GM Futurliner 2005 Progress Reports
GM Futurliner Restoration Project
National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States

|   2008
2007  |  2006
|  2004
  2003 Jan-Aug
  2003 Sep-Dec
2002  |  2001
2000  |  1999
  2002  |  2001
  2000  |  1999

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.

2005 Progress/Work Reports
For previous "progress reports," click on the year below.
1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003
Jan-Aug | 2003 Sep-Dec |
2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009


Dec. 6 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries (doughnuts), Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Jerry Sigler and Wally Snow
    Lunch today was bring you own brown bag.
    Dale Buttermore
    We had a general meeting discussing the 2006 calendar and the potential shows that the Futurliner will be attending. Before anyone out their invites us to a show it must be understood that our bank account has been used to restore the Futurliner and we do not have any resourses to bring the Futurliner to an event. For those organizations that wish to have the Futurliner at an event the following costs must be considered:
    1) Minimum donation of $5,000 to "NATMUS - FUTURLINER RESTORATION". (This is for the purpose of future maintenance.)
    2) All expenses necessary to cover the travel, hotel, and meals of the volunteers necessary to accompany the Futurliner.
    3) Hiring of a semi truck with driver to transport the Futurliner to and from the event including necessary insurance; etc..
    4) Other miscellaneous items such as security, washing facilities, overnight storage, and as they say in "King and I"; etc., etc., etc., I am not trying to discourage any one from wanting the Futurliner at their event it is simply necessary because we do not have the money.
    2006 is pretty well booked, so if you want to book for 2007 please understand the above.
    Mike continues to maintain our treasure of archive material. This material has been invaluable in restoring the NATMUS Futurliner to its original condition. Jim continues to sort through all the Futurliner inventory place it in storage. Al B. continues the photograph catalog.
1957 BUICK
    Stan and Don F. traveled to Del's workshop and started the cleaning up and some maintenance items to prepare this car to sell in order to add money to our restoration bank account.
    Fred and Al worked on the Futurliner model today preparing it for use as part of our overall inside display. Fred also has been working at home on various elements.
    For those considering a future show the inside display itself will be a unique attraction.
   Del, along with his crew of Ron and later Al S. worked on the display trailer. Al has also been working on the wiring diagram for the generator and control box.
    GM air conditioned the driver's cockpit of the Futurliners in 1952. To date we have not been able to get that done due to its expense. The last quote we had was for $4500. When the Futurliner was trucked out of here over two weeks ago a local company asked to have it brought to their shop and they would take a look of adding air to the driver's cockpit just like GM did in 1952.
    Reefer Service of Hudsonville, Michigan is now installing air conditioning and doing it as a donation to the Futurliner Restoration project. This is one of those jobs that we thought would never get done. Another miracle!
    Remember, we have this great video that can be ordered from the museum, NATMUS. Call at (260) 925-9100 to order the video, shirts, caps, and other Futurliner memorabilia. These are neat Christmas gifts. You will not be disappointed.
Nov. 29 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Jim Buick, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wallly Snow and Howard Sullivan (doughnuts).
1957 BUICK
    Mentioned before is the fact that we had an original 1957 Buick donated to our Futurliner restoration project. Del has been driving it to our work day to discover the items that need taken care of. The latest drive he discovered that the fuel pump has a bad gasoline leak. Last Wednesday Del and several of us stopped at Northwestern Auto Supply here in Grand Rapids, Michigan bringing along the fuel pump off of the 1957 Buick Special. They went into the computer and the computer said they had one, the clerk went looking for it and presented it to Del. Northwestern has been one of our donors since this project started. We appreciate their help in the restoration.
    Where else in the USA can you walk into a parts store and pickup a fuel pump for a 1957 Buick? Northwestern ships parts to the old car hobby all over the world. We appreciate them being here in western Michigan. If you need old car parts try them out:
(616) 241-5611; fax (616) 241-0924; toll free (800) 704-1078.
    On Thursday morning we all woke up to about a fresh 5" snow fall. The Kalamazoo Toy Show organizers, Bruce and Dee Beimers, were afraid the weather would really diminish attendance Saturday. However, even with the snow on the ground Saturday was cold, bright and sunny. The crowds were heavy.
    Our volunteers included Dick who transported all our materials to Kalamazoo as well as selling on Saturday. Jerry and Stan setup the show material. Don F., Don M., Del, Wally, and Paul acted as sales persons. Today, Jerry had to count and place everything back into inventory. We brought in about $320 worth of donations.
    We also need to thank Bruce and Dee who gave us a good spot right in the traffic flow. Thanks!
SHOW TIME - 2006
    You might wonder with us winding down the work for the Futurliner why all the volunteers today. We had scheduled a meeting to discuss the future of the Futurliner. We also wanted to decide upon the show schedule for 2006 since we have many invitations. Sorry we cannot do all of them but it comes down to finances, timing, availability of our volunteers, and a host of other items.
    Jim Buick led the discussion for four hours and we had an outstanding meeting. Since many of our invitations are still in planning we do not wish to announce our show schedule until the final planning is complete.
    At noon we all feasted on pizza and then started our work. At the end of this e-mail is a list of the work yet to be completed on the Futurliner. However, at the present time the Futurliner is in storage.
    Al S. completed the repairs on the shop air compressor. He then headed to Del's to start the wiring of the generator, control box and transformers.
    Ed brought his high lift truck and we used it to dismantle the overhead trolley crane that Dick loaned us over 6 years ago. Once dismantled they were loaded onto Dick's trailer.
    Others dismantled the two scaffolds and loaded them into Ed's pickup truck and his trailer.
    Wayne had loaned us a host of his shop tools and we loaded all of these into his van.
    There were two 8' sets of florescent fixtures in which the lights were burnt out. We did not have a ladder to reach these fixtures. Al drove to the hardware and picked up tubes and we used Ed's high lift with its platform to reach and change these bulbs. Unfortunately one fixture did not respond to new bulbs. We will have to call an electrician on this as the fixture will probably have to be changed.
    Later Ed, Don F. and Wayne installed an exhaust fan as some small parts painting will have to be done this winter for the restoration of my 1929 Buick as well as sections of our new Futurliner display.
    Fred and Art worked on the "new" Futurliner display. They completed the day by painting the model of the FBCG car its final color coat. It is looking great. In the meantime Fred has acquired (his donation) two award winning FBCG trophies for this display. Both are in perfect condition and will really enhance this portion of the display.
    Fred has been working on the display at his home and has enlisted a carpenter friend (I failed to get his name) who is donating his time to complete the 4' rotating table for the display. Al S. in the meantime has ordered a motor-gear box with a 1 RPM rotation schedule for the table's power source.
    Mike as usual has all the bills to pay. He also continue to file our archive material that keeps on coming. Jim Baker continues to work on his inventory. Al, in addition to his having to go to the hardware twice, continues his photography, and helps Mike and others in their work.
    Del, Ron, Stan, and Ken headed to Del's shop to continue to work on the Futurliner display trailer. Al S. arrived after he finished working on the shop compressor.
1) Trim and touch up under left vent window.
2) Air ventilation and blowers to complete.
3) Insulate exhaust.
4) Set timing.
5) Make bracket for step valve.
6) Install new choke cable.
7) Install cut out cable.
8) Adjust shifter cable.
9) Add muffler hanger at inlet end.
10) Make dip stick for transmission.
11) Move feed for wiper to regulated side.
12) Finish installing electric radiator fan. (This installation is for parades only and is being installed to be removable for shows.)
13) Futurliner display trailer.
14) Futurliner display.
15) 1957 Buick cleanup.
    As you can see there is a lot of detail work to complete. 
    There are still financial needs per the above list. So do not forget us if you have anything left after donating to more worthy causes such as hurricane relief, those in need of food and clothes, your place of worship, or the other needs of this world that are wanting. I again thank all those that have been contributors to this project for the past 6+ years. Without that financial support we would have had to stop years ago. We never had to cancel a work session due to money. Thank you!
    As Futurliner detail work occurs I will keep everybody informed.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Wilma Miedema (salad), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow (desert), Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan (donuts), John Wissink. GUESTS: Ken Faber, Jim Larimoue, Art Sheid, Ray Sheid, John Zwyghuizen.
    Mentioned before was the donation of the fog type lights for the two center head lights of the Futurliner. The Futurliners all had these type of lights for the front. However, the fixtures needed restoration. Connie sent the lens to Craig Riker down in Toledo, Ohio. Craig replated the lens as a donation to the project. Today Wayne and Connie worked at painting these fog light housings.
    When we start the Futurliner we must start it with a full choke (manual). However, the over head door when it is up is only about 8" above the exhaust stack on the Futurliner. As a result we blast soot all over the top of the white roofed Futurliner. It takes hours to clean off this oily soot. Once the engine is warmed up and the Futurliner is outside the problem does not exist.
    We decided to add an exhaust cut-out like was common on the older fire engines. Ryan offered to build the cut-out. Today he brought the cut-out. It is a precision piece of equipment having a 2-1/2" inlet, and two 2-1/2" outlets. One outlet by passes the exhaust system and dumps the exhaust out underneath the Futurliner. The cut-out was installed today by Del. The lever was wired to keep the exhaust diverted. Later Del will install a cable operated handle to be able to operate the cut-out from the driver's compartment.
    The operating procedure will be to start the Futurliner with the exhaust diverted and once warmed up and outside the exhaust will be operated as normal.
    After Del installed the cutout he and Ron went to work on the display trailer. While Del was installing the cut-out Ron polished the stainless bolts that are used to hold the fenders onto the display trailer.
    Paul and Howard spent the day doing paint touch up as well as further buffing.
    Jerry, Dick, and Marty finished up a lot of detail work in the cab including installing the driver's seat once again.
    Don F. installed the grab handle at the entrance of the Futurliner.
    Wally ran the wiring to be able to operate the blower that was installed last week.
    Fred and Art worked on the FBCG model that will be part of the display. At the end of the day it was in final primer and they were fitting the small detail parts.
    Now that Jim has completed the inventory he has started storing what we need to keep and throwing into the trash the remainder. We have shelves and shelves of material for Jim to go through.
    Al S. today picked up the repair parts for one of our shop air compressors. He proceeded to do the repairs, reinstall the air compressor, and then try it out. The compressor is back up and running.
    Mike and Al did their outstanding job of managing the office, continue to file all our archives and setting up and tearing down for lunch.
    At the end of the day Star trucking sent driver Fred Hoffman to pickup the Futurliner on our trailer. We had to get it moved into storage before the bad weather hits. We have a major storm predicted to hit Michigan starting tomorrow about noon. Some places are expected to get up to 24" of snow by this Saturday, This area is predicted to get anywhere from 8" to 12" of snow. Only time will tell.
    We still owe $20,000 on our Futurliner transport trailer.
    However the work continues. Del will be working with a small crew on the display trailer. Al S., and Fred with a small crew will be working on the future Futurliner display. We will have another crew working on cleaning up and doing some maintenance on the donated 1957 Buick in preparation of putting it up for sale. We have an exhaust system to repair, wipers to repair, and other miscellaneous items to take care of plus cleanup.
    You might ask what the rest of the crew will be doing? To begin with, change over the shop to work on antique cars. We have decided to work on each other's cars for awhile. Although that work will not go out as Futurliner e-mails, if anyone is interested we can make a separate e-mail list.
    The Futurliner e-mails will continue as we have information. We also intend to continue the newsletter. We are also working on our show schedule for 2006 and we will keep everyone informed.

VOLUNTEERS: Don Mayton and Jerry Sigler
    We contracted for a person to come on Thursday, November 17 to install our original color and style flooring material. We had a 5" snow fall the morning he was suppose to come and as a result he never showed. So Jerry suggested we install the flooring. We spent both Thursday and Friday installing the flooring material.

Nov. 15 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter (main meal), Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Wilma Miedema (desert), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow (salads), Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts). GUEST: Ken Faber TCT (Tin Can Tourists)
    One of our volunteers and hard worker has donated a Fisher Body Craftsman Guild that he purchased on e-bay. Fred brought along the FBCG model car. The model has seen a rough life and both Fred and Art started to restore it for our new Futurliner display. Al took photos of it so it will appear on the e-mails that I send out that have photos attached. Remember, I do not send photos with these e-mails as they tend to clog up the slower computer programs. If you want to be added the the photo list let me know.
    We were donated a 53" TV screen by Bob Parshall of Kalamazoo, Michigan. We tried it out today and it works great. This will immediately enhance our video presentation.
    Fred, Al B., and Mike continue to review photographs for the future display. In addition Fred has done a lot of work at home laying out the actual display. Al continues to take his photos. Mike continues his office work, pay bills, and all our research.
    Jim is now consolidating the inventory. Next he will start throwing away the "junk".
    Del, Ken, Ron, Jeff, and Al S. worked at Del's on the display trailer. They are at the point of doing all the heavy industrial wiring of the generator, control panel, and the three transformers.
    Al S. disassembled our sick air compressor. He discovered that the head gasket was broken as well as the head being warped. The air compressor has a metal gasket. Today he ordered a new gasket and head.
    Wayne and Al B. installed the casters on our donated file cabinets.
    Dick and Marty continue to complete the trim pieces and install them. Jerry took to his home the lower panel that goes under the seat. He upholstered this and today fitted it in place. He had to remove it again to prepare the area for the floor covering.
    Don F. and Ed fabricated and installed the brackets for the left side air intake for the driver's cockpit. They used a 1956 Buick heater blower as the Futurliner's blower's were "toast". They still have the right one to install. Wally started the wiring from the switch to this blower.
    Paul completed the installation of interior rear panels.
    Howard had the monster job of completing the top cleanup and buffing of the Futurliner. He is our tallest and it is even difficult to reach the top center of the Futurliner standing on a scaffold.
Nov. 8 VOLUNTEERS: Mike Baker, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus (Ken's wife provided todays salad.), Don Bratt, Dorthy Bratt (main meal and two deserts), Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Jeff Miller, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow (doughnuts) and Howard Sullivan. GUEST: Errol Mang - A Visually Sound Co.
    Our guest today was here to look at the Futurliner to develop specifications for a video-audio system for our display. When Al S. met Errol at his place of business and showed Errol the photographs of the Futurliner, Errol stated he had ridden in a Futurliner when he was a small boy. Al S. came to find out that Errol's father, Ervin, was the driver of our Futurliner when it belonged to Driesbach Cadillac here in Michigan.
    As a result of our request for Fisher Body Craftsman Guild material we have received from David Chartier, Guildsman from the mid '50's ; photos, a CD disc from the Guild's reunion in June of 2004, and printed material. David has supplied photos and materials from 1953 through 1956. This is a real treasure of material and we thank David for this.
    Fred spent the day sorting through all the materials that we had received from our Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild friends. Fred stated our donations were outstanding to use in our future display. Thanks again!
    Fred also brought along a FBCG car that he had previously purchased for his personal collection that we all could take a look at.
    As a result of the Hydramatic leak investigation last week we have since received a new seal and gasket from Memphis Equipment. It was also discovered that the Torus cover on the transmission has a slight distortion. Tom went back to his supply of parts and found a used Torus cover.
    On Monday, November 7, 2005, Del and Tom installed the Torus cover along with a new seal and gasket. Next they coupled the transmission and engine back together and then installed them into the display trailer. Next the radiator was installed with the hoses. Following that all the engine wiring was connected back together. The exhaust system was hooked back up. At the end of the day the only thing left was starting the engine and checking everything out.
    Tuesday Del took his crew of Don B., Ron, and Ken to his work shop. They completed the installation of the engine and transmission that Tom and Del had started yesterday.
    Ed and Jerry today completed the installation of the front door locks. Then they reassembled the door inner panels.
    Jeff Miller answered the call for a small shaft that is used to drive the speedometer gear. He had this shaft in his inventory. Jeff over hauls and restores Blue Bird Motor Homes. Jeff then took on the task of fishing out the small broken end of the shaft from the angle gear. Once this was done Paul installed it back in the Futurliner. Then they started up the Futurliner to insure everything worked which it did.
    Paul completed the two rear inside cover panels today. Art and Connie then primed and painted them their final color coat.
    One of my future restorations is a 1956 Buick Century Convertible. With this car I happen to have here two 1956 Buick donor cars, one a 2 door hardtop and one a convertible. Other words, three cars to make one good one.
    The original blower motors for the Futurliner to provide fresh air to the driver's compartment are as we say "toast". In other words we cannot repair them. Several of us have been looking for these type of blower motors that were used in the 1950's. Today Don F. removed the blower motors from the three 1956 Buicks and Wayne and Don F. checked them out and they all work. One will be saved for my project, and the other two will go into the Futurliner.
    Don F. and Wayne disassembled them and started cleaning and sand blasting them in order to paint them.
    I mentioned last week the Buick that we had been donated to our restoration project. This Buick has been stored at Wally's place for the past couple of years. Today Wes brought along a battery and gasoline and proceeded to Wally's place to pick it up. Once started they drove it to Del's where it was placed in Del's wash bay for cleanup. Wes stated the car drove great and is tight just like the low miles show on the speedometer.
    Just a few facts about this Buick. It is a 32,000 mile car originally from Alabama. It still has its original paint, but the paint is thin. Once we have cleaned it up we will be selling it for pay for our Futurliner restoration bills.
    Over the course of the six year restoration we make an annual cleanup. Today was the day. Howard and Wayne loaded Howard's truck with scrap iron, brass, and aluminum. They also neatly stacked the remaining stuff.
    Dick and Marty continue to work down the list of items in the cockpit. Today after fabricating some trim panels Connie and Art painted them.
    Mike missed most of the day since he had to visit his dentist. Al B. filled in with all the detail work that goes into lunch in addition doing his photography work.
    Once Howard was done outside he continued the Futurliner cleanup started last week. Art also worked on some detailing.
    Jim completed the inventory today.
    Towards the end of the day we received the sad news that John Wiltjer passed away last evening. John had been fighting cancer and he is now with his Lord.
    John has been faithful to this project from its inception. Although John did not do any physical work he provided the resources that Weller Truck could provide. As a result of his interface with Weller Truck he saved us $1,000's of dollars.
    John was a member of the Buick Club of America and just three weeks ago he was with our local Buick Club on our annual fall color tour. John and I sat together at the restaurant at the end of our tour. John always showed up in his pristine 1963 Buick 2 door hardtop Rivera. His car was a beautiful dark green car that he was so proud of.
    We pray for John's family as well as John's wife Henrietta as they grieve John's passing. We will really miss John.
Nov. 1 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball (desert), Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter (main meal), Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga (flying Dutchman), Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing (desert - we finished up the ice cream from last week), Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Dee Sigler (salad), Jerry Sigler and Wally Snow
    I might mention with two shops (here and Del's) working at once and our numbers have grown. As a result the food requirements for those supplying lunch have really grown. We just thank all of the women for keeping pace with the requirements. Mike and Al B. manage to shoe horn us all in our break room for lunch.
    In addition to Henry Rom's donation JMS sent us a book written by John Jacobus called "The Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild: An Illustrated History". This is an excellent book about the FBCG. It can be purchased by calling 1-800-253-2187.
    Note: Our Futurliner Restoration has no connection to the sales of this book. I am just including the above for information.
    Bruce Beimers has also donated some FBCG material and literature as well as Soap Box Derby information.
    While the display committee was working today we received another article from Parader Vic Garske. Vic managed to find and secure and then donate an original Parader's tool box. For those that get the photos it will be pictured. We thank Vic for this great donation. The tool box is in excellent condition with its original tools.
    Fred, Wes, and Mike today worked on the start of the Futurliner future display. Ryan DeVries will be working on items at home.
    Today the task was to find the source of the transmission oil leak. To do this Del had decided that the engine transmission combination had to be pulled out of the trailer. He also called Tom Kuhlman asking him to make the 1-1/2 hour drive from his home to help diagnose the problem. Tom is an expert on these military Hydramatic transmissions. His experience comes from running a Church camp that for years used old Korean War Army trucks for snow plows.
    Del, Tom, Ron, Don B., and Ken headed off to Del's shop after our morning coffee. After pulling the engine transmission and separating the two they discovered that the main seal was distorted. After lunch they called Memphis Equipment, the folks that restored this transmission, and had a conference call. Memphis Equipment will be sending a new seal and gasket set. In the process of analyzing the problem they did find out the cause of the problem.
    During the course of this restoration we have had no serious accidents, thank the Lord. Today we had a serious near-miss that could have resulted in an accident. Ron went flying, or should I say catapulting, when the device they were using to move the display trailer was put into an over balance position. Although he ended up with bumps and bruises he did not get seriously hurt.
    The driver's seat frame was restored at the beginning of our restoration process by Dean Tryon in North Carolina. It was originally installed without any upholstery because we needed it in place. Over the years the frame has become scratched. Today it was removed and Connie and Art sanded out all the scratches and repainted it. Again it looks great.
   Ed and Don F. took on the job of installing the two front door locks. They are installed but still require some adjustments.
    Our primary air compressor has been making noises recently and Al S. did the job of being the maintenance trouble shooter today. By the end of the day he had determined the air compressor is simply worn out. We ordered just the compressor unit today.
    Today Jerry completed the memorabilia inventory. Jim continues to do the Futurliner inventory.
    Bruce Berghoff and George Ferris continue to work on up and coming Futurliner book. This book will tell the story of the restoration of the Futurliner as well as the "PARADE" and other historical facts. Although Bruce and George do not get named on a weekly basis they are busy working at home on this project.
    The original photos of the Futurliner show a set of center fog lights. Until this summer we could not find the correct size that is required. Currently we have a set and Wayne is in the process of restoring the ones that were donated.
    Paul and Wally finally tracked down why the speedometer does not work. Paul removed the angle gear box that drives the speedometer. Wally disassembled the gear box and discovered the the gearing was frozen with old grease. While he was cleaning up this gearing Paul discovered that a small shaft inside the rear transmission was sheared. Now to find another small shaft.
    Dick, Jerry and Marty worked Monday continuing to eliminate items off of Dick's list. Today they continued to work this list down to the point they are at their 1/'2 point.
    Randall Publishing called today and they will be publishing an article about unique historical vehicles in their December issue of "OVERDRIVE". The article will include the Futurliner. This is a trade publication so it will be hard to find unless you are in the trucking business. Look for it at any rate. We will be getting a few complimentary copies.
1957 BUICK
    During the course of this restoration we were donated a 1957 Buick. We have made the decision to clean up this vehicle as is and sell it to provide funds for the Futurliner project. This is an original car and does need some TLC. However it runs good and it is unusual in one aspect. It came from the factory with a stick shift. Almost all Buicks in the "50's" were equipped with their Dynaflow. Stay tuned for further developments.
Oct. 25 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (salad), Wes Myrick, Marjo Prinzing (desert), Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow and Howard Sullivan
    Del, during the past week managed to get enough engine wiring done to start the engine on the display trailer. He spent time doing his engine checks and other detail checks. The only bad news is that our restored Hydromatic leaks when it is in gear. Another challenge to over come. Del took his crew of Don B., Ron, and Stan today and did other detail work.
    Howard continued fabricating four trim panels that will get mounted around the inside at the 1/4 windows. Dick and Marty also worked at Dick's long list of items.
    The Futurliner originally had door locks so today Al S. installed an engine access door lock system.
    Art and Connie completed the final paint on the front bumper.
    Wally at home this past week tested the speedometer and it works fine. Today Wally and Paul jacked up the rear of the Futurliner to find out why we cannot get the speedometer to work on the Futurliner. They found the reason and now have to come up with a fix.
    Ed and Wes worked at installing the new rubber that was donated by Restoration Supplies for the lighting fin.
    Some time ago the Futurliner project received as donations two steamer trunks. Parader William Mitchell (1941 Parader) and Conrad "Connie" Vaughan (1950's Parader) each donated a trunk. They are very unique (check photos on web site) in that they had a hanging system for the uniforms as well as lockable drawers for the balance of each Parader's outfits and personnel items.
    In the process of moving these around one of the trunks became locked with the key on the inside. Since these steamer trunks are treasures and we want to use them in our future display Wayne was assigned to get the trunk unlocked. Wayne ended up taking steel wool and cleaning up the area on the built in trunk lock and found a number. From that number he called a local Key Store. They in turn searched their inventory and can you believe they had "the" key we needed in stock. Also, they only had one key, but that is all we needed.
    After picking up the key we have our trunk opened again.
    Jerry has been put in charge of all the items that we sell at shows. He is spending time organizing and inventorying every item.
    Jim continues to inventory all our Futurliner vehicle parts and supplies.
    Al B. this past week had some of our 8" X 11" photos enlarged to poster size in preparation for our future display that will appear. Also the display committee met at the beginning of the work session.
    Mike continues to do our research, paying bills, archiving material and with Al B's help set up and tear down for lunch.
Oct. 18 VOLUNTEERS: Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan ReVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton,  (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Wilma Miedema (desert), Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow (salad), Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan and John Wissink. GUESTS: Rick Saddler (Dick's son) and 
Brian (Rick's co-worker)
    We have discovered that when it rains our weather seal on the lighting fin does not completely seal the rain out. Today Ed, Wes, John, and Paul worked to determine the fix. It was determined that a different weather seal would be required. Ed today ordered that seal from Restoration Supply. Restoration Supply has in the past donated parts that have been required for the Futurliner and again they donated the weather seal. It should arrive before next week.
    When going up into the cab and again descending there is nothing to hang onto. We had determined early on that a grab handle was necessary for safety. Ed and Wes started the process of fabricating this handle.
    Our speedometer has never functioned as it should. Today Wally removed the speedometer. Then Wally and Paul removed the sending unit at the rear of the Futurliner. Wally plans to check every thing out at home and then to calibrate the two units to get accurate measurements.
    Art and Connie continued to complete the repairs on the front bumper. At the end of the day the repairs were made and Art then painted the front bumper with primer.
    Because we have to continually raise money to keep this project rolling, maintaining our Futurliner items for sale is critical. We have two up coming winter shows where we will be offering our Futurliner memorabilia. Note, these shows will not have the Futurliner present. Jerry today spent the entire day inventorying all our items. We will have to restock several items. Remember, our volunteers not only do the restoration but also raise the money for the project.
    Christmas is coming so get your orders into the museum, NATMUS. We have tee shirts, polo shirts, caps, posters, Futurliner magnets, and we will be adding post card photos of the Futurliner. Thanks for your continued support.
    We had lots of activity here. Fred, Dick, Marty, and Howard worked on various projects to get the 17 items worked off the list.
    Del and his team; Ron, Don B., and Ken, worked at further assembly of the display trailer. They have continued to mount items including the fenders.
    Don F. brought his drill sharpener from home and spent much of the day sharpening 100's of drill bits.
    Mike and Al continued to support everyone today in their jobs including extensive digging through the photos for the display folks. Al also had to do his runs to the hardware.
    Dean Tryon down in North Carolina has just completed this quarterly newsletter and it has color photographs. He has been working with Jim Crame and the printer in order to be able to transmit it electronically to keep the costs at a minimum. Dean has done an outstanding job putting it together and those getting it via e-mail will be able to download it quickly. The balance will be sent via US Mail.
    We put together a committee to work out a new display for the Futurliner. Today that team; Al S., Don B., Ryan, and Fred, presented their proposal and it will greatly inhanse our presentation when we are at a show. Not only was their proposal great but they put together what they need to build the display.
    As a result of the display proposal we need the following donations:
1) We require a full size manikin with head, arms and hands, legs, etc. Must be a male manikin.
2) We need a good quality Fisher Body Craftsman Guild model.
3) We need Fisher Body Craftsman Guild literature and memorabilia.
4) We need Soap Box Derby memorabilia including crash helmet, shirt, jacket, literature, trophy, etc.
5) State of the art video (dvd) projection machine.
    For the above donations please contact Don at (616) 875-3058 or e-mail
Oct. 11  VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Jim Buick, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter (desert), Fred Carpenter, Connie DeJong, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, George Ferris, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (lunch - main meal and salad), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow and Howard Sullivan (doughnuts)
    In unloading the Futurliner from our special trailer we have discovered a hard lesson. The trailer has to be on a level surface and not blocked for any road conditions. The fit of the Futurliner on this trailer is very close. In one of the unloading sessions the front center of the rubber was damaged. Connie made a temporary repair for our summer shows back in May. Today Connie and Art began a permanent repair.
    Dick made a long list of items to be completed inside the cab. Dick and Marty then began working on the list. On his list was the installation of the passenger's foot rest. Ron and Wes started making the brackets to hold this foot rest in place. Fred worked on installing a plate over a hole in the flooring. Metal was cut to make trim pieces for the 1/4 window trim.
    We had developed an electrical short in the wiring. Wally and Al worked and repaired this short.
    Wayne replaced the seals on our sand blast cabinet. This tool is in constant use and needed some maintenance. Don F. worked on other shop maintenance items.
    Del took his crew of Stan and Ken to his shop to work on the display trailer. It is coming along nicely.
    In the past I have mentioned the Futurliner book that Bruce Berghoff and George Ferris have been working on. Currently they have it at 120 photographs and 35,000 words. The goal is to get the words down to around 20,000. Today George was interviewing all the volunteers to clarify some items.
    We had some small exterior trim pieces that had been damaged. Today Paul repaired those items.
    Paul met with Nancy Schmidt, daughter of 1936 Parader Charles Serpan during the summer. In addition to the interview, Nancy provided some personal photographs. We will be getting these photographs copied and in a future report will include the story that goes with photographs. Mike had the job of getting the summer's archives filed along with his job of setting up lunch.
    Jim performed a badly needed inventory of the Futurliner spare parts. Howard continues to help wherever he is needed. Al B. had to run to the hardware and paint store for supplies.
    For a long break over summer a lot of work got done today.
I think during the day that I saw every one of our volunteers that live in this area. I will not list them as I will surely miss someone.
Fred Hoffman; Star Rental Trucking, met Ed DeVries at his storage facility around 6 AM. The donated semi truck was hooked up to the trailer and off they went west to Coopersville. Ed drove his bright red 1958 Corvette followed by the Futurliner on its trailer.
    At the show grounds, which was the main street blocked off in its entirety, the Futurliner was unloaded and driven to the area that Wally had the town fathers reserve for the Futurliner. Other volunteers were already there helping Howard to set up the tent. Once the crew had the tent up they headed off to the fire station where they were serving a hot pancake and sausage breakfast. (Very good as I partook of it later when I arrived.)
    At 7 AM I left my house in my 1942 Buick Super Sedanet and arrived to help the other volunteers to complete the setup inside the Futurliner as well as under the tent. (Later I had to deal with flat tires that is another story.)
We had a crowd around the Futurliner all day long. Since this was a local show a lot of the folks that visited us had previously viewed the Futurliner when it was under restoration during the past 6 years. The constant complement was that the restoration was a great job. Other comments were around the fact that they never thought the beast could be restored. These comments were rewarding in themselves.
    The show cars were outstanding and I believe there was over 370 cars?
Again we had a good day with folks donating to the project for some of our Futurliner memorabilia. Thanks to all the volunteers for helping here.
At the end of the day the Futurliner was loaded onto the trailer and this time trucked back to Beaverdam by Star Rentals. Fred Hoffman again managed to get Star to provide the semi truck with him driving. His day started with him picking up the truck and ended with him taking it back well after 8 PM.
    We have some work that is going to be done on the Futurliner this fall starting in September by a vendor. Then, right after the AACA meet in Hershey, the volunteers will again be working on the final cab work, some trim work, minor mechanical work, thorough clean-up, and a separate crew will be working on the display trailer.
    I want to say a special thanks to Wally and Audrey Snow for all the work that they did to have the Futurliner at the show and the fact that everything when smoothly. Thanks!!!!!!
Although we have had excellent donations through our shows this summer we still have the following expenses facing us.
+ Our Futurliner display includes a 12" TV that you have to squint to see. We want to upgrade to a very large screen that can be permanently mounted as well as survive being transported across the county.
+ We also want to improve our Futurliner display which will take some purchase of materials.
+ The display trailer will require final wiring of the generator and the control system when completed. We will have to pay for this wiring.
+ We still owe $20,000 on the purchase of our trailer for hauling the Futurliner.
+ We need to start banking money for future repairs as well as transportation needs.
Our 2005 show schedule is complete. We are currently working with people on the possibility of three 2006 national shows. Until we have sponsors and all the finances worked out we cannot review them.
    When folks request the Futurliner at their show they must remember that to move the Futurliner requires a semi truck and a professional driver. This is not cheap. Also a large crew from the volunteers is required to drive, maintain, act as Futurliner hosts and speakers. That means lodging, meals, and transportation is required. Also in every case a substantial donation is expected to be sent to NATMUS for the future maintenance of this vehicle.
    As one last footnote. In every show this summer we have specified a 30 amp electrical service. At almost every show this summer we tripped the service provided and ended up supplementing power from a motor home in one case and a portable generator in another case. On show required running electrical service from another breaker. When we complete the display trailer it will become our portable electrical source.
    We again thank all our volunteers and those that have shown so much interest in this project.
August 8  GILMORE - RED BARNS SPECTACULAR - August 6 & 7, 2005
Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan and Carol Bowers (KAARC), Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred and Marge Carpenter*, Conrad DeJong*, Ed DeVries, Marv DeVries, Don Feutz, Wayne and Lois Jackson, Don Mayton, Art and Wilma Miedema, Wes Myrick, Paul and Marjo Prinzing, Dick Saddler (KAARC), Al and Carol Scholten, Arnie and Shirley Seeger, Jerry and Dee Sigler, Wally and Audrey Snow, Howard Sullivan, Dean and Les Tryon and John Wiltjer
(KAARC = Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers Club. In conjunction with the museum hosts this show.)
* These folks were vending but also offered their help if required.

    Friday, Dick Saddler had acquired the services of a semi truck (donated by Robert Packer of Lawton, Michigan) to drive to Ed DeVries storage building in Grand Rapids to pick up the Futurliner on its trailer. The Futurliner was trailered to Hickory Corners, Michigan to the Red Barns Museum. Here Ed DeVries drove the Futurliner to its show location where again our volunteers worked on setting up everything. Howard again provided his large tent and others worked to help the setup. Arnie and Shirley had driven up from Ohio to help along with others of our team who were there. Wayne and Lois Jackson had brought their motor home and were camped at the site.
Dean and Les Tryon (newsletter editor and is wife) had been on their three month motor home tour of the USA visiting children in the states of California and Washington plus visiting members of Dean's other newspaper group (1916-1917 Buick McLaughlin group). In addition while traveling they were doing research on both of their heritage stopping at various towns where they knew of past relatives. They had planned to be at our home so that part of their trip included the Red Barns event.
    Saturday at 7 AM; Del, Al Batts and I climbed in my 1972 Buick Rivera and headed south-east with Dean and Les following in their motor home towards Hickory Corners. About 1/2 of the trip includes highways but the last 1/2 is a beautiful drive on two lane roads. This last 1/2 meanders past a large lake called Gun Lake, smaller lakes tucked into woods, between corn field, lakes covered with lilly pads, woods, and farms. During the entire second 1/2 of our drive we only encountered a few automobiles. One of those perfect mornings with cool air and a beautiful country drive.
    We arrived at the Red Barns with a line up of show cars entering the fields. At our Futurliner site most of the volunteers were already there with everything setup. Our only setup problem was that our power supply was not a full 120 volts at 30 amps. As a result we could not raise the lighting fin. Wayne came to the rescue with his motor home and its built in generator. So up went the lighting fin.
    The fields were quickly filled with cars. The range of vehicles were every of description including rare classic cars, rods, original antique cars, a large group of Corvairs including an Ultra Van, Stanley Steamer, a 1923 Studebaker house car in its original condition and a solar car that had just completed a cross country competition.
    During the day you would see the Stanley Steamer, the London double decker bus, a London Taxi, and the solar car running over the roads on the grounds of the site.
    The show attracted over 350 cars plus the museum's collection. What a great assortment.
    One owner drove his 1950's car over a 1,000 miles just to see the Futurliner. We had visitors from Canada that had driven over to view the Futurliner. Some of those that were at the truck show in Auburn also came to this event. We enjoyed showing the Futurliner and folks were crowded around it all day. Our volunteers also did an outstanding job of selling Futurliner memorabilia.
    Parader from 1941, William Mitchell, came down from Saginaw to look at the Futurliner. William had previously donated his Parade of Progress trunk to our archives. It was a pleasure in talking to Bill about the event on the first Parade with the Futurliners.
    This coming Saturday, August 13, 2005, is the Del Shannon show in Coopersville. They literally close down the main street and have an all day car show. We will be there with a lot of other cars. Look us up. We will be on the west end of the main street near the Museum. Coopersville is west of Grand Rapids, Michigan just off I-96. Easy to get to.
    Of course we again thank all the volunteers that showed up to help display the Futurliner. They have been faithful throughout this project.
    We want to thank Robert Packer for providing the driver as well as the semi truck to pull our Futurliner on its trailer. They picked up the Futurliner in Grand Rapids and then returned it to Ed's storage facility Sunday evening.
    At the close of the event, the Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers Club donated to the project $1,000. We want to thank Dick Saddler for doing all the leg work in setting up this show and Jane VanDerSlik the President of the KAARC for the surprise of the $1,000.
    From the Holly Township Library near Flint, Michigan a large quantity of materials from the 1938-1940 Parade of Progress turned up. This is a real treasure of photographs and newspaper clippings for us. The photographs include S
treamliners in all kinds of settings as they traveled over the USA, Mexico, and Cuba. They included photographs of the Streamliners as they entered towns, at their show sights, and the general work in setting up the show.
    We want to thank Margaret Rainey and the Holly Township Library for getting the materials to us. Evidently someone left the box on their counter some years ago and explained that they they "cleaning out a house". By a stroke of good fortune Margaret contacted Don Mayton and this treasure of history now has a home. 

    Our local AACA car club sponsored a local evening 4 PM to 8 PM car show at the Millennium Park. This is an annual show and very laid back. There is no admission charge for cars or people; no classes, no judging, no awards, just drive in and and park your car. We had a great time showing the Futurliner to local folks that most of us know.
    About two months ago I received a call from a person in California (Redondo Beach to be exact) stating that he was representing a Tokyo Design firm and there were some design engineers that wanted to see the Futurliner. I simply gave this person the different dates that the Futurliner would be on display this summer. In truth I thought no one is going to fly from Tokyo to see this Futurliner.
    At the AACA show I noticed three men, two of them Japanese, taking lots and lots of photos. I walked up to them to introduce myself and noticed they were talking in a language that I could not understand. To make a long story short, yes these design engineers did fly all the way from Tokyo to Grand Rapids, Michigan to see and photograph the Futurliner. One of our volunteers later told me that they donated over $100 in getting Futurliner memorabilia.
    These folks are involved in the design of way out buses that carry people. They gave us one of their picture books of their designs. We had a great time talking to them.
    Our guests from Tokyo were: Toshiaki Hayata from Artra Design; Hideki Shirai from Hino Motors; and from California: Boyd Roper from the Trajon Company.
    Ed DeVries drove the Futurliner about 8 miles each way to and from this show. No problems.


