GM Parade Exhibits
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Futurliners were built especially for the Parade to carry its animated exhibits. They were the only vehicles of their kind in existence. On a show lot, their 16-foot side panels folded out to form marquees and stage platforms. Lighting towers pushed up from their tops and they had their own public address systems. 

    The Parade of Progress was sometimes referred to as a Scientific Circus. It was not only fun to attend but was educational as well and of course, the big selling point – it was FREE!
    In 1954 the show provided a total of 26 exhibits for visitors to enjoy. To move the exhibits 44 vehicles were used. They consisted of 12 Futurliners, 10 tractor-trailers, 4 trucks and 18 passenger cars. A few of the exhibits included:

STAGE SHOW
    This presentation focused on the marvels of science and how they would affect our lives in the future. The demonstration incorporated a model jet plane that would streak across the stage in a fraction of a second – depicting the speed at which we would travel.
    Chemicals were poured into a pop bottle and 90 seconds later would jump out as synthetic rubber. In yet another foretelling of the future a small "rocket shop" would take to the heavens, depicting the yet unknown of scientific research in outer space.

POWER STEERING
    At this display the individual was given the opportunity to "feel" the difference with power steering and how hydraulics make driving easier.

FUTURLINERS
    These of course were an exhibit unto themselves. They were built especially for the Parade and carried its animated exhibits. Their 16-food side panels fold out to form marquees and stage platforms. Lighting towers rise up from their tops and they have their own public address systems.

POWER FOR THE AIR AGE
    A full size cutaway Allison jet engine sets upon the stage of a Futurliner and a lecturer explained its parts and the theory behind jet propulsion.

OUT OF THE MUDDLE
    This display focused its attention on highway needs. "Muddle", loosely translated, means "mess." Development of this exhibit followed by little more than a year, GM’s Better Highway Awards contest in which the company offered cash prizes for the best essays on highway problems submitted in a nationwide competition. GM staff spent 18 months consulting with traffic engineers and developing the display. They built a model consisting of more than 1,000 buildings and an estimated 1,500 plastic cars and trucks along with countless trees and other fixtures. A complicated electrical system with 25 motors operates the display automatically, causing the cars and trucks to move, buildings to appear and disappear and traffic lights to flash.
    The exhibit consisted of two displays on a 16-foot-wide panel, one on each side of the Futurliner where they could be viewed by crowds outside the vehicle. Pre-recorded commentaries explain what was happening.
    How It Worked – On one side of the Futurliner (Out of The Muddle Part I) a community is portrayed, choked by traffic congestion. Its causes and suggested remedies are explained. The "community" is turned upside down by means of panels which revolve to show how expressways and by-passes and can solve traffic problems. On the other side of the Futurliner (Out of the Muddle Part II) a similar portrayal of traffic problems is presented plus a cross a cross section of a "dream" city of the future with underground thoroughfares and other improvements. The displays ran continuously and lasted about 3 or four minutes.

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
    This animated display provided the "inside story" of these relatively new devices.

THEME CENTER
    This was a modernistