUTURLINER TIRES
When the Futurliner first arrived it had terrible tires on it. Some were the original tires with the white walls and raised letters but the side walls were deteriorated along with little or no tread. The local county, Ottawa, is having a "turn in your old tires" so today Stan, Del and Don loaded six old Futurliner tires into Don's pickup so that they can be dropped off tomorrow. Our seventh Futurliner tire had to be loaded into Del's truck as we could not get any more into Don's truck.
A storage compartment was build to go into the driver's cockpit today. Jerry, Ron with Connie welding completed this storage compartment. Next week the doors will have to be added.
FUTURLINER HEIGHT MEASUREMENTS
In the past we have measured the height of the Futurliner using a level and a tape. Today to double check this measurement, Ron and Jerry used the rolling crane and tied wire across from the two upright frames. Then using a level, measured the highest point. This method confirmed our previous measurements. Next they rolled the crane, which straddles the Futurliner, from the front of the Futurliner to the rear and discovered that the highest point along the center top of the Futurliner is no more than a 1/4" difference. Pretty accurate for a vehicle that is 33' long built in 1940 and then restored in the past few years.
RIGHT REAR SPLASH GUARD
Wes installed a splash guard that had previously been removed to work on the wiring. Wes discovered an area that needed another splash guard and today with Howard's assistance built this guard.
Paul and with Howard welding completed all the braces required to install the inside wall panels. They dressed all the welds by grinding them smooth.
Al S. and Don F. installed the light bulb sockets in each of the 24 interior light fixtures that will light up the interior display area. To crimp over the tangs of the sockets they built a small wood die to hammer over these tangs. In addition Al installed the electrical junction box where the wiring will terminate.
Warren showed up with the driver's seat cushions upholstered. These were mounted by Dick and Marty. Dick and Marty continue to fabricate metal pieces for Warren to upholster.
Wally has completed all his checks and is now tying up the wiring in a neat and orderly manner.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruce Beimers, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers,
Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Martin
Reed, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, Warren Veurink and John
Wiltjer . GUESTS: Lloyd Bonzelaar
Today we had two large groups of people visit our work site. From the "OAK RIDGE GOLDEN EAGLES" we had over 25 guests that arrived on a school bus in the morning. In the afternoon we had another 25 or so guests come from the "RICHMOND REFORMED CHURCH, SENIOR CITIZENS GROUP". To accommodate our guests our volunteers had been asked to drive some of their antique cars. Don F. showed up in a beautifully restored 1936 Chevrolet business coupe. Paul came in his 1954 Pontiac Catalina 2 door hardtop. Ed drove his 1962 Cadillac convertible that he recently restored. Del came in his original 1956 4 door Chevrolet hardtop. So, we had a mini car show for our visitors.
Doughnuts as usual from Howard. Howard now has big road detour to go around just to get here on Tuesdays. Today Bruce brought all the fix'ins for a outdoor barbecue. Wilma provided lunch and Carol provided desert.
DISAPPEARING STEERING WHEEL
As previously reported Bruce Berghoff had a steering wheel cast for us as a donation to this project. In our high tech computer inventory system we store all of our restored parts on storage shelves. We also store all the old parts and nothing is thrown away until the new replaced or restored part is permanently installed. Also, as our volunteers root around for their parts things get misplaced occasionally.
Wally is fast approaching completing the wiring and with the windshield already installed it was time to fit the new steering wheel. After I had looked for over a month for the steering wheel and not found it I just figured I was looking past it. Today I asked if someone would be willing to find the steering wheel. Stan volunteered.
After Stan spent three hours, including help from others he came up dry. (So much for our computerized system.)
At the end of the work session and everyone was gone except Mike, Jim and myself we were again asking what happened to the steering wheel. All of a sudden Jim walked back into the barn where my cars, car parts, and Futurliner parts are stored and in 90 seconds returned with the MIA steering wheel.
REAPPEARING STEERING WHEEL
Mike, Jim and I decided not to tell anyone about the reappearing steering wheel and do something special the next day at lunch. There is a large group of old car enthusiasts and Futurliner volunteers that meets every Wednesday for lunch. Mike had arranged with the waitress to deliver the steering wheel disguised as a plate carrying hors d' oeuvres . It took a few minutes for those at lunch to discover the prank but everyone had a great laugh.
LEFT REAR DOOR
Jim is now working on the metal frame to mount the left rear door weather seals.
Don B. while on vacation worked at putting together a video of the Futurliners, their history and specifically the restoration of the NATMUS Futurliner which we discovered is #10. He has taken all the material Mike has cataloged, the information that Jim Crame has on the web site, and all the video and photos Al has produced and is putting it together in a 30 minute video. He now has the video scripted and has a long, long list of future photos and videos that Al will be doing. This is a monumental job that will involve Don B., Al, Jim, and Mike.
Stay tuned as it will go on sale sometime in the future. We have had many requests for this video.
Howard, Paul and Ken continue to fabricate and weld in support brackets for the inside display walls. In addition Howard is welding for others and Ken does the final finishing by grinding smooth the welds.
POWER STEP GUARD
As mentioned before Stan spent 3 hours looking for the steering wheel. However he also helped Del alter the power step guard.
PAINTING REAR UNDER CARRIAGE PARTS AND FRAME
One area that had never been worked on as it was in good shape was the rear frame members from the gas tanks on back to the end of the Futurliner. However this area was covered with surface rust but no rust damage. Today, Art and Connie took on the nasty job of laying on their backs, wire brushing the under side of this area, and then hand brushing on a product called "POR - 15". This product is excellent for this type of application but requires that you do not get any on you as it will attach itself to you permanently once it dries. They did finish this nasty job.
FUTURLINER HOLD DOWN SHACKLES
Ed and Del drilled all the holes and installed the hold down shackles for tying the Futurliner to the trailer.
Ed corrected a piece of loose trim and then started to work with Dick on the latching system for the cab hatch door.
With all the painting that has been done there was a coat of overspray and dust on our hub caps. Don F. did a beautiful job of cleaning them up and putting on a coat of wax.
Ed had returned last week with newly made stainless trim for the inside of the cab. Today Ron, using our power buffer make these pieces shine like jewels.
Warren returned six newly upholstered sections for the cab. Dick and Marty disassembled the driver's seat so that Warren could take them to his shop and apply the upholstering. It is really convenient to have the upholster stop every work session, give us advice as far as the preparation of the panels that we must have upholstered and work with us in understanding how to complete this upholstery work. He has saved us many hours of work.
Dick and Marty continue to fabricate panels for Warren.
ELECTRICAL - VEHICLE
Wally now has all systems wired and checked out. He is now making sure each system and wire is coded, identified, and his wiring diagrams up to date.
Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Don Mayton, Jerry Sigler and Howard
This morning both Howard and Ed furnished the doughnuts.
The purpose of this work session was to check out the trailer that we had ordered. We had made arrangements with a local business to have the trailer parked at his place while we loaded the Futurliner onto the trailer. The intent was to establish where we had to place the mounting hooks on the Futurliner for tying down the Futurliner to the trailer. Also we wanted to locate the placement of the "D" rings on the trailer.
Previously Ed and Del had traveled to the dealerís lot where the trailer had been unloaded and were not happy with what they saw and measured.
To properly prepare for driving the Futurliner to meet the trailer we re-measured our critical dimensions. We then removed every thing (tools, equipment, loose parts) inside the Futurliner. We then started the Futurliner and drove it with escort vehicles to the local business.
Just as we arrived the truck towing the new trailer arrived. We immediately measured the critical dimensions and simply told the owner of the local trailer distributor that we could not accept delivery. We did not attempt to load the trailer as it would have been a useless exercise. The owner of the local trailer distributor told us he had contacted the manufacturer that built the trailer and they told him to work something out. The specifications dictated on the order for the trailer were not adhered to.
At this point, I do not wish to announce the name of the local trailer dealer nor the manufacturer. It is our goal to have them come up with a solution since we ordered this trailer in good faith. It is their responsibility to correct this situation at the price originally agreed upon.
This will definitely cancel any shows that were being considered for the balance of the 2004 antique car show season. Although we are disappointed in what has happened we will still ultimately need a trailer.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Ken Bogardus, Del Carpenter,
Fred Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don
Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick,
Wes Myrick (Senior Wes's grandson), Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick
Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow, ]Wally Snow, Howard
Sullivan and Warren Veurink. GUESTS: Nels Hanson.
Howard furnished the doughnuts. Sue provided lunch with salad from Carol and desert from Audrey. Mike, Don B. and Al B. set up lunch. Thanks for all those who feed this large working group.
Maybe those following this project wonder how we put every one to work. Yes, we sometimes get in each others way but we still have jobs for each crew. Sometimes we must wait at the drill press but today Wayne brought and contributed another drill press for the restoration project. The place that really gets crowded is the driver's cab with Wally finishing the wiring and Dick and Marty trying to finish all the panels up in the cab so they can give them to Warren so he can keep up on the upholstering. But we manage.
Wally has pretty much completed his check out of the electrical system. In fact at one time today I saw all lights lit. He and young Wes started the process of closing up the wiring.
In the display area Al S. continues to run the wiring for the lights to a central point so a junction box can be installed.
Howard, Paul and Ken continue to fabricate and install the support braces that will allow the inner walls and ceiling to be installed.
The Futurliner Trailer is due to arrive tomorrow at the dealer in Fennville, Michigan. In preparation for the Futurliner some day traveling to shows on this trailer Ed, Don F., and Del traveled to the local truck parts supply store (like a NAPA except for trucks) and purchased giant swivels to attach to the Futurliner frame. The Futurliner will be tied down to the trailer with chain using these swivels. They started the process of drilling the holes for attachment to the Futurliner frame and promptly broke a $20 drill bit.
Don B.has taken on the task of creating a video that provides the history of the Futurliners and this restoration project. He had Al B. in tow today taking lots of videos. Don has already gone through all our archive material with the help of Mike to include in this video. Sometime in the future this will be on sale to help raise money to complete this project.
Last week Wes brought along wiper parts for the Futurliner. Today he brought another load of parts and out of it we now have a NOS wiper arm and it is installed on the Futurliner.
Warren stopped by to see if we has any more sections ready for him to upholster. We were still working on the individual pieces. However, through the efforts of Dick, Marty, Wes and Don M. by the end of the day Marty loaded into his 1950's Studebaker Commander six pieces ready for Warren.
Included in the pieces for Warren was the foot rest that is for the two passengers that can ride in the cab. Art and Connie today repaired it, primed it, and then painted the frame black. The portion that you put your feet on is upholstered.
LEFT INNER DOOR PANEL
Fred will be traveling to Carleigh, Pennsylvania to the annual spring car swap meet. He and Wayne focused on completing the inside panel of the engine compartment door so he could pick up the last pieces of hardware needed to complete this inside panel.
Art continued to prepare and paint some of the door jams that had never been painted.
Jerry worked at the detail cleanup of the side aluminum that must be done due to all the wet sanding and dust that we have produced. Ron worked at cleaning off the over spray on the roof of the Futurliner. This involves washing and in some cases using buffing compounds.
Mike continues to maintain the archives as well as do the digging for photos as we complete this restoration. Paul just gave us two issues of the national Pontiac Club publication that is running a series on the Futurliner. Again any group that would want to publish an article about this restoration can use any material on our web site. Jim Crame continues to maintain this web site with up to date photos supplied via Al Batts.
Today we received a phone call from General Motors complimenting us about our web site.
Again I want to thank those that have responded to Bruce Berghoff's financial challange. Just last week as a result of Dean putting Bruce's letter in our newsletter we had more folks contribute to this project and we want to thank them. We still have a long way to go to pay for the trailer. As I stated above it is due to arrive here locally tomorrow.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge
Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler,
Audrey Snow, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, Warren Veurink and John Wissink.
GUESTS: John Atsma ,Don Guta, Edwin Ooterink, Kaleigh Dornbush,
John & Jan Shipman and Wendell & Grace Leathead.
One of our guests commented today that we are so blessed with such a wide diversity of talents with the people that volunteer for this project. They were amazed at our current original material archives and the photo history of the restoration that Mike and Al have put together. The credit also goes to all those people that have provided this material and of course Mike and Al who have put it together.
Howard provided the morning starting fluid in the form of doughnuts. Carol provided the main meal for lunch with Wilma providing the salad, Audrey the desert and Ed the remnants of his Birthday cake. Mike and Al again set up and tore down the room for desert. Mike and Al also provide the services of tour guide for the Futurliner as well as a tour guide through all the archive material.
Jim is doing the final fitting of the tail lamp housing in the rear doors.
Dick and Marty continue to fabricate panels to provide to Warren for upholstery. Also Wes and Don M. worked on preparing the cockpit's foot rest for upholstery. The original brackets to anchor it to the floor are missing so these were fabricated today. Warren at this point has caught up to our metal fabrication.
In preparation for the upholstery Don F. last week took home the adjustable vent grills (2) and completely repaired and restored them. In addition these vent grills have a chrome trim surround. Ryan DeVries is making new ones from stainless steel.
Also the heater box that Wes donated was taken home by Del and stripped and painted.
Howard and John have been installing fabricating and installing the support framework in the ceiling and bulkheads in the inside of the display area. Along with Al S. and Jeff they have the 110 volt electrical junction boxes installed.
Wally continues to test out the 12 volt wiring. Recently he has much competition getting into the cab due to preparing the cab for the windshield installation as well the fabrication of panels for the upholstery.
As mentioned last week the windshield wiper motor was installed. Today Del and Stan started running the piping from the wiper air control switch to operate this air powered windshield wiper motor. They also installed a NOS windshield washer glass bottle and its housing.
Wes brought from his large stock of antique car parts NOS windshield washer nozzles, wiper arm, blades, and other components. Today the washer nozzles were installed. They still must be plumbed.
Ron washed the accumulation of dust off of the left side of the top of the Futurliner. Due to all the painting that has been done he ran into areas that has lots of over spray that had to be taken off with a buffer.
Right below the windshield there is a wide piece of trim that circles the front of the driver's cockpit just below the windshield. Now that the windshield is in place Ed and Don F. installed this trim.
Fred and Art worked today preparing the area at the top of the rubber trim around most of the Futurliner for painting. This area is black. At the end of the day they taped off the entire bottom of the Futurliner and then painted this area.
GM added Frigidaire air conditioners to all of the Futurliners in 1952. Fred took home last week a cover panel that has the Frigidaie emblem and nameplate. Fred's wife, Marge, completely stripped the panel, the emblem, and name plate and restored them, painted them and then reassembled them into like new condition. Thanks Marge for taking on this homework!
Al Batts, Ed DeVries, Don Mayton, John Clelland (Vos Glass) and Doug
Bradley (Vos Glass). Of course we had to start with Ed bringing along
This was a special work session in which Vos Glass had volunteered to install the 180-degree windshield in the Futurliner. John and Doug from Vos Glass had volunteered their time to do this job. The original windshield from this Futurliner was missing. The folks in Canada that restored their Futurliner had three windshields reproduced. Actually the company that made the windshields made ten in order to get three good ones. One of these was used on their Futurliner, FIDO, one we (NATMUS) purchased over four years ago for $10,000, and the last one was purchased by Peter Pan Bus company in Springfield, Massachusetts and they installed it in their Futurliner.
Al did all the recording by camera of today's proceeding. Ed and Don were simply there to aid in whatever way we could help from fetching tools, to holding the ladder, to making sure the coffee stayed hot.
The real professionals were John and Doug. They have well over 60 years experience between them of installing glass. Many times they have to go on the road to install a truck windshield since the truck could not move until the windshield was replaced. In fact today they were talking about a tractor trailer that had its windshield blown out by a wild turkey.
They started by inspecting the preparatory work that we had done. Next, they installed the windshield rubber seal on the upstanding metal flange that was on the bottom and the top of the windshield opening. They used over 20' of rubber windshield seal. Following that, they applied a soapy solution to this seal. Rubber cups were attached to the windshield and it was raised to its location. Then the very tedious and lengthy process of getting the glass into the folds of the rubber followed. Many specialized tools were used and with their expertise, after over four hours, the windshield was in place.
For us who know nothing about windshield installation it was a relief to see the glass windshield in its final location.
The process does not end here. Next, they installed weather seal in the location of each of the two right and left 1/4 side vent windows. These are rather large for vent windows measuring 20" X 24". They then traced the glass opening. Their intention is to make two pieces of glass and for a temporary measure install 1/4 window vent glass. They will then work on the vent frames, repair them and at one time in the future install these so that once again these 1/4 windows can be opened and closed.
We want to thank the owner of Vos Glass for committing to take on this job and for John and Doug volunteering their services. John and Doug hail from Newaygo, Michigan, which is over a 50-mile trip in one direction. Thanks men!
Mike Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad
DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema,
Wilma Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al
Scholten, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, John Wiltjer, and John Wissink. GUESTS:
Bob Fouts and Nelson Hansen.
Howard arrived with our Academy Award Winning doughnuts from Family Fare once again. We also had Girl Scout Cookies from Fred and home make cookies from Janet, Dick's wife. Carol made lunch with a salad provided by Sue and desert provided by Wilma. We will never go hungry.
Al Batts also donated a Micro-wave for our use in our break room.
Howard and Paul continued to fabricate and weld in place the support structure for the false ceiling and walls in the display area. Howard also donated some steel channel that he and Paul installed. Al S. took on the job of laying out the placement of the overhead lights that will go into the ceiling. In addition he has been experimenting with different light bulbs in the fixtures we will be using to get maximum lighting with as little heat as can be obtained. Al B. had to make a run to the local hardware to obtain all the electrical components that will be required.
On a separate note Howard brought along some heavy duty jack stands. We have discovered looking at the photos that when the doors are opened that the Paraders installed jack stands to support the lower door as they were doing their lecture. We felt that the jack stands Howard was willing to donate were too heavy duty for this application. However, if someone out there has some light duty jack stands or aluminum jack stands we need about four of them. Their extended height must be about 36".
As I mentioned previously Vos Glass has volunteered to install our 180-degree windshield. In preparation for this installation Ed, John and Wes have been installing the metal lower framework that the windshield rubber seal will attach to. Next they took the inside trim that had been previously polished by Ron and fitted it in place and made sure all of the holes for fastening it in place were drilled. They also worked on the 1/4 window frames.
PAINT AND ALUMINUM BUFFING
Fred, Ron and Art continued to buff the aluminum as well as the recently painted surfaces. Due to all the buffing that has taken place a lot of clean up of the buffing materials has been going on cleaning out this material from the joints of each aluminum piece. The only way to do this is with toothbrushes. Carol provided about 10 toothbrushes today and Don F. and Fred worked at this operation.
Connie completed the wet sanding and buffing of one of the rear doors.
RIGHT LOWER 16' DOOR
Art prepared and painted the door jam "red" on the right lower 16' door. There was an area on the right front of the cab that also had to be repainted that Art took care of.
When the Futurliner restoration was started 5 years ago the disassembly process included photographing and cataloging and storing materials. In all these years one of the items lost was the original two brass Fisher Body tags. Fortunately Fred, in his collection of auto memorabilia donated two original Fisher Body tags of that era. They will be stripped and plated as the original ones were.
As a footnote, the Futurliner chassis was built in the Yellow Coach plant in Pontiac, Michigan and then shipped to the Fisher Body Fleetwood plant to have its body built on the chassis.
FUTURLINER RAISED LETTER TIRE
In past reports we have mentioned that Ross Gates of Select Manufacturing Services in Muskegon, Michigan have volunteered to make us tires with wide white side wall with the raised letters, "GENERAL MOTORS", "PARADE OF PROGRESS", "FLEETWAY", and "US ROYAL". Fortunately they have been very busy with customer orders. However they have spent thousands of dollars on our project as a donation. They have asked us to do some of the things to speed up their process. Al Batts drove to Muskegon during the past week and returned with the female mold that they poured. His job is now to lay a wax ring onto this mold to create the final thickness of the rubber mold that ultimately will be poured by the folks of Select Manufacturing Services. This is a very involved process taking a lot of time. Al intends to do most of the work at home.
We again want to thank Select Manufacturing and their owner, Ross Gates, for taking on a task that I could not convince the largest tire companies in this county to do.
The Futurliner's windshield wiper is a double piston air operated unit. It sits in the center of the cap, just below the windshield, right behind all of Wally's wiring. Del today had to completely disassemble this wiper assembly to fit it up behind all the wiring that Wally has done but managed to get it installed.
Warren delivered the center section of the interior cab roof upholstered. Dick and Marty continue to prepare sections to be upholstered. By the end of the day Marty loaded four small pieces to drop off at Warren's house (this is where Warren does his work) for Warren to complete.
Don F. removed the old upholstery from the floor bar that gets mounted inside the cab. The air vent louvers for the air conditioner unit Don F. started working on but decided to take them home to complete. They are in need of repair. In addition Ed took the outer trim pieces for these louvers to have them dropped off at a chrome plater.
Wally continues to check out his wiring. Today after a long time the engine was fired up and it was noted we have almost all the gages working.
It is our desire to have GM loan to the museum (NATMUS) the only original display existing, the "THE AMERICAN CROSSROADS" so it can be placed inside the Futurliner. However from our contact, this display is very fragile and in need of repair. We are working to have a meeting at the warehouse where this display is stored. We also are now looking at alternative displays. To this end Mike has put together all the displays that traveled in the Futurliners in one note book. Hopefully through this we can create a display that will represent the mission that the Parade of Progress was trying to achieve.
We want to thank all those who have donated to this project. Although we now have enough money in the bank account to cover the costs of the upholsterer we do not have enough to pay for the trailer that will be used to haul the Futurliner to events. We are making arrangements to borrow the money. Ultimately that money will have to be paid back. Although we have some money making projects in the works none of them in themselves will pay the loan back. So we continue to seek financial donors.
Again we thank the volunteers, all the businesses that continue to support this project as well as all of you that have donated financially.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge
Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes
Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow,
Howard Sullivan and Warren Veurink. GUESTS: Jerry Snay, William Joling, Nelson
Hansen, Carl Schutte, Dave Ymker and Robert Ymker.
Howard arrived with our weeks worth of calories in the form of doughnuts today. Notice, someone corrected me on my spelling of donuts to doughnuts. Marge prepared the salad and put together our lunch today and Fred cooked our hot dogs. Audrey provided the desert. Mike and Al setup the room. As you can see it takes a lot of effort to feed 20 plus people. Mike does the scheduling as far as who does the providing. Thanks to every one.
ANTIQUE TRUCK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
In this months (March/April 2004) issue of their "Wheels of Time" is an ad picturing our Futurliner with the title "I NEED A RIDE" asking for a tractor with driver to haul our Futurliner out to California and back to the big truck show. If you know of someone contact Brad Boyajian (818) 882-4500. The driver must have a professional license and have appropriate insurance.
This past Wednesday Voss Glass of Grand Rapids, Michigan volunteered to install the front windshield. They spent two hours measuring everything and looking at their options as far as weather seals. They also asked us to make some preparations.
Today, the crew of Ed, Wes, and Don F. worked on the preparations. They had to fabricate and install a band of stainless steel around the base of where the windshield is mounted for the rubber weather seal to be fastened to. They also had to drill all the holes for the aluminum trim piece that is installed over this weather seal after the windshield is installed.
Ron took on the task of repairing and buffing this aluminum trim. This trim is in two sections over 90 inches long.
Last week the crew of Dick and Marty prepared and gave to Warren four sections of metal to be upholstered. Today Warren returned three of those sections completed. The fourth section he is waiting on the material to arrive. Dick, Marty and Warren determined which sections need to be done next. Dick and Marty worked on these sections the balance of the day.
Wally, and his crew of Jeff and Paul continued to check out the vehicle wiring. The running lights are all working, the turn signals are all checked out as well as the brake lights. However it has been determined that more circuits must be separated due to the high ampere draw of all the running lights.
Jeff and Al S. also spent time determining the placement of the display area lights. Later Howard burned holes to provide for the conduit that must be run for these lights.
BODY WET SANDING AND BUFFING
Last week the upper portion of the left lower door was painted as well as the left front corner. Today Fred, Ron and Art worked at wet sanding this area and then buffing it. Later Fred moved to the right side. This is tedious work and hard on the shoulders.
Ed donated a heater for the cab. Del disassembled it, sand blasted the case and then Ron started working on it to buff it. It is made from an aluminum casting.
Ken and Howard fabricated and welded in place the support structure for the ceiling of the display area.
Mike continues do research work for the crews. Al continues to photograph our progress for history.
I talked to the company that we ordered the trailer from and it is on schedule for delivery in mid April. When Dean releases the next newsletter it will have Bruce's financial challenge for donations to pay for the trailer and to complete this restoration.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Ken Boguardes, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad
DeJong, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art
Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow,
Howard Sullivan and Warren Veurick.
Of course we started the day with our donut testing and sampling. Howard again supplied the donuts. Carol fixed lunch, Don Feutz's wife provided the salad, Paul also brought fruit salad and a birthday cake (HIS). We did sing a variation of "Happy Birthday". Sorry we won't sell the recording.
Wally, Al S., and Paul continued to do the electrical checkout. They had to do some rewiring to take the load off of the running light circuit and split it into two circuits. The running lights have a total of 48 different lights using 54 individual bulbs. Don M. completed the light wiring in the rear of the Futurliner.
Ed and Don F. along with Howard welding started installing the frame work for the display area ceiling.
Fred worked at removing the old light sockets from the inner frame of the display area 24 light fixtures. Our new light bulb will use a different socket.
With all the work going on the Futurliner needed to be cleaned up. Fred, Don and Wes at the end of the day started this job.
Ron and Wes worked at installing the weather seal over the right upper door that was removed when we elected to reattach the piano hinge.
Del and Stan continue to insulate the engine bay and surrounding panels.
PAINTING LEFT SIDE
Art and Connie spent the day preparing the lift lower door and the left 1/4 front for painting. At the end of the day this area was repainted its Target Red. Again Wyrick Products of Zeeland supplied the paint through Montana Paint Company. Thanks again.
During the week we took more parts to Dave's Sandblasting here in Zeeland. He has faithfully over 5 years been sand blasting parts for this Futurliner. We thank Dave for this. These parts were for the interior cab.
Dick, Marty and Warren fitted the latest panel that Warren upholstered. The upholstered panel looks great. Dick, Marty and Connie also prepared another large interior panel and tonight Marty dropped it off at Warren's house for upholstering.
Mike and Al as usual prepare the room for our lunch. Al has put together a separate book on all the materials that Howard delivered from the Oral Roberts Ministry (see last weeks report). In addition we received a computer disc with additional photos from the Oral Roberts Ministry Library. We thank them for doing this for us.
Mike has also cataloged all the interior photos together so that we can accurately restore the interior of the Futurliner.
Last week we had a local reporter, Bridie Kent, come and spend 2 hours interviewing the volunteers. Today the local newspaper, Grand Valley Advance, came out with her story.
And then there is the story of the blue heron that Al spotted in a low marshy area along my drive way. I will let Al tell that story.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Linda DeVries, Don Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma
Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wallly Snow, Howard
Sullivan and Warren Veurink. GUEST: Bridie Kent (Advance Newspaper. Bridie spent a
few hours interviewing our volunteers and going over the archives with Mike to do an
article for the local Advance Newspaper.)
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter,
Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Jeff Dornbush, Don Feutz, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul
Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow (alias SNOW
MAN), Howard Sullivan and Warren Veurink.
Howard supplied our weekly calories in the form of donuts. Jeff was our cook today and made chili. Salad came from Audrey and Sue provided desert. Again Mike and Al set up lunch. We thank all those that work hard to feed 18 to 20 men each week.
KALAMAZOO SWAP MEET
When Wally visits the annual Kalamazoo Swap meet in February one of his goals is to acquire electrical components to complete the restoration. His second goal is to acquire these as #1 donations, #2 at a great savings or finally #3 at the best price he can bargain. One vendor has for the past three years has freely given Wally what he asks for and that is Dan Marz from Otisville, Michigan. We want to thank Dan for his continuous support of this project.
We have officially ordered the trailer to haul the Futurliner. Since the Futurliner only has a top speed of about 37 to 40 mph the trailer will be necessary to move it on the freeways for shows that are long distance.
As soon as we firm up some dates we will publish the shows that the Futurliner has been invited to so far this year. We only intend to do 3 to 4 shows per year as it takes a lot of preparation to take the Futurliner to a show. In addition there is the expense of getting the volunteers to the shows. Stay tuned.
Mike, Al and Jim continue to work at supplying information to various publications. Again we have had requests this week. These folks take a big burden off of myself by taking full responsibility of doing this. Their work is invaluable. Thanks to them.
If you have a club or organization that wants to put a program about the Parade of Progress, the Streamliners, the Futurliners or anything associated with these vehicles feel free to use anything on the web site. We would appreciate in your presentation that you mention the web site as well as giving us an e-mail and just telling us about the event in which you used the material.
Today they were removed to prepare them for repainting. Connie and Art did the repair and preparation plus the painting.
Don and Al S. worked on the electrical wiring to the rear doors stringing the wiring loom to these doors.
Jim continued to work on fitting the rear access panels to these doors.
Paul continues to wire in the turn signals for the two front doors. Jeff is running the wires from the head lights to the switch in the dash. Wally continues to check out circuits.
Ken brought along some angled reinforcements that he made in his shop for the roof. Today Howard welded these in place on the right side of the roof frame. They then started installing the added roof beam for the left side of the Futurliner.
Del picked up the valve for the powered step and today he and Stan installed it. Next they adjusted the air so that the step moves in and out very smoothly. Next they continued to work on the insulation around the engine enclosure.
Fred continues to fine sand the surface and do the detailing on the final paint. The surface is starting to look like glass.
With all the wet sanding that has been done the sides of the Futurliner is streaked with red paint. Today Don F. took on the task of washing down all this red and making the aluminum shine again.
Warren returned some pieces that he had upholstered since the last work session. Then meeting with Dick and Marty they planned what pieces would be done next. Dick and Marty continue to repair the seat parts as well as fabricate new pieces.
As a result of Bruce's letter we have had three people donate $1.000 each. Based on Bruce's figure, that is 10% of our goal of $30,000. We thank those that have donated no matter what the amount. If we could find 27 more people that could make a $1.000 donation we would be able to pay for the trailer that we have ordered. We have always been blessed with the resources arriving at just the right time, whether it be money, material, services or skills of volunteers. We are on the home stretch and want to complete this restoration. Please continue to support the volunteers who faithfully show up week after week.
We will be taking a two week break from the restoration as there are a lot of Florida antique car shows that must be attended by the volunteers. Our next work session will be March 9, 2004.
Dick Saddler who belongs to the Kalamazoo Antique Restorers club secured us a free booth for the annual Kalamazoo Antique Car Swap Meet. This is the first old car event in Western Michigan and it is attended by folks from the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. When I arrived early Saturday AM the aisles were packed with shoppers.
During last weeks work session Mike Ball had gathered up all the display materials for this car swap meet at the Kalamazoo Fair Grounds. Mike loaded everything into his pickup truck and on Friday met Stan Bowers and together they set up the display. The display included lots of photos of the Parade of Progress, the Futurliners, as well as photos of the Streamliners. Part of the display included a video of the Parade of Progress in 1941 as well as in the 1950s that we showed on a continuous basis.
On Saturday and Sunday throughout the two days we had various volunteers man the booth. All the volunteers wore our Parader's work uniform that we had made for last years "Eyes of Design" show in Warren, Michigan. We sold posters, Futurliner hats, post cards and pins with a photo of the current restored Futurliner.
At the end of the swap meet on Sunday, Mike and Stan again disassembled the display and packed it away in Mike's truck. Thanks to Mike for organizing the display and all the volunteers that manned the Futurliner booth for this event.
MEDIA - Michigan Auto & RV (free magazine)
This is one of those free publications that advertise cars, trucks, and RV's to sell. On page 80 is an article about the 1957 Chevrolet Cameo pickup by Tom Brownell. Woven into the article is information about the Parade of Progress, the Futurliners as well as our restoration project. It was neat to see others picking up information off of our web site and using it for articles. Thanks to Tom Brownell for doing this as well as to Jim Crame our web master who works so hard to keep it updated weekly.
MEDIA - In - Tents
I know there are a lot of magazines out there but I did not know that there was one devoted to tents. Again through a request, Al Batts supplied information to this author, Andrew Earles, and on pages 42 - 45 there is an excellent article about GM's Aer-O-Dome Tent in the Dec. 03/ Jan. 04 issue of the "In - Tent" magazine. This article is about the tent that was erected by the Paraders when they set up a Parade of Progress show. I will simply quote one paragraph from this article:
"The center piece of the parade was GM's Aer-O-Dome Tent. Designed in 1940 at GM by Fred Huddle, the Aer-O-Dome looked futuristic - and a bit intimidating. Without interior poles, supports, exterior stakes or support lines, the structure had the feel of a giant ribcage. Also odd was the fact that the tent's silverized vinyl-impregnated canvas skin was fastened inside the aluminum framework of lengthy girders. The radical design - an early, albeit awkward, prototype of today's high-tech clearspan - allowed parade-goers an unobstructed view of the many showcases and events featured inside."
For more detail information about the Aer-O-Dome tent you can contact "In - Tents" Magazine @ 1-800-636-4918.
Also you can check our web site for information as well as photos about the tent.
Thanks to Al and author Andrew Earles for their work.
MEDIA - Old Cars Weekly, February 12, 2004 issue.
Dean Tryon and Jim Crame worked together to create an article for Old Cars Weekly magazine. They did such a good job we commanded the front page as well as another two full pages inside and a portion of a 4th page. The article is an over all summary of the Parade of Progress history and the vehicles used to transport it across the country. In addition the article details the restoration bringing the reader up to the current status. Old Cars Weekly, 1-800-258-0929
Thanks to Dean and Jim for putting this together for Old Cars Weekly.
|Feb. 10||VOLUNTEERS: Jim
Baker, Mike Ball, Ken Bogardus, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter,
Marge Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Jeff Miller, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed,
Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan. GUESTS: Al Elzinga (Ron's
brother), Terry Elzinga (Ron's brother), Don Zeinstra - Sparta Sheet Metal and Terry Hiler
- Sparta Sheet Metal.
BRUCE BERGHOFF'S FINANCIAL CHALLENGE
February 6, 2004
Good morning Paraders
& Futurliner Enthusiasts,
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong,
Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema,
Jeff Miller, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Carol Scholten, Wally
Snow, Howard Sullivan and John Wiltjer. GUESTS: Bill Wise and Mike Bogardus,
We started with Howard's supply of donuts. Connie's son-in-law, Tom Sheckler, is a chief. He prepared a 15 bean - 4 meat soup that Connie dropped off at our house for Carol to heat for lunch. Carol Scholten provided desert and Wilma provided our salad.
This past Friday (January 30, 2004) Steve Parker from Dayton, Ohio delivered the restored spare engine for the Futurliner. Steve previously had stopped to pick up a starter as well as the engine shipping cradle. Bill Bicknell, our faithful volunteer who restored the engine that is in the Futurliner also volunteered to restore a second engine as a spare. Bill has had to spend a lot of time on the phone as well as e-mail tracking down parts all over the country in order to restore this engine. We thank Bill for volunteering to do both engines and also thank Dean down in North Carolina for doing the carburetors. The engine arrived complete including a paint job. We do have to locate another starter as the starter that we had was from a military truck.
This engine will not sit in a crate stored some place. We plan to make a drive line display and mount the engine as well as the military Hydramatic so that they will actually operate.
Jim continues to fit the rear door inner panels as well as do the wiring for the tail, brake and turn signal lights.
RIGHT UPPER DOOR - SAG
Today Ed's crew of Howard, Dick, Don, Ron and a few others again put their heads together to try to figure out how to fix our door sag problem. As Howard stated we were chasing a dogs tail again. However the plan was to cut the upper piano hinge away from the upper door and leave only the end two feet attached. The reason for doing this is to see if the hinge is putting buckles in the door as it raises. This was a big job as Howard had welded it in place so that it would never come loose. At the end of the day this was done and it appeared to relieve some stress on the door.
We also have observed that the outer beam of the roof where the door is attached has a 3/16" sag at the center. Next weeks session will be to remove this sag to see if that helps the door sag condition.
Del and Stan continue to install the insulation surrounding the engine compartment.
Last week the two rear 1/4's of the upper body were repainted. Today Fred, Ron, Connie, Art wet sanded and buffed these two sections. What a great improvement. The left rear 1/4 section was completed.
Today Don wet sanded the right front 1/4 of the upper body. At the end of the day Art and Connie prepared this area for painting and repainted it in its Target Red.
The left front 1/4 of the upper body was completely wet sanded by Fred. This section will only have to be buffed for an excellent show surface.
Wally, Paul and Al S. worked at checking out the electrical systems. At one time I heard the backup beeper chirping so I know that works. At another time I heard the electric horn working that Stu Allen (located in Virginia) previously restored. As far as the engine and vehicle electrical system Wally says they are coming along fine.
Don F. worked in the cab drilling holes for the 1/4 window frame. Dick and Marty spent time fabricating more metal for the cab.
Dick and Marty also spent time with our upholsterer. They have about 1/2 dozen pieces ready for him to start on and they loaded his truck with the pieces he can work on at his shop.
Ed, Howard, Al Scholten and myself have been meeting with trailer manufacturers and getting quotes for a trailer to haul the Futurliner. Our trailer requirements are:
1) Meets all State of Michigan DOT requirements so that special permits are not required. Futurliner height and length drives a special trailer.
2) Is self contained so that the tractor that pulls this trailer does not need special equipment.
3) Be competitive in price.
4) Can meet our time table for delivery of April 15, 2004.
5) Trailer must be designed with an air ride.
We have four estimates, only one of those meet our requirements. Today we met with the owner of the trailer company that can meet all of our requirements as far a building a trailer to haul the Futurliner. The price is about $27,000. In order for this company to meet our time date (April 15, 2004) the order must be placed by next Tuesday. Also since we have less than $5,000 in the bank and will spend about $8,000 on other items does anyone out there have a rich friend???
I do not like to ask folks for money but our reserves are down very low and we are getting nearer to the completion of this historic project. If anyone out there is inclined to donate to this project simply send the money to:
FUTURLINER RESTORATION PROJECT
1000 Gordon Buehrig Place
Auburn, Indiana 46706
Your donation is tax deductible and is appreciated.
Thanks in advance, Don
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Carol Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad
DeJong, Ed DeVries, Dorothy DeVries, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Jeff Miller,
Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow and Howard
Sullivan. GUESTS: Mike Swistak and Rick Saddler (Dick's son).