VOLUNTEERS: Stu and Clarice Allen, Al Batts, Don Bratt, Del and Sue Carpenter, Conrad and Judy DeJong, Ed and Dorothy DeVries, Ryan and Lynda DeVries, Wayne and Lois Jackson, Don and Carol Mayton, Wes Myrick, NATMUS volunteers (Sorry, I did not catch all of your names.), Paul and Marjo Prinzing, Dick and Janet Saddler, Al and Carol Scholten, Arnie and Shirley Seeger, Jerry and Deloris Sigler, Smiley (Sorry, cannot remember his real name. He always goes by Smiley), John and Bobbie Smith (NATMUS), Wally and Audrey Snow, Howard Sullivan with two grandchildren and John Wissink
CORPORATE VOLUNTEERS: Marsman Construction and Star Truck Rental
    We have listed all the couples because every one helped during the four day show.
June 1, 2005 - Wednesday
Marsman Construction's driver, Duwayne, arrived at Ed DeVries storage facility a few minutes after 8 AM. Ed and Duwayne hitched up the trailer and at 8:30 they started down the highway. I left home about the same time and waited at one of the exits on US 131. We had an uneventful drive to Auburn in very beautiful weather arriving about 11:15 AM.
    There were already many antique trucks at the Kruse Auction grounds where the show was taking place. We drove to the registration booth and then proceeded to unload the Futurliner. Already many people swarmed around the Futurliner for photos. Smiley showed up. Smiley lives in California in the winter and New York in the summer. On his travel's back and forth he stops in Beaverdam to help us on the restoration. John Martin Smith, NATMUS, showed up about this time also. General Motors management from GM's Heritage Center, Greg Wallace and Larry Faloon, also met us.
    Ed and Smiley proceeded to unload the Futurliner. John, Greg, Larry, and I left for a meeting to discuss the future of the Futurliner.
    By the time that our meeting was over Ed and Smiley had the Futurliner through the photo station and it was in place for the show. We spent the balance of day cleaning up the road dirt from the trip. The local newspaper showed up for an interview and photos. (The next day Ed and I found our mugs with the Futurliner on the front page of the Auburn newspaper, "The Evening Star". They really must be starved for news.) The paper did run a great article about the Futurliner and the truck show.
June 2, 2005 - Thursday
Ed and I were at the Futurliner first thing the next morning. Our other volunteers started arriving with their wives. Al Batts arrived with a just arrived batch of Futurliner polo shirts and hats. Others showed up unloading the Futurliner and setting up our booth so folks could donate to our restoration efforts. Howard arrived with his two grandchildren. Howard, his two grandchildren, and other volunteers set up his 10" X 20' tent at the rear of the Futurliner and his 10' X 10' tent at the front of the Futurliner. Howard later donated the 10' X 10' tent to the Futurliner restoration for future shows.
    Before we even had stuff on the table people were picking up shirts, videos, hats, posters, etc.
    Some time during this time the local TV station arrived for interviews and lots of film work. Although I did not get to see the results of what was shown at all the news spots on Friday, every one that saw the news said the TV station did an outstanding job.
Brad Boyajian, a person out in California that has helped us countless times, visited us on Wednesday when we were setting up. Brad has a Futurliner that he intends to restore with parts of other Futurliner he has accumulated. As he was looking at the Futurliner he made the comment that we still did not have a complete set of hub caps that were all the same. We have been showing the Futurliner with one 1940 vintage hub cap and three 1950's vintage hub caps.
    What I did not know was Brad then immediately called his wife and had her find the one and only hub cap that Brad has, then package it, and then over night ship it to Auburn. At 8:00 AM this morning Federal Express was knocking on Brad's motel room with the hub cap. Today, Brad presented us with this hub cap.
    Again we thank Brad for this generous gift and another miracle.
June 3, 2005 - Friday
We continued to show the Futurliner. By now there were over 1,000 trucks at this show.
Friday evening as volunteers we were invited to attend another Parader's reunion. There was a great turnout of Parader's and their wives. What a great time we had. The Paraders reminisced with lots of stories that we all enjoyed hearing. The Parader's asked about the future of the Futurliner and it is the goal of NATMUS to show it around the country. Hopefully we can again have the Paraders at future events.
    Jim Gentzel presented us with two reels of original Parade of Progress film footage. He also presented us with a mint 1953 GM Annual Report that has the Parade on both the back and front covers. (One of our posters has this print.)
June 4, 2005 - Saturday
The final day of the show found the show field packed with the public. Again the weather was great and we all enjoyed showing the Futurliner as well as looking at all the beautiful restored trucks as well as a lot of original ones.
    At noon there was a Kettering Alumni luncheon. Stu and Carol and I attended. Stu and I are alumni. We were asked to give a brief talk about the Futurliner and its restoration.
    At 4:00 PM we packed up and the Futurliner was driven across the show field to where our trailer was located. Fred Hoffman from Star Truck Rentals had already disconnected the goose neck from the Futurliner trailer and Ed drove the Futurliner onto the trailer.
    By the time the Futurliner was transported to Grand Rapids, put away in its storage building, and the semi-tractor disconnected from the trailer it was 9:00 PM.
The Futurliners all had yellow fog lights for the two center head lights. We had been unable at this point to find yellow fog lights the same size as the head lights. During this show we were presented a set of these fog lights.
Donations at this show totaled over $5,000. We appreciate all those that contributed.
During the show days we also received more photos of the Futurliners at Parade of Progress events.
Gilmore Museum, August 6 + 7, 2005.
Coopersville, Michigan; August 13, 2005
We will start again this fall to finish up some details on the Futurliner. Of course in a show like this we find other things that need added to the list.

May 24

This is the last regular report until we re-start work sessions in the Fall. We will, however, provide updates regarding shows in which the Futurliner is displayed.

VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Linda DeVries (cookies), 
Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (salad), Wes Myrick, Marjo Prinzing (desert), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts) and John Wiltjer. GUESTS: Tin Car Tourist Group (They donated $240. We thank them for this donation.)
    Just taking a vehicle to a car show allows the accumulation of road dirt. We also found out when we first start the Futurliner with the choke out it immediately puts out black soot that does not blow off. We had a large crew doing the cleaning, waxing and polishing today to ready the Futurliner for our next outing, the ATHS national truck show in Auburn, Indiana; June 2, 3, 4, 2005. Working on this job was Paul, Don M., Fred, Don F., Wayne, Wes, Connie, Art, and others.
    Ken worked to improve the latch mechanism on the rear doors. Jim fabricated another plate to cover a section of the back step.
    It was realized that to transport all of our "stuff" for displays and materials to sell we had to do a better organizing job. Jerry took on this job with Al B., Mike, Don B., Fred and others helping. Also an extensive inventory was made to insure we had everything needed. One need that was obvious was that when the Futurliner went some distance down the road it would have to be cleaned again. The only way to reach the top is with a 12' ladder. Al B. went to our favorite hardware and purchased a 12' ladder that sets us back $250. However, we needed a safe way to get to the top of the Futurliner when it is some place other than the barn.
    From day one we have had trouble with the charging circuit of the Futurliner. Today Wally and Al S. poured over the wiring drawings that Wally had made and checked out the actual wiring. During this process they did discover a short in the dome lights in the cab. However this was not the problem. It was finally decided to remove the generator from the Futurliner, then replace it with the display trailer generator. Ed managed to wedge himself in the engine compartment and do the dirty work.
    The good news is we now have a working charging circuit. The spare drive train components allowed us to make this quick repair. Connie took the generator that we removed back to the repair shop at the end of the day.
    Ron completed and installed rear cover plates. He also fabricated and painted a plate that we will be using later to mount a brass plate identifying who owns the Futurliner and the fact that it was originally donated by the Bortz Auto Collection.
    Don F. and Ed performed some lubrication on the door acme thread systems.
    Del took his crew (Howard, Stan, Ken) over to his shop to again work on the display trailer.
    Art and Connie worked on some touch up and they finished the day by doing touch up in the cab.
FALL 2005
    The major items to complete on the Futurliner are a permanent display in our large 8' X 16' display area, the air conditioner system, the display trailer, the flooring in the cab, and the lighting fin weather seals.
    We have listed approximately 100 small detail items that need to be completed. These range from completing a mounting system on our trailer for our 12' ladder (a tempting thing to steal) to paint touch up in the engine compartment.
    I will be making a detailed list in case someone out there might save us time and money to help. Our intent is to get these items done in the fall of 2005. I will communicate this list at a later time. However, one thing we need donated to use is a 40" or larger TV system so that we can show case our video. We had a borrowed one at the Burn Survivor show which worked out well. We do not have one for the remaining shows for 2005.
    We again thank all those folks who have donated to the restoration of this historic vehicle, all those who have contributed their archive material, all those companies that have and continue to provide free services, and to every volunteer that works on the Futurliner and their wives to supply our lunches.

May 21

Futurliner Restoration and the Burn Survivors Show
    Preparing the last items for presenting the Futurliner as the featured vehicle at the Burn Survivors show on May 21, 2005 involved a lot of last minute detail work.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
    We discovered that the adjustment bolt on the right side mirror was stripped. The mirror was removed and Ed took it to his son Ryan. Ryan machined a plug and threaded it and then sweated it into the shaft of the mirror. On Wednesday it was delivered and then on Thursday Del installed it back on the Futurliner.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
    Dick and Marty worked at doing some final work on the upholstery. For the most part all sections are installed. There is some detail work that will have to wait until fall.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
    Doug Keister, of Douglas Keister Photography, had scheduled a photo session with us for a book he plans to publish in 2006 or 2007. That morning it had been pouring rain. It cleared up just as Doug was arriving. Del drove the Futurliner out of the barn and the photo session began. Just as Doug was completing the photo session it started to sprinkle. Got the Futurliner back in the barn just as it started to pour again. We handed towels all those who were present to wipe down the Futurliner.
Friday, May 20, 2005
    Del arrived to start up the Futurliner. Following Del was Ed and Fred Hoffman of Star Trucking. Star had donated the use of their semi tractor to pull our Futurliner trailer to the show site and Fred volunteered to do the driving. Fred is a professional driver working for Star.
    Del drove the Futurliner onto the trailer, then Del, Ed, and Fred chained it down to the trailer. Chain binders and straps were donated to our project by Ryan DeVries and John Wissink. The Futurliner was then hauled to Ed's storage building for an overnight rest.
Saturday, May 21, 2005 - Burn Survivor Show day.
    Fred and Marge Carpenter got up very early to set up a portable tent for our volunteers and prepared our Futurliner display. Fred Hoffman arrived at Ed's storage building at 6:00 AM to hook up to the trailer and drive it to the show site. Shortly after the Futurliner arrived at the show site our volunteers started to arrive.
    Part of our display was a very large TV show casing our video, "MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM". Fred had managed to get large screen TV donated to be used for this show. Don Bratt also made a shortened version of our video so people would not stand and watch the whole 41 minutes and then not purchase a video.
    Since everyone pitched in setting up things, selling our Futurliner items, being hosts to those asking questions about the Futurliner, the Parade of Progress and the restoration process, I can only list their names: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Borgardus, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred and Marge Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Don Feutz, Fred Hoffman, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick, Paul and Marjo Prinzing, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, John Wissink. (I hope I did not miss anyone.)
    The show was outstanding with close to 500 antique cars including the ones we all drove, a very large group of VW Micro buses, antique cars, street rods, antique fire engines, and on and on.
    This was a 100% charity show to benefit Burn Survivors. From my perspective it appeared to be very successful. I know that we all had a great time.

May 17 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter (salad), Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, 
Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (main meal), Art Miedema, Wilma Miedema (desert), Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wallly Snow, 
Howard Sullivan, John Wissink.
    Ed, Don, and Paul installed the weather seal that prevents the rain from entering the Futurliner between the upper and lower 16' doors.
    Dick and Marty continue to install upholstered panels. Fred installed the air ventilator outlets in the cab. Also, the Autronic Eye was permanently installed by Wally.
    Del took his crew; Howard, Ken, John, and Wayne, to his shop. They loaded the generator, control panel, and transformers on the trailer to establish a balance point in order to measure and get the proper tongue weight. They ended up moving the axle back approximately 16" due to the heavy generator. They estimated the generator's weight to be 1500#.
    Don B. with Mike's help continues to put together our contributors book.
    Mike and Al had to start the day by putting all the material that we took to Wyrick's open house. Next they accumulated all the material that will be required for this Saturday's car show. Then they loaded it into the Futurliner. This Saturday the Futurliner will be at the Burn Survivors charity car show. We are really looking forward to this show at it is 100% for a worth while charity. It is May 21, 2005 from 9 AM until 4 PM. If live in the area come to the 5th 3rd Ball park north of Grand Rapids.
    Al continue to make his hardware store runs plus his great photography.
    Ron fabricated some side plates to hide the open ends of the rubber bumpers. They are now painted and will be installed next week. Jerry installed the vertical plate that Connie made last week. Jerry also installed a rubber foot pad for the rear door step.
    Connie and Art repaired some front and rear bumper damage. Next they prepared and painted the front and rear bumpers.
    For our expenses we continue to welcome donations. We also have tee shirts, hats, and videos for sale through the museum. We also thank all of you folks out there who have supported this project.
    Wes installed the plates that are located in this area. He also worked on some temporary floor covering for the cab.
May 12 VOLUNTEER: Ed DeVries
    Ed came and spent about two hours installing the lower inside trim at the base of the windshield. This is the original trim that we repaired and polished.
May 11 VOLUNTEERS: Marty Reed, Dick Saddler
    Marty and Dick continue to install the upholstered panels in the cab.
May 10 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter (worked at home), Conrad DeJong (main and salad from Connie's son-in-law), Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow (desert), Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts) and John Wissink.
RECOVERY: Wally is in recovery from his operation but still came bringing along Audrey's desert. (The homemade deserts we get would make the Weight Watchers black list. We love'm.) 
GUESTS: Don and Doris McDonald, Norm and Gwynne Gibbons, Fred Hoffman (Star Truck Rentals, the person and company that have volunteered to transport the Futurliner to this summers shows.)
    Dick and Marty continued to install the upholstered panels. Fred brought back the hatch inner panel that his wife Marge had upholstered at home. Ed worked at installing some inner windshield trim.
    Jerry and Art completed the installation of the floor edge trim as well as the trim on the three hatches.
    Fred. Ron and Al S. installed the hangers and brackets for the display boards.
    Some additional trim work was done by Connie. Doing some final paint touch up was Art, Jerry and Ron.
    Del took his crew (Howard, Stan, Wayne) back to his shop and there they proceeded to assemble the components onto the trailer.
    Starting to clean up the Futurliner had to start on the roof. There Don F., Paul, Ed, and Don M. worked at washing down the Futurliner and then using rubbing compound to rub off any overspray. The entire vehicle had to be done. This took the entire day.
    Others; Wes, Jim, John, worked at the floor level doing clean up.
    Connie also did some power buffing on some areas to improve the shine.
    Due to contractors present to alter one of the overhead doors in our normal break area Mike and Al had the big job of relocating our break and lunch to another part of the barn and then relocating it back at the end of the day. Al had to make runs to Wyrick Products for paint products as well as a run to the local hardware store. Al also performed his historical restoration photography of Futurliner #10. It was also bill paying time for Mike.
    Wyrick Products is having a customer open house this Thursday evening by invitation only. The Futurliner will be at their open house. Since it is only about a 6 mile drive we are driving the Futurliner there.
    Del had decided it was important to take the Futurliner out for a spin to again check out all systems. On our last run there had been some problems getting the Futurliner into reverse. Del and Stan had worked on the linkage then but it had never been checked out.
    At 3:45 PM it was time to fire up #10. Del as usual went over the Futurliner checking fluids, tire pressure, etc. We always use shop air to pre charge the brake air tanks in the Futurliner. Once that was done and the fuel pump pressured up the fuel, Futurliner #10 started right up. Again the Futurliner would not shift properly. Since it was important to make this trial run it was decided to shift the transmission with the linkage at the transmission. The drive around a large country square went fine. However once back at the barn the Futurliner could not be shifted into reverse. After trouble shooting the system for about 30 minutes the discussion centered how do we get this monster backed into the barn.
    Fortunately, Fred Hoffman, found that the linkage was being stopped by interference prohibiting it from going into reverse. A quick fix and the Futurliner was backed into the barn.
May 9 VOLUNTEERS: Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter, Don Mayton, Marty Reed (doughnuts) and Jerry Sigler
    Dick and Marty continue to install the interior upholstered panels inside the cab of the Futurliner.
    They have put on the upper panel over the driver's head that has interior lights inside this panel. They have also installed most of the entrance side panels.
    Fred and Marge took on the inner panel of the hatch. They fabricated this panel working with Dick's instructions for locations of hinges and latches. They then took this inside hatch cover home so that Marge could install the final upholstery.
    Jerry continued to install the metal trim that goes around the edges of all the flooring material. Each of the three hatch doors also had to have trim pieces installed around the perimeter of the hatch.
May 5 VOLUNTEERS: Jerry Sigler, Brian Westmaas and David Wastmaas.
    Jerry worked with Brian and David who volunteered their time and talents to install the flooring material (period linoleum and tile) in the display area of the Futurliner. They have businesses that install floor covering materials. They also donated all the metal trim that goes around the floor covering materials. In addition they managed to get the company that supplied the material, Marmoleum, to donate all the flooring material. This is high quality material.
    This trio worked all of Thursday evening starting at 3 PM, and then again Friday starting at noon and continuing until close to midnight.
    We thank Brian and David for their expertise, talents, time and materials that were donated. We also thank Jerry who put this all together as well and Marmoleum the donor of the flooring materials.
    This floor display area of the Futurliner looks great. This area also includes the lower 1/2 of the 16' doors as it is a floor when the doors are opened.
May 3 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter (main meal), Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz (desert), Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Marjo Prinzing (salads), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts), John Wiltjer and John Wissink

    Wayne showed up today with his full size van loaded with heavy duty industrial shelving that was donated by Harold Hemel of Colon, Michigan. This shelving is brand new and it will be used when (or if) we get the American Crossroads display to restore. This shelving will be set up in another building as the American Crossroads display is restored. We thank Wayne and Harold.
    John Wissink showed up after a long winter away in warmer climate. He also brought along heavy duty tie downs that he donated to strap the Futurliner to the trailer. These heavy duty ones are used to tie down antique fire engines to trailers. Thanks John.
    Brad Boyajian out in California volunteered to sell at local truck shows the "MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM" videos. He has reported that he has sold over $300 of the video. Also through the "TIN CAR TOURIST" organization Forest Bone has sold videos for us. The museum, NATMUS, has reported that we have had sales from as far away as Norway, Australia, and Sweden.
    Orders may be placed through the museum, NATMUS. Please make the checks out to "Futurliner Restoration - National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS)";
Send to: NATMUS, 1000 Gordon Buehrig Place, Auburn, Indiana IN 46706
    Del showed up with a heavy duty surge brake assembly that was partially donated by a local company. This surge brake will be installed on the display trailer. Del had his crew load the large generator control panel onto Del's utility trailer to haul to Del's shop. Del, along with Howard, Stan, Ken, and Wayne spent the day at Del's work shop working on the details of making this display trailer.
    Here at the shop Ron and John cut out of 1/4" plate a rear transmission cover and drilled all the attachment holes. Later they then cut out of 1/8" plate a cover for the generator control panel.
    Paul and Don F. worked at completing the installation of the weather seal on the lighting fin.
    Doing all the work on the Futurliner we have managed to put some black marks on these wide white tires. Fred, Don F., and Ron cleaned them up today.
    If you recall the original tires in addition to being wide whites had raised letters. We have had no luck in getting any one to even consider making these tires with the raised letters. About two years ago a local prototype shop, Select Engineering, said they would try. They took our original tire, made a cast of it, and then where there was wear on the original letters repaired all of these. Their next step was to find a material that they could cast directly on a tire. So far that has been unsuccessful.
    When Howard came back from his winter vacation he stopped in both at Select Engineering and then Ginman Tire, the people that made us the white walls. Ginman tire has had the mold taken to their shop and they are looking to see if they can adapt their side wall re-treading process to give us tires with the raised letters.
    Dick, Marty and Jerry continue to install upholstered panels. Fred completed the fabrication and installation of driver overhead cab lights in the panel that will eventually be installed in the cab.
Ed worked at installing the inner lower windshield trim.
    Wayne, after spending 1/2 day at Del's, came and worked at sorting all our drills in a drill bit caddy he constructed.
    Connie and Jim worked on the panel that will be installed at the rear step.
    Ron buffed the bezel that is on the left rear door and Jim installed it.
    Mike and Al continue to work on archiving material. Don B. has been working at putting together all of our contributors (financial, supplies, services, etc,) in one notebook. Again we received more material this past week.
    Al S. installed a master switch to control the transformers that power the display lights. He also installed the 110 volt wiring for the overhead entry light at the rear of the Futurliner. There are two over head lights here, the 12 volt light Wally had previously hooked up and had wired and operating.
    Jerry and Art started the installation of trim around the frame on the inside of the Futurliner display area.
May 2  VOLUNTEERS: Marty Reed (doughnuts), Dick Saddler and Jerry Sigler.
    Dick and Marty concentrated on installing upholstered panels in the Futurliner making a lot of progress. It is really starting to look finished in the cab of the Futurliner. Jerry provided assistance when required. He also worked at sanding down the wood floor inside the Futurliner in preparation for the flooring material.
April 26 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Wilma Miedema (salad), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Deloris Sigler (desert), Jerry Sigler, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts) and Jerry Sigler. GUESTS: Winston and Shirley Bokma (Nova Scotia), Connie's son and daughter-in-law and three grand children. Winston and Shirley are Connie's son's in-laws.
    Upon gathering more and more information about the Futurliner we found out that the Futurliner that we were restoring was #10 of the 12 that GM built in 1940. Mike Ball, in his research found specific photos of #10 showing all sides as well as the exhibits that were carried in #10 to the Parade of Progress events. These photos also revealed that Futurliner #10 had a 1953 Michigan manufacturers license plate.
    Without my knowledge, two of our volunteers decided that we had to have the original 1953 Michigan manufacturer's license plate on Futurliner #10, just as it was in the year 1953. 1953 was the beginning of the last series of Parade of Progress events. When Fred Carpenter and Wayne Jackson decided to to get a 1953 manufacturers license plate they did not realize all of the steps what would have to be taken. First they found out that getting an original was going to be next to impossible, and their only option was to have one made. After many calls they found a man that would be able to do this for them if they would furnish the letters and numbers what would be needed. After many calls to license plate dealers there were two that were willing to give the project the plates as long as it was to be used for the Futurliner and only for showing the vehicle. (Not being a legally issued license plate was somewhat of an issue.). Also NATMUS owns the vehicle and it will have to have a Indiana license plate for traveling down the road.
    Today Fred and Wayne made the presentation of the license plate. We now have the beautifully finished 1953 Michigan Manufacturers license plate number; M-78-10, an exact copy of the one that was originally used on Futurliner #10. Our sincere thanks for the generous donations from Don Harbron who did all the finishing work on the plate, Ashley Jones and Toney Thomas who furnished some of the plate numbers and letters needed to complete this project.
   We also want to thank Mike for his research and Fred and Wayne who had the vision and then with a lot of leg work made it happen.
   Wally took our new licence and installed it at the rear of the Futurliner. Jim completed the installation of the covers on the left rear door of the Futurliner.
    When the rear step is lowered it shows the original rear frame. Connie started the process of covering this area with new sheet metal.
    Al S. and Wally worked to clean up some electrical items at the rear of the Futurliner.
    Mike, Al B. and Don B. are working on putting together a comprehensive list of all our financial, supplies, services, literature, contributors since this project started. Al continues to take the photographs to record the progress.
    Ed, Don F., Stan, Art, and Howard worked at installing the weather seals on the right upper door as well as the lighting fin at the top of the Futurliner. Stan spent most of the day on the top of the Futurliner.
    Art, Connie, Paul, and Ron did a lot of detail work including painting today.
    Dick and Marty continued installing upholstered panels with help from Jerry and Ed. Fred worked at installing the overhead electrical boxes in the panel that will later be installed over the driver's head. He had Howard performing his welding.
    Also part of the crew started the clean-up of the Futurliner later in the day. This will take several work sessions as the Futurliner has months of accumulation of dust.
    Ron and Don B. completed the fabrication, painting, and installation of an inner panel to stop dust and dirt from finding its way into the lower storage compartment.
    We just ordered another 200 DVD's to be made. That will be a total of 900 made to-date. If you have not seen the video you will not be disappointed. It is a donation to the project and it also keeps the funds flowing in to complete this restoration. Order from the museum, NATMUS. Make checks out to: Futurliner Restoration - National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States. Send to: NATMUS, 1000 Gordon Buehrig Place, Auburn IN 46706

VOLUNTEERS (Monday April 25): Dick Saddler, Marty Reed (doughnuts) and Jerry Sigler
    These men volunteered to work an additional day in order to continue the installation of the interior upholstered panels. Warren also brought in the last upholstered panel.