Howard again provided our morning breakfast of donuts. Audrey provided the main lunch of soup, homemade bread, crackers and cheese. Carol M. heated the soup for lunch. Salad was provided by Carol Bowers and of course delivered by Stan. Desert was provided by Dorothy.
Today we had a winter storm and by the time the day ended we had about 6 - 8" of snow on the ground with another 2 - 5" due tonight.
Del and Stan continue to work in the engine compartment insulating the cab from the heat of the engine. Del and Stan cut and installed several sections of metal plus its insulation. Ed today brought along sheet metal that was donated by Sparta Sheet Metal for this use. Sparta also donated the use of an electric metal cutter.
RIGHT UPPER 16' DOOR
Last week the motor that operates this door was removed to have it checked to see why it was growling and smoking on occasion. The motor checked out fine. Today the gearbox was opened up and everything there looked fine. Al S. and Ed installed the motor and it was run and everything seems fine. However next week Al S. is going to bring some instruments to see where the growing and vibration is coming from in this gearing system.
Ed and Howard fabricated and welded in additional supports to this right door to reduce the door sag. Unfortunately this did not improve its condition.
The labels that identify which tools are in the toolbox drawers over the past five years have fallen off making all of us open many drawers to find that specific tool. We have two large upright toolboxes. Fred brought a labeling machine from home and got all the drawers identified. That also allowed moving some tools that had been misplaced in the wrong drawers over the years to be put back where they belong.
As mentioned we had to do some body repair at the rear of the right side of the Futurliner. In the process the right rear was wet sanded with 400-grit sandpaper removing some dirt as well as some pin holes. It was decided also to wet sand the left rear to remove some dirt as well as pinholes. Art and Connie completed the right side repairs while Don wet sanded the left rear 1/4 section. Then Art and Connie prepared the surfaces for painting. Art then painted both the right and left rear 1/4 sections the Target Red color coat putting on three coats.
Fred worked at sanding the frames on the light fixtures that will be placed in the display area of the Futurliner.
ELECTRICAL - WIRING
Paul installed wiring inside the cab. Al S. completed and checked out the headlight wiring. Wally and Al then started the process of checking out other circuits in the wiring system. In the process Wally had to make some engineering revisions. More checking to be continued next week.
Dick and Marty continue to work at fabricating and installing parts inside the Futurliner cab or cockpit. They are also preparing the hinges for the hatch that is in the top of the cab of the Futurliner.
Dick has secured a free spot for a booth at the annual antique car Kalamazoo Swap meet that is on February 7 & 8. Mike is in the process of gathering the materials that we need for this show.
Al continues to do our photographing. In addition Mike and Al have been supplying information to another publication in Sweden that wants to do an article on the Futurliner Restoration. This is a different magazine than the one mentioned in last week's report.
Today, arriving in the mail, was a copy of the video "SHIFTING GEARS" Episode 10. This is the video that none of us had seen that is an interview with Del Carpenter. I reviewed this video tonight and the interview was taken at the end of the "EYES ON DESIGN " show at GM"s Technical Center in Warren, Michigan this past June (2003).
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Carol Bowers, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Jeff Dornbush, Elaine Elzinga, Ron Elzinga, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul
Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Howard Sullivan and John Wiltjer. GUESTS:
Nelson Hansen, Don Feutz, Paul Borgardas and Joe Poliski.
As usual we started with Howard's donuts. Lunch was provided by Carol with the salad coming from Elaine and desert by Carol Bowers. Mike and Al again setup for lunch.
CHEVRO - SWEDEN
Many months ago I received an e-mail from Goran Schusseleder from Sweden representing the Scandinavian Chevy's Association asking us if we could help them do an article about the Futurlilners and the Parade of Progress. Goran had come across the Futurliner web site and was excited about doing a feature article. I turned this job over to Al Batts, Mike Ball, and Jim Crame (web site manager). They, working with Goran, did an outstanding job with an article about the Futurliner, the Parade of Progress, and our restoration project. Although most of you will never see the article the front cover of the magazine has the picture of our Futurliner in color and the back cover has our restoration team next to the Futurliner again in color. I want to thank Goran, Al, Mike and Jim for an outstanding job as they worked many months in putting this together. Although the feature article is in English the rest of the magazine is in Swedish.
We make our web site available to anyone that wants to download information. Just give credit to the Futurliner Restoration project and NATMUS along with listing our web site www.futurliner.com.
Jim installed the housing that holds the tail and brake lights in the left rear door and started the wiring for these fixtures.
REAR 1/4 SECTION
When we were working on the inside of the rear section installing the inner liner the outer skin was bumped damaging the outside. Today Art repaired this as well as priming this section. Since this 1/4 section must be repainted Ron and Don wet sanded this entire section in preparation for new paint.
LEFT 1/4 SECTION
The left rear outer section has some dirt in the paint as well as orange peel. Ron and Don wet sanded this area and then started the process of rubbing it out with rubbing compound.
RIGHT UPPER 16' DOOR
Today another section of rectangular tubing was welded to the bottom of this door. In addition more welds were added to the 1/4" X 4" steel that was welded in last week. Again this saw an improvement in the door sag. Ed, Paul, and Howard worked together on this job today.
In raising and lowering this door many times we have noticed that the motor gets very hot, smokes and sometimes makes a grinding noise. Today at the end of the session Al S.and Ed removed the motor to take it to a motor electrical shop for checking and repair.
LEFT CAB 1/4 WINDOW
Ed and Don F. started cutting steel in order to frame this window.
CAB or DRIVER'S COCKPIT
Dick and Marty fabricated and with Connie welding installed framing inside the cab to mount the sheet metal panels in place.
Al S. worked at installing the wiring for the headlights.
Del and Stan installed insulation in the engine bay.
Mike continues to research the photos for our crew as we have questions. Al continues to take photos as well as doing the running to the parts store for the crew.
Ed, Al S. and Don have visited several trailer manufacturers. We have basically found we cannot have a trailer built without exceeding the length requirements of the State of Michigan. Our next stop is to Michigan's DOT to see what special use permit we can obtain. We are on the verge of ordering a trailer except for the money.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Paul
Prinzing, Martin Reed, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow, and Howard Sullivan. GUESTS:
LUNCH -- We started the day with Howard's donuts. Lunch was provided by Carol with Wilma's salad and Audrey's desert. Mike and Al set up and tore down our lunchroom.