April 19 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Ken Borgardus, Stan Bowers, Dorothy Bratt (salad and two deserts), Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries*, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan (doughnuts) and John Wiltjer. VOLUNTEERS: Evening work session. Al Batts, Don Bratt, John Cleland (Vos Glass) and Doug (Vos Glass). GUESTS: We had nine guests but did not get all the names.
    During our two week break we have received a lot of additional material for our archives. We now have several issues of the April 1949 issue of Popular Science that describes the American Crossroads exhibit that was transported in a Futurliner in 1940's and 1950's.
    The genesis of the Parade of Progress came out of the 1933-1934 Chicago Worlds Fair called the Century of Progress. John Martin Smith sent us several brochures that were distributed at this fair. One was a display called the "THE MAKING OF A MOTOR CAR" which was an actual production line set up by Chevrolet showing how an automobile (Chevrolet) was assembled. They actually assembled the engine, chassis, body, interior and the complete automobile at this worlds fair. Another pamphlet John sent was entitled "AGAIN CHEVROLET LEADS THE PARADE OF PROGRESS". This pamphlet would have been issued at the beginning of the 1936 Parade of Progress.
    From Len Johnson we received a copy of the front cover of the March '05 "THE CORMORANT NEWS BULLETIN" which is a Packard newsletter. On the front cover is a photo taken in 1941 of a Parade of Progress event.
    We also received an entire box of 35 mm slides from Rennie Goyette, (Parader 54-56). Rennie has several times contributed his personal slides. We always find new information from these photos.
    Martin-Calvert Productions in Beverly Hills, California called requesting information about the Parade of Progress and the Futurliner. We supplied them with the information that they needed and in turn we just received a tape they have produced called "DREAMING BIG: SUPER BUS MAKE-OVERS".
    We want to thank each contributor for the information that has added to our ever increasing archives. As one of our volunteers recently stated: "I would have never believed where this project has taken us in recreating the history of a vehicle tied to such a unique program."
    Mike has his hands full getting all this material archived. However, keep sending in the material.
    Jim completed the installation of the right rear door covers.
    Ken, Del, Stan, and Howard worked at Del's place today on the display trailer. They started by picking up the large generator and hauling it to Del's shop. From the time Howard arrived he spent the day welding. Ken continues to make components at his machine shop. (Ken is semi-retired from his machine shop and has turned the business over to his two sons.)
    Don B., Al B., Al S. and Paul spent the day working on preparing some of our archives for our first show this summer. Al B. continues to take the photos at the work site here and then driving to Del's place for more photos.
    Although we are complete with all major painting, touch up work is still being performed. Art, and Connie painted the door face openings on the right upper door. Jerry painted the eight arms that raise both the upper and lower 16' doors.
    Jerry has been coordinating with the company that has volunteered to cover the display area of the Futurliner with linoleum. There is over 300 square feet of area to be covered. Jerry and Ron also started preparing the floor by removing each of the three hatches to check them for fit prior to the linoleum being installed.
    Each piece of horizontal trim that runs just below the windshield from front to back has end caps inserted into the trim ends. Most of these small pieces were missing. Ed took an extra piece of this trim to his son, Ryan, and Ryan machined these small pieces. Today, Ed and Don F. inserted these pieces into the horizontal trim.
    Ed, Ron and Don F. installed the flap weather seal on the left upper 16' door.
    Dick and Marty continue to install upholstery sections.
    Wally, Ron, Al S., and Paul generally were helping everyone today.
    When Vos glass came to install the front windshield we also discussed the right and left side 1/4 windows. These windows originally were curved and mounted in a curved metal frame. The frame was hinged at its front so that the window could swing out. We had a few pieces of the original frame, a few broken pieces of the latching mechanism, none of the hinges, and no glass.
    Vos glass told us initially that there was no way that they could get bent glass to fit nor could they bend it in the two directions the glass was bent. During this entire process Ed was working with them as well as Sparta Sheet Metal and he kept insisting that we had to have the curved 1/4 windows to match the body of the Futurliner.
    Ultimately Sparta Sheet Metal hand fabricated out of stainless steel the curved metal frames with the hinges. In the mean time at the Vos glass business, John contacted their supplier and some how determined that a windshield from a 1973 through a 1987 Chevrolet truck had the correct curve in both directions that would work. Next, Vos's supplier looked through their inventory and found two windshields that had scratches in areas other than what would be used. They shipped these Chevrolet truck windshields to Vos. At Vos, John cut the sections that were needed out of these windshields and then installed them into the metal frames that Sparta Sheet Metal had made.
    Tuesday evening John and Doug arrived and installed both the right and left assembled 1/4 windows. Al B. and Don B. came also to record everything. The Futurliner looks outstanding with these now installed. ANOTHER MIRACLE!
    We thank Vos Glass for their donation as well as John and Doug who on their own time made the installation.
April 5 There is no work session on Tuesday, April 5 nor Tuesday, April 12. Work will commence on Tuesday, April 19.
Mar. 29 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Ken Borgardus*, Carol Bowers, (desert), Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter*, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton (main and salad), Wes Myrick, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten and Wally Snow (doughnuts)
    Jim Baker started the installation of all the pieces that were painted last week.
    As more material arrives, Mike has the job of cataloging it, studying it and then filing it. He is our bill payer also. Then he and Al Batts must set up lunch. Al ended up making three runs to various stores for supplies today along with his photography.
    Not only does Del work on the display trailer on Tuesdays but most every other day of the week since it is at his place. Today he and Stan picked up our spare restored engine and transmission and hauled them to Del's work shop for further assembly.
*Ken has been working in his machine shop making parts for the display trailer.
    Fred picked up some flooring material for the cargo area of the Futurliner. Today, Ron and Don B. worked at installing this material in the five compartments that are in the lower storage area of the Futurliner.
    Wally and Fred fabricated some panels that close up the area just above the driver's feet in the cockpit of the Futurliner. Today these were installed.
    Marty and Dick continue to install the upholstery. While they were doing this Ed fabricated some brackets for Dick that will be mounted in the cab. Connie helped by being the welder on these brackets.
    Also the latching mechanism for the top hatch was being worked on in the cab.
    Ed and Don F. worked at greasing all of the mechanism that works to raise and lower the upper and lower 16' doors. This included ACME screws, pivot points, removing the top door hinge pins and greasing them and then reinstalling them, and every other point that needed greased. Wes also helped with this job and aiding several others on their jobs.
    Al S. had the job of installing all the screws on the interior of the Futurliner. We used a total of 300 screws in this area.
    We are at a point of a lot of small detail work. Fred fixed a open spot at the rear of the Futurliner today. He also returned with one of the stainless steel stairs that leads up to the cockpit that his wife, Marge* had cleaned, buffed and polished at home. The front wheel hubs have a inner cap that identifies the manufacturer and other information. Marge again detailed this part. This is for the display trailer that will not be covered up by an outer hub cap.
* Indicates work being done by that person in their home or their home shop.
Mar. 23 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, 
Sue Carpenter (main meal), Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton (desert), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (salad), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow and John Wiltjer
    A past donation was a set of fire extinguishers for the Futurliner by Ted Ruys of Rapid Fire Protection from Grand Rapids. Last week we had the first occasion to use a fire extinguisher on a fire that lasted 20 seconds. Ted has already volunteered to refill the fire extinguisher that was used.
    Jim and Art removed all of the rear door hinge covers, weather seal metal, and other covers; a total of 16 pieces. Since this was our first day of over 40 degrees with an east wind, and it was sunny it was decided to take this metal outside and get it painted. We need an east wind to keep from painting all the volunteer's cars. Prior to lunch all this metal was primed and after lunch the final finish coat of light gray was sprayed on the metal.
    Art and Ron were not happy with the paint job on the inner left cargo doors. Today Ron removed these inner panels, sanded them and then Art painted them their finish black color. At the end of the day Ron had them installed back on the Futurliner.
    Ed, Paul, Al S., Don F, and Connie worked on the inside installing all the stingers and then the inside cover panels for the right and left doors. This really brightens up the inside.
    Del, Ken, and Stan after morning coffee headed to Del's shop to work on the display trailer. At noon Tom showed up with a radiator cradle as well as a 10:00 X 20 tire rim boot, both required for our display trailer.
    Warren arrived with the last of the upholstery sections that we need. Dick and Marty worked at starting the installation of the upholstered sections.
    Marge Carpenter, at home, worked at polishing one of the Futurliner stainless steel steps.
    Wally continues to work on panels that are needed below the instrument panel. Fred fabricated some panels for Wally. Fred also worked on the rear where we have an area that needed a filler panel.
Mar. 15 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Nancy Batts (desert), Ken Bogardus, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter (main meal), Connie DeJong (home from Florida), Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga (home from Florida), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (salad), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow (doughnuts). GUESTS: Nels Hansen, Harv Huberts (remembered his father taking him to see the Parade of Progress when it was in the area in 1953)
    Although I am identifying those that contribute to this effort it is a lot of work to feed this many folks and we thank them for this.
    Also, in order to serve the food hot the large crockpots used are brought to the work site, plugged in, and then in addition the normal work that Mike and Al perform they are stirring the pot so to speak. The smells are heavenly.
    Del continues to work on the display trailer during the week at his work shop. We should have some photos of the components laid out in this weeks "Photo" report. Del and Stan, last week also painted the stanchions that had been made earlier by Paul and Howard.
    Del, Ken, and Wally had to work on the piping to the air horn. When Wally installed the floor plates that are at the driver's feet there was interference with the air piping to the air horn. This was corrected by changing the routing of the air supply and return pipe.
    Wally continues to work on replacing the plates at the driver's feet in the cab.
    Dick, Marty, and Fred worked on the panels for the roof of the inside of the cab. Three additional sections are ready to be picked up by our upholsterer, Warren. Fred and his wife, Marge, buffed and repaired two inside light bezels that will be used in the ceiling of the Futurliner cab.
    Paul and Ed completed the installation of the letters on the upper right door. Then, along with Al S., and Connie they all worked on installing metal stringers to accept the inside metal paneling on the upper left door. After lunch they installed three of the four metal panels that will finish off the inside of this door. Next week they will install the last panel and then move to the right door.
    Art and Ron tackled the job of installing the last inside metal coverings of the lower storage compartment doors. They also repainted the lower storage compartments.
    Most of our Futurliner restoration volunteers belong to local and national car clubs. Last night at our AACA West Michigan region meeting we had for our program one of our Futurliner volunteers provide a program around the French - Indian war of 1754. This war was also known as the Seven Years war since it was fought globally between the French and English. Paul Prinzing arrived in his 1754 French uniform, tri cornered hat, and with all the strappings of a French soldier of that era including his flint-lock gun. Paul started the presentation by going through a gun drill that a French soldier would, doing the drill in the French language. This would be the scene in the mid 1700's at the Machinaw Straights of northern Michigan. For those of you not familiar with Michigan history, Michigan has the 2nd and 3rd oldest cities in the United States, started by the French. Paul and his wife Marjo, have been doing presentations of this era of Michigan history for over 30 years. We all had a wonderful program led by Paul.
Mar. 8 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Ken Borgardus, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter (at home work), Ed DeVries, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton (salad and desert), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Marjo Prinzing (main meal), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow (doughnuts) and John Wiltjer
    Jim completed the fabrication of the dead bolt system for securing the rear doors.
WINROSS CLUB (collectors of truck models)
    Mike, in addition to his normal duties of filing away our archives, paying bills, he and Al getting lunch set up, had to set up for the local Winross collectors club that visited later on in the evening. Mike gets the video set up along with other materials that display the Futurliner when it was used from 1940 through 1956.