DONATION - VALVE
Jim Chambers, who owns Fluid Connections in Grand Rapids, Michigan has been supplying us with the DOT approved fittings. One of the items we needed was the valve that operates the step that allows one to ascend the stairs to the driver's compartment.
The original valve leaked air and Fluid Connections attempted to repair it but the casting was worn. Next they spent weeks tracking down the original valve manufacturer (Galland - Henn- Nopak). They managed to find a valve that performs the same function and we now have a new valve. Del and Stan will now have to fabricate a new mount and change the plumbing. Thanks to Jim at Fluid Connections.
DONATIONS - SUPPLIES
Montana Paints through their local supplier Wyrick Products continues to provide the paint products that are required for the Futurliner. Yesterday I picked up the light color gray for the rear interior of the Futurliner. Again thanks to Wyrick and Montana.
DONATIONS - ENGINE, STARTER
Bill Bicknell has assembled the spare engine and was needing one part (starter) to put it on his test stand and try it out by running it. Ed DeVries managed to get a starter donated but it was in rough condition with a portion of the Benedix broken. We took the starter to Adema Alternator and Starter Service in Coopersville and in 2-1/2 days after finding a new solenoid they had the starter as good as new.
In order to get the starter to Bill, Bill found a friend at work that happening to be going to visit folks in Grand Rapids. Bill asked him to make a 40 mile side trip to pick up the starter as well as a wood shipping cradle that Bill had shipped the first engine to us on.
We thank Ed, Ryan at Adema, and Bill for all these donations.
You may ask why a spare engine. Since the engine is buried inside the frame rails, in order to observe this engine we decided to make a display of the hidden drive train and, while doing it, make the display function. In other words we will have an operational engine, coupled to its Hydramatic transmission, and then coupled to the rear transmission as a display.
Del and Stan worked at making a bracket for the new valve that Fluid Connections provided. They also plumbed it in. However this new valve has a small leak that will have to be taken care of. Del and Stan installed the exhaust pipe hangers today.
We have some old interior light fixtures that were in one of the Futurliners in the 1950s that were used to light up the display. These fixtures have many years of rust on them. Today Connie and Art spent the day disassembling these fixtures and started the process to clean, sand blast them, and prepare them for painting.
Wally and Jeff installed and wired in the turn signal mechanism inside the cab of the Futurliner. Al S. also finished the installation of the key switch that turns on all the power for the Futurliner. Paul continues to work at the rear of the Futurliner installing wiring.
RIGHT 16' UPPER DOOR
As you already know we have a major sag problem with this upper door. Today Ed, Ron, Howard and Don F. tried several different items to reduce this door sag. Without going through all the items that they tried, only one was successful in reducing this door sag and that was adding a 1/4" X 4" plate welded perpendicular to the bottom door channel. Just by doing this, the sag was reduced from about 3" to about 3/4". Next week they plan to add two additional 1/4" plates about at the 1/3 and 2/3s locations on this door.
We raised the left door and we have the same problem with this door.
Al recently received a communication from a magazine he has been sending photos to in Sweden and they have an article published in an automobile magazine and copies have been mailed to us. Mike recently bought a movie off of e-bay from a person in New Foundland that has a scene in which a Futurliner was used as the get-a-way vehicle. Today Mike played the video while we had coffee. It appears that the Futurliner used in the movie was Bob Valdez's when it was still in primer. The movie was made in the early 1990s and was called "FIRE POWER". Although there are neat shots of the Futurliner I would not run out and rent the movie, unless you like lots of violence.
Art and Jim continue to work on the back doors making the inside panels.
Howard, Ed and Al S. have been visiting local trailer places investigating what type of trailer will work to haul the Futurliner. This Friday we intend to visit one of these places that we have a quote ($26,400) from. We want to review all the dimensions as well as the Futurliner dimensions. What we now have on paper from this company looks good and we would like to get this trailer ordered. However, we do not have this kind of money. We would like a lead on someone or some company that would foot the bill for this trailer. The only way the Futurliner is going to be shown through out this country, other than local shows, is a way to safely transport it by trailer.
Again we thank all those that have been following this project and your interest in it.
Mike Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga,
Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick
Saddler, Al Scholten, Audrey Snow, Wallly Snow, and Howard Sullivan.
Today we woke up to the first official 2004 blizzard here in Western Michigan with winds gusting from 35 mph to 55 mph. A lot of horizontal blowing of snow and terrible road conditions. Stan, who lives near Kalamazoo, called after being on the road for over an hour, and not even halfway here, decided to turn around and head for home.
Right on schedule Howard showed up with the donuts. Carol supplied lunch with deserts from Sue and Audrey. Mike did the setup as Al had to leave early today.
John Wiltjer, during the Holidays, dropped off a chrome exhaust extension. Today, Del fitted and installed that with Wayne helping. At the top of the exhaust pipe, where it exits out of the Futurliner, there is a designed hole to allow cooling of the exhaust stack. Inside this hole is a screen type mesh. Del and Wayne replaced this with new material and soldered it in place. (Wayne's plan for today was to head south for the winter in his motor home but due to the blizzard, he elected to wait a few days.)
BODY & WEATHER SEALS
Connie and Art completed the fabrication and installation of the lower left rear door inner panel. They also installed the weather seal channels for this left door and then installed the weather seals.
UPPER LEFT 16' DOOR
Ed, Ron, and with Howard doing the welding completed all the reinforcing for this upper door to prevent it from sagging. At the end of the day we tried out the door and much to our dismay the door sag is still unacceptable. Back to the drawing board after a lot of work.
Wally continues to terminate wiring in the cab. Paul is in the last phases of the wiring at the rear 12-volt control box. Al Scholten worked at installing a key disconnect switch that shuts down all the power from the battery. (This switch is a safety item.)
Don worked at the salvage operation of lights that will go into the display area. We were fortunate to get about 30 light fixtures from our Futurliner friends in Canada and we plan to use them.
Up in the driver's compartment Dick and Marty are repairing the old metal as well as fabricating new.
We are still in need of a copy of the History Channel's brief presentation of the Futurliner when it was at the Eyes on Design show this past June. Did anyone out there copy it. I have e-mailed the History Channel several times but have not had a reply?
Al Batts has downloaded many photos onto a CD-ROM and mailed it to John Betts of RETRO 1-2-3. In addition, Joel Dirnberger, who is making a Futurliner model for himself has also downloaded from his computer all the dimensional data from his computer and sent it to RETRO 1-2-3. RETRO 1-2-3 is in the process of accumulating this data and then getting a prototype model built for GM's final approval before starting production of the Futurliner model. Again, if you are interested in purchasing a model just send me an e-mail with your address. I will pass this information on to RETRO.
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