    About 20 Winross members and their wives spent two hours visiting and viewing the Futurliner. They also donated to the project by picking up videos, hats, pins and posters.
    Del is back from his Florida trip. He, with Al S., Stan and Ken loaded up my trailer that already contained the restored Hydramatic transmission . They loaded the sandblasted springs, all the materials that Ken fabricated that were mentioned in last weeks report, the spring shackles that Ryan fabricated, one very large transformer along with another smaller one, and other miscellaneous materials needed for the display trailer. Later in the day at Del's work shop they started laying out all all these items to start the assembly process.
    Don F. spent the day making rubber washers, installing the studs in each of the letters and preparing the letters for installation on the upper doors of the Futurliner. Paul, Ed, Al S. and Don M. worked at installing the individual letters as well as the upper trim on these doors. At the end of the day the left door had its letters and trim installed and the right door had a few of its letters installed.
    Ed also brought along the inner pre-painted aluminum paneling that will be installed on the inside of these doors.
    Detailing a vehicle 33' long, 8' wide and 12' high takes a lot of time. Art and Fred took on that job today. Art worked at the paint while Fred took on other details.
    Dick and Marty continue to work at fabricating metal panels for the interior. Fred also took on some of this work that could be done on the bench.
    Fred and his wife Marge also worked on correcting some panels that had previously been upholstered at home and delivered these today. (Marge had a nasty fall on ice that required 9 stitches to close up on her head. She is healing fine, we are just glad it was no worse. )
    Wally is working on the lower metal panels that close up all the openings at the foot level at the driver's feet. Some of the original panels he has repaired and some he has to remake.
Mar. 1 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Fred Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Don Feutz, Judy Feutz (main meal), Carol Mayton (salad), Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Al Scholten, Carol Scholten (desert) and Wally Snow (doughnuts).
    Like most of the Midwest and northeast we had a winter storm warning with high winds and lots of snow. It was last winter when under these conditions when Wally "Snow" decimated a "Snowman" with his car that some kids had made in the middle of the road.. However, no repeat performance this year.
    We just received word that 1941 Parader Doug Livy has passed away. We have no details.
    Last Friday I traveled to a local trucking company to take our spare donated military Hydramatic transmission and exchange it for a restored transmission that was shipped from Memphis Equipment; Memphis, Tennessee. It is now residing in my trailer. Once Del Carpenter returns from his winter trip to Florida it will go to his work shop where he and Stan will add it to the display trailer.
    When Ed arrived today he brought along the spring shackles that his son, Ryan fabricated for the display trailer. Del had made a wood pattern and from that Ryan fabricated the spring shackles. (Check photos of spring shackles on our photo edition or the web pages.)
    Ken brought along today the drive shaft extension with its attendant bearings that will be used on the display trailer. This Futurliner restoration project has always amazed me of the talents that our volunteers possess. (Again, check the photos on our photo edition or the web pages.)
    Jim has designed and is now fabricating a hidden security dead bolt for the back doors.
    Weekly Al B. takes photos of our progress on the Futurliner restoration. These are available on our Photo Edition that is sent out weekly. However, due to some computers being slow in downloading these photos the photos are only available by your request. Simply let me know it you desire to be added to the photo edition list. Note that the photos are also on this web site for your viewing as well.
    Today; Mike, Dick, Fred, and Marty spent a lot of time going through our archives trying to figure out what two 2" diameter round holes were used for in the top of the driver's cockpit. Our photos showed us that from the time NATMUS received the Futurliner there was nothing in these holes. Going through all of our original photos of the Futurliner there are no photos of this area. Were these air conditioner vents? Were these lights that shown down on the instrument panel?
    Since we are guessing, are there any "Paraders" out there that would remember this detail???????? I know it is a stretch to remember something as detailed (over 50 years ago) as this since most of us can't remember our own wedding anniversary.
    Fred, Dick, and Marty worked in the cab fabricating the ceiling roof panels. Some of these will be upholstered and some painted as was done originally.
    Wally took home last week the original panels that were just in front of the driver's legs. He cleaned them up and completed their restoration today by painting them. He also worked at installing the brake pedal and accelerator.
    Paul and Don F. gathered up the letters for this door. First they had to make new fastening studs, some rubber washers, re-tap some holes in the letters and then started installing the letters. By the end of the day they had the letters "GENERAL MOTORS" installed on the left door.
    We discovered that the transformers that we purchased for the display area lighting were not of sufficient capacity to maintain this lighting. Al S. ordered new transformers and today he installed these. He rechecked the ampere draw to confirm that our present setup has enough capacity.
    Today we received 100 more VHS tapes. Fred, Mike and Al inserted these into their shipping jackets.
    I reported that we thought we had found another Futurliner. However we have discovered this Futurliner belongs to Brad Boyajian that happened to be at a welding shop.
Feb. 22 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Carol Bowers (desert), Stan Bowers, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter (salad), Don Feutz, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten and Wally Snow (doughnuts). GUESTS: Ron Hoekstra and Paul Bogardus.
    We have made arrangements with Memphis Equipment out of Memphis, Tennessee to ship a restored army 4 X 4 military Hydramatic. This will set us back about $1300. So that we can collect the $300 core charge, last week our donated spare transmission was boxed and ready for shipment. Today, Stan and Al, moved my large box trailer to the barn and loaded this donated transmission so that it can be taken to a local trucking company and then shipped back to Memphis.
    Paul and Don F. took on the job of hand buffing the repainted upper 16' doors, the repainted lower 16' doors and all the other red areas on the Futurliner.
    Warren arrived with all the pieces that he received last week covered with upholstery. Dick and Marty continue to fabricate the final metal sections for upholstery.
    Wally has taken on the job of enclosing the area around the accelerator and brake pedal in the driver's cab.
    Al is cleaning up the 110 volt system at the rear of the Futurliner.
    Al and Mike have pulled together a folder with all the photos of concept cars that we have been able to uncover. Al has taken these photos and using his computer has placed them on 8" X 11"photograph paper, in some cases blowing up the photographs, and placing these in a folder. Again, if there is more information out there on concept cars and the Parade of Progress we would appreciate that information.
    John Wiltjer volunteered to take a supply of videos to NATMUS in Auburn, Indiana so that the museum could keep up with their requests to ship to donors. In addition, we will be shipping a box of videos to Brad Boyajian who has volunteered to take them to the Truck Shows that he attends in California and other points west. Fred and Paul boxed up the DVD's as well as a few VHS's to go to Brad. We thank John and Brad for continuing to offer their services.
    I received an e-mail from Greg Wallace, Manager of General Motors Heritage Center, that unfortunately the Cadillac La Espada is MIA. Other words it no longer exists. He is wondering if anyone has knowledge if the concept cars LeMans or the Cyclone would have been on the Parade of Progress tour? Again we are looking for any further photographs of concept cars as well as production cars that toured with the Parade. After going through our materials we have picked up a parade line of 1953 GM production cars as well as a parade line of 1955 GM production cars including the new for 1955 Chevrolet truck.
Feb. 15 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts (cookies), Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, 
Sue Carpenter (salad and desert), Fred Carpenter, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow (doughnuts) andGeorge Ferris.
    Jim is now fabricating covers to protect the wiring harness that goes into the back doors. The wiring going into these rear doors is for the stop, tail, and turn signal lights.
    Mentioned in a separate e-mail was the fact that a 1954 F-88 Oldsmobile concept car accompanied the Parade of Progress in the 1950's. Also, Parader Ray Borowiak had the assignment of doing the driving for a time period. These facts has generated some interest in identifying all the GM concept cars as well as production cars that accompanied the Parade of Progress. Today Mike and Al had the job going through all the many photos digging out this information. Jim Crame, our web master, also has been aiding in this research. Once we pull it all together we will provide everyone a list as well as photos of these cars. If you check our web site, many of these photos of GM concept cars already exist including the first Corvette, Olds F-88, the Buick Wildcat II, Pontiac Bonnieville, and a Cadillac ( I forgot the name.).
    If you Paraders, or anyone else, have additional photos of the Parade with other concept cars present we would appreciate them.
    Also mentioned before was the fact that in the 1949 April issue of Popular Science was an extensive article about the American Crossroads exhibit. Jeff Hughes went on e-bay, found the specific issue, but in order to get it he had to purchase the entire 1949 year of Popular Science. Since then, he has contributed the entire set. We thank Jeff for the donation.
    Del and Stan, after feasting on Wally's doughnuts headed off to Del's workshop. There they continued preparing parts for painting and actually got some final black paint on some of the parts that they have been working on.
    Don F. and Paul, master carpenters, had to build a box to ship our spare transmission from Beaverdam to Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis Equipment maintains rebuilt military Hydramatic transmissions. Once a replacement transmission arrives our spare will be shipped to recover our $300 core charge. (PS, Paul got a "D" on his first wood project in high school.)
    In order to complete this trailer we still need a sponsor to pay for the restored military Hydramatic transmission. The restored transmission should be shipped next week. Its cost including shipping will be about $1300.
    We appreciate those that have ordered their DVD and VHS copies of our video. In fact we have just ordered another 300 to be produced. Since we are a lean and mean operation Fred and Wally took on the job of stuffing the outside paper jackets into the DVD and VHS containers. All 300 of them.
    In addition to the video, many folks have been asking about a book. We have two volunteers that have been working on that also; Bruce Berghoff and George Ferris. Both men have published automotive books in the past so they have experience in this area. Both have volunteered to put this together. Today, George was at our work site asking lots of questions, using the creeper to crawl under the Futurliner and gathering lots of data and information.
    Art and Don M. performed the final machine buffing on these doors as well as part of the roof.
    Al S. continues to finish up on some 110 volt wiring.
    Marty and Dick completed three more metal sections for Warren to take to his shop for the upholstery work.
Feb. 8 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Al Batts, Carol Bowers (main meal), Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema ( salad ), Marjo Prinzing (desert), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler and Wally Snow (doughnuts).
    Jim continues to fine tune the rear door weather seal area. He has made this area a lot tighter than the original design.
    Al had to be chief cook and bottle washer today. Mike has the flu so Al did his normal job of photographing, running to the paint store, setting up for lunch, unloading all the stuff from my pickup that brought the display materials back from Kalamazoo.
    Del and Stan show up at the beginning of our work session and again for lunch but otherwise are at Del's workshop working on the display trailer. Today they visited Dave's Sandblasting picking up parts. Next they started priming components that will make up the front axle assembly.
    Today, Paul and Fred spent the first 1/2 day removing all the masking paper and plastic that protected the Futurliner during last Thursday's paint session. Next; Ron, Don F., Art, Don M. and Paul spent wet sanding the large 16' doors. We started with 1,000 grit paper, then 1200 grit paper, then using rubbing compound wheeled out the doors. Next week we will once again wheel the newly painted areas one more time.
    Dick and Marty continue to fabricate panels for the left side of the cab. Today, Warren returned five upholstered panels.
    Wally started to gather up the pieces that enclose the driver's area under the instrument panel where all the electrical wiring is located.
    I again received a phone call from NATMUS that they again are almost out of both the DVD and VHS versions of our video; "MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM". So far the only method we have advertised this video is through this work report, our newsletter, and the web site. We have sent out press leases to the various magazines that have not shown up yet in their publications. So get yours now before the rush. We will be sending another batch of videos to the museum this week. Again, order through the museum and make checks out to: Futurliner Restoration - NATMUS (Specify either a DVD or VHS) mail to: NATMUS, 1000 Gordon Buehrig Place., Auburn, IN 46706 to place an order on your credit card call NATMUS @ (260) 925-9100
    Thanks again for your donations for this 100% supported volunteer project. Don

VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Don Feutz, Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Wally Snow and John Wiltjer.
    With the flu season hitting Michigan we had some of our volunteers ending up sick with the flu. As a result some of our volunteers were pressed into doing double duty as far as hours of time spent at the show. We pray that those that got the flu will recover shortly as the flu tends to take people down for at least a week. We thank our volunteers again.
    Mike Ball, as usual, did an outstanding job of setting up our display, including the two TV monitors to show case our new video available in both DVD and VHS form. The bulk of our donations were for our new video. We had one person that previously received a DVD pick up another six DVD's. Over all with sales of the videos, hats, posters, pins, and "T" shirts we collected $762. We thank all of those that contributed.
    We also got to introduce a lot of people to the Futurliner project, and also got to talk to a lot of folks that are supporters. We had a great time and the show was packed on Saturday, elbow to elbow. I also managed to find some parts for my 1953 Buick I am restoring.

Feb. 3 VOLUNTEERS: Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Ron Elzinga, Joshua Vuyst.
    Today was spent re-masking the Futurliner so that these two upper 16' doors could be painted their final Target Red. Once the masking was completed then these doors were sanded, wiped down with cleaner, then wiped with a tack rag. Art, then with the paint gun put on three beautiful coats of Target Red on these doors. Ron and Don pushed Art, who was on the rolling scaffold, along side of the side of the Futurliner during the painting process.
    The paint will have time to cure before our next work session on Tuesday.
    I had a call two days ago of another Futurliner that we do not know about. The person that called me is going back to the location and take some digital photos. We want to make sure it is not one that we have already found. If this turns out to be another Futurliner that will be #11 we have documented of 12 that were originally built. Stay tuned.
    Rennie Goyette, Parader from 1954 through 1956, sent along four additional slides while he was a Parader. In addition, he provided some information about the Futurliner's appearance on the Dave Garroway TV Show in New York City. I will provide his summary of the trip to New York City and the Dave Garroway TV Show.
    Rennie was the driver of the Futurliner that was to travel to New York City for an appearance on the Dave Garroway TV show. The Futurliner had transmission problems in some little town in Pennsylvania. Rennie stated it was a very small town in what he labeled "Pennsyltucky" located in a "holler" with one gas station which had a side garage. A phone call back to headquarters brought a new " tranny". The "tranny" was installed and again the Futurliner was on its way. Rennie had to drive all night to get to New York City the next day by 9:00 AM. At the Dave Garroway show they met Dave and the "American Crossroads" display was put on TV with no glitches whatsoever.
    For all you Pennsylvanian's and New Yorker's out there!!!!!!!! Any chance of finding information about this trip? Is there any video footage of the Dave Garroway TV show program? Rennie does not remember the date but it would be during the years he was with the Parade; 1954 - 1956. We need you to do some detective work for us.
Feb. 1  VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Carol Mayton (salad, main and desert), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow (doughnuts), Warren Veurink, John Wiltjer. GUESTS: Sue and John Merryman, Lee and Pearl Beyer.
    With this door painted in its final primer it was ready to install. The first operation was to remove all the masking tape that was holding the plastic and paper protection to prevent over spray. The entire crew took on this job. Next, Del fired up the Futurliner, with Dick in the cab learning the driver start up procedure. Del eased the Futurliner into position. Next the door was hoisted up with Ed driving his fork lift truck. Don F. guided the door in place then he installed the hinge pins.
    At lot of work has been done on the roof this past fall removing the piano hinges on both sides, installing new heavy duty hinges, reinforcing these areas, doing the necessary body work in this area and finally doing the priming. Today the goal was to get this area painted in its final coat of Artic white. A lot of final sanding (Ron, Connie, Al S., Art, Paul) had to be performed and then again the rest of the Futurliner had to be masked off to prevent over spray. The procedure to do masking on this large vehicle involves using our two roll around scaffolds, one positioned on each side of the vehicle. With two of our volunteers on each of the scaffolds doing the masking and two pushing each of the scaffolds this job can be done in about two hours. Most of today's crew were involved in this process.
    Paul was sent to Wyrick Products for paint supplies as Al was off in the other direction getting other supplies.
    By 3 PM the masking was completed and the painters, Connie and Art, started covering the roof with the final coat of Artic White.
    The last few times moving the Futurliner in and out of the barn resulted in difficulty in getting the Futurliner in reverse. Today, Del, Ed and Wally solved that problem.
    Del worked on items related to the display trailer. He assembled the Hydramatic shifting tower that will be part of that display.
KALAMAZOO WINTER SWAP MEET - Saturday - Sunday; February 5 & 6.
    Mike's big job today was to get all the materials together for this antique car swap meet at the Kalamazoo County Fair grounds. The Kalamazoo Restorers club hosts this annual event and they have donated a table for our use at this event. Mike, with Al B. helping, gathered all the material up and loaded it into Mike's pickup truck. When Mike left today his truck was so full that the tailgate had to be lowered and he had stuff piled up on the seat next to him.
    We will be selling hats, posters, pins, tee shirts, and our video. All of these proceeds are a donation for the continuation of the restoration of the Futurliner. We are very pleased with the response of folks that have seen the video and then come back to purchase one for friends and family. This is not the typical, how to do it video, but one of how team work can get any job done. So look us up this Saturday and pick up our: "MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM".
    If you have looked at the entire web site,, you would find out that when the 12 Futurliners were built in 1940 that the chassis were built at Yellow Coach ( a subsidiary of General Motors at the time) in Pontiac, Michigan. Then the Futurliner chassis were shipped to the Fleetwood - Fisher plant in Detroit, Michigan where the body was built on top of the chassis. Our original photos show that the "Fisher Body" tag was placed just between the front door and the front wheel opening on each side. Today Ed installed our restored "Fisher Body" tags.
    Warren, our upholster, came and picked up four cab panels that Dick and Marty had fabricated. Dick and Marty, after helping removing all the paper and plastic from the Futurliner then started working again on the final inside panels. Later, Dick and Marty were again masking off the Futurliner.
    John Merryman, one of our guests today, brought along an old 1950's Popular Mechanics describing the American Crossroads display. He had found it on e-bay and purchased it and then donated it to us. Thanks John.
Jan. 28 VOLUNTEERS: Conrad DeJong, Ron Elzinga, Art Meidema.
    In order to sand and apply the final primer on the large right upper 16' door these volunteers agreed to work all day Friday to accomplish this job. This had to be done in order to install the door as Ed was heading to go on vacation on February 2, 2005. Ed has to bring his high lift truck in order to perform this job. At the end of the day the final primer paint was in place.
Jan. 25 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus*, Stan Bowers**, Del Carpenter**, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Judy Feutz (salad), Lois Jackson (main meal), Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (desert), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Al Scholten, Wally Snow (doughnut X 2, if forgot last week's) and John Wiltjer. SERVICES: Vos Glass - John. GUESTS: Ron Beechem & Nels Hansen.
    Jim is doing the final fitting of the rubber weather seals.
    Today Ed and Don F. continue to adjust these door so that they close smoothly. It appears Ryan will have to make another arm for the left top door. Ed brought along a great variety of weather seals from his many past restorations to determine the best weather seal to interface between these two doors.
    Mike has been engineering the display for this event. Today he had Paul fabricate and then weld on a support brace for our TV set that will be used to show case our new video.
    Mike and Wayne set up lunch today as Al B. had to leave early.
    Today we mailed a small quantity of DVD's and VHS's to Forrest Bone in Florida of the video "MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM" for those attending the TNT rally in Florida. The TNT group that camps in vintage trailers as well as motor homes. They have rally's all over the USA during the year. It is a great group and we always have a great time when we go to one of their rallies.
    Wally with Paul helping completed running heaver gage wiring to several circuits today.
    Al S. worked on cleaning up some 110 volt circuits at the rear of the Futurliner.
    Connie, Art, and Ron today worked at doing the final finishing of this door. At the end of the day the entire Futurliner was covered in plastic and paper. Then our painters, Connie and Art, applied the first coat of primer on this door. They plan to have two more days of working on this door prior to next Tuesday.
    Previously, Wayne had disassembled the spare Hydramatic shift selector tower and sandblasted it. Today that was also primed.
    Wayne again performed some badly needed maintenance on the sandblast cabinet that we use weekly. He replaced the glass and then cleaned out the dust collector. It sounds like the motor on the dust collector is going bad so a new motor will be ordered.
    Del and Stan spent the day at Del's work shop working on the display trailer. Ken spent the day at his machine shop making parts for the display trailer.
    John, from Vos glass stopped and did some more measuring for the two 1/4 windows that are on both sides and at the rear of the large 180 degree windshield.
    We are getting some great comments about this video. It was designed to be seen by a broad variety of people, not just us car folks. Not only does it talk about the restoration, but it gives a brief history of the Parade of Progress and the Futurliners. It is also about what a group of people who have a common goal can accomplish together. To order specify whether you want a VHS or DVD. The donation for the video is $25 which covers shipping.
    Make checks out to: Futurliner Restoration - National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States NATMUS, 1000 Gordon Buehrig Place, Auburn, Indiana 46706
    Thanks for your support.
Jan. 18 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Michael Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries*, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton (main meal), Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema (desert), Marjo Prinzing (salad), Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow and John Wiltjer.
    Today it was -2 degrees F when we started. The highest it got was + 15 degrees F. At least we weren't at a minus 45 F like those folks up in Minnesota.
    From those that have responded I have created a separate Futurliner - photo list that will be sent separately. If you did not get photos from last weeks work session (1-11-05) it is because you are NOT ON THIS LIST. I also sent out photos of the folks that worked on the video "MIRACLE AT BEAVERDAM". If you want Futurliner photos in the future just give me an e-mail. If you are getting these work reports through another organization such as TCT and sent me an e-mail asking for the photos I will also need your e-mail address as those e-mails are not in my directory. All these photos are supplied by Al Batts our photographer.
    Tom Kuhlman, retrieved the drive shaft coming out of the back of the tranny on another Army 6 X 6 and also the arms from the side of the military water cooled Hydramatic. Today he delivered these parts. Del and Stan started the day working in Del's shop disassembling, cleaning, and then sand blasting the front end parts that will become the front axle of the display trailer. Later when Tom joined them they installed white wall tires on the Futurliner trailer wheels. These are the special rims that are used on the front dual wheeled axle. Ken also spent time at Del's shop sketching up parts that he has to make for this trailer.
    This door has always given us trouble closing properly. Ed and Don F. last week after doing some experimenting determined that one of the lifting arms needed to be a 1/4" longer. During the past week, Ryan, at his shop built another arm for this door. Today Ed and Wayne installed the arm and the door closes a lot better. Next Ed worked at the weather seal design on this door.
    This door is on a work table and the dust flew today with Ron, Connie, and Art doing all the body work and filling to make it as straight as it can be made. Art constructed a special tool to sand long straight sections.
    With Warren doing the upholstery we have a lot of upholstered sections stored in the Futurliner barn. However with all the work going on there is dust everyplace. Paul took on the job of cleaning each piece, wrapping it in plastic, and the storing it in another section of the barn to keep it away from the dust. During this process, because of the dust, I suggested he move his operation into the other part of the barn so he would not have to fight the dust. Later I found him in the UNHEATED section of the barn (remember we had a high of + 15 today) doing this operation. I had meant that he go to the break area (heated) to do this work. He was relieved to find out that I wasn't putting him into cold storage.
    Dick and Marty managed to get more sections ready to be upholstered today.
    Wally's original wiring diagram was based on a 1953 12 volt Buick schematic. Wally sized the wires the same as the Buick. Over the past week as Wally considered his engineering he determined that with all the running lights on the Futurliner he has to upgrade some wires from 12 gage to 8 gage. Today Wally started replacing these specific wires.
    Jim installed the last of the door hinge covers he has fabricated.
    Mike and Al continue to do their work sorting out materials, running to the hardware, setting up lunch and doing the necessary research. This takes a big load off of the rest of us. I get numerous requests from organizations wanting photos and materials about the Futurliner. Mike and Al end up doing all the work gathering up this material.
    Our first stock of DVD's sold out last week. Today Ed picked up our second shipment. We encourage you to send in your donation to NATMUS for either a DVD or a VHS. The video is 41 minutes and it is a great presentation for any club organization. In fact we had a teacher supervisor in New Jersey order 10 DVD's for their various classes.
Jan. 11 VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Micheal Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter (provided both desert and salad.), Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Don Feutz, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton (provided the main meal), Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler, Al Scholten, Wally Snow. GUESTS: Bruce Jongekryg, Doug Haveman, Rich Saddler.
    Today's work included taking the Futurliner outside for some work. We woke up to 24 degrees F and a fresh 3" of fallen snow. So some of the work included removing snow.
    With the final primer being applied on this door yesterday, today's plan was to hang the door back on the Futurliner. Ed showed up pulling his construction trailer hauling his high lift truck. The entire crew started by removing all the masking tape, paper and plastic used to prevent paint over spray from getting on the Futurliner. While this was going on Ed and Don F. altered the trap door to the Hydromatic so it would be easier to move for service. Next Del fired up the Futurliner and took it outside. Ed, Don F., Del, Stan, and Ron then working as a crew installed the left upper 16' door.
    The same crew as above then proceeded to remove the right upper 16' door as it will require the same repairs as the left door.
    It was known that this door had a large outward bow in it that had to be corrected prior to our metal finishers doing their magic. Various methods were discussed including using jacks, come-a-longs, etc, etc. Finally they placed the door on the ground, then placed two wood 4" X 4" timbers under each end. Then using a engineered scientific analysis applied 8,000 foot pounds of pressure at just the correct place on the door and straightened it out.
    Application of this 8,000 foot pounds of pressure was achieved by Al B., Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Connie, and Don F. simultaneously jumping while in a tight knit circle on the door. Since Al B. was calling cadence we didn't get any videos of this. (I think if we were really honest we under estimated the total pounds of pressure applied to the door. One of the participants later told me he was afraid they were going to bend the door in the other direction.)
    Next the door was placed on its work cart and wheeled inside where Connie and Ron started the metal finishing process (which translates into removing all the doors imperfections.).
    When the Futurliner is on display the lower 16' doors were supported by stanchions. We discovered one base remaining from the original stanchions. Dick had eight additional bases cast so that we would have enough to use when we take the Futurliner to a show. Al S. today took these newly cast bases home to drill out the center hole and then tap this hole.
    Del had brought along his trailer with the portion of the Army truck frame that he had cut off that he was not going to use for the display trailer. Ed's fork truck was used to unload this and placed in our scrap pile. Then the front dual wheel axle was loaded onto Del's trailer. Del is working on this display trailer in his work shop at his home as we do not have room to work on it here.
    Del and Stan continue to work on items related to this display trailer.
    Jim is working fabricating his last hinge cover.
    Over the Holidays we received more material for our archives. Included in this material was a video taken of the Futurliner when it was stored behind the NATMUS museum. This video was taken in 1997. Mike and Al spent the day trying to catch up. Al as usual had to run to Wyrick Products for painting supplies. In addition Mike and Al had their normal KP duties.
    To shift the Hydramatic transmission the controls are mounted in a tower that is about 18" tall and sits at the left side of the driver. Our display trailer will include this item. We have an extra Hydramatic shift tower that was donated by Tom Kuhlman from an Army truck. However this Hydramatic shift tower needs completely restored. Today Wayne and Ken disassembled it completely. They already know what parts have to be rebuilt.
    Due to the fact that the first operation is to sand blast this tower and its components Wayne and Ken had to turn their attention to our sand blast cabinet. Over the years of using the sand blast cabinet it has accumulated so much debris it was time to remove all the sand, sift the sand, do some minor repairs, and put everything back together. They also completed this job.
    Dick and Marty continue to fabricate panels for the cab so that they can be upholstered. Paul worked on all the panels that had been previously upholstered. The glue that was used was not doing its job and Warren supplied us with new glue to use.
    Wally and Al buttoned up the last 12 volt electrical item today. Al also worked at installing a 110 volt connection at the underside rear of the Futurliner.
    We have had very positive comments of those that have viewed this video. It is available through the museum in either a DVD or VHS format. The donation is $25 which includes shipping and handling. It is a great video for your group for a program. Please order it through the museum, NATMUS.
NATMUS, 1000 Gordon Buehrig Place., Auburn IN 46706
    The annual Kalamazoo Restorers Club puts on a winter antique car swap meet in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds. This year the date is February 5th and 6th. The Futurliner group will be there. We will also have our new video there that you can have for a donation of $20 (a $5 savings). Even if you do not need a video stop by and see us.
    We again thank everyone for their support or this project would have been dead a long time ago.
Jan. 10 VOLUNTEERS: Don Mayton, Conrad DeJong, Art Meidema, Joshua Vuyst.
    Today Connie and Art completed the final priming of the left overhead 16' door. Once that was completed they prepared the left upper door openings for final painting. Don and Joshua helped in draping the entire Futurliner in plastic and then masking off the Futurliner to prevent over spray on the completed surfaces.
Jan. Following is the Futurliner restoration report for Friday, December 31, 2004. Yes, we had an impromptu work session the last day of 2004.
VOLUNTEERS: Del Carpenter, Gordon DeBaar, Conrad DeJong.
    As Del works at home preparing the drive train components to mount on the shortened Army truck chassis he has been getting help from others. Today; Del, Gordon, and Connie disassembled the spare rear transmission to see if it could be restored to use on our display trailer. Gordon spent his career as a mechanic rebuilding large truck and heavy duty equipment transmissions. If you recall, early on during this restoration Gordon restored the rear transmission that is in the Futurliner.
    This spare transmission came from the Canadian Futurliner (FIDO) as they modernized their drive train and donated it to our cause.
    Today's efforts found that many of the components were froze together due to rust. Although the teeth on the gears were in good shape the frozen components are where the small needle bearings reside. By the end of the day all the transmission components were disassembled and placed in Connie's truck to transport them to Gordon's house. He will access the corrosion damage and if the components can be used. Gordon did inform us that these are very old gear sets and are not available in today's world.
    You might ask how does moisture get inside a sealed transmission case that has heavy oil inside. The process of summer heat and then winter cold over many years creates condensation that ultimately puts a lot of moisture inside the transmission case.
    In the meantime, Del has been working at home removing components from the Army truck frame that he will not need. He also has been organizing all the components that he needs for this display trailer.

Copyright 1999-2018. All rights reserved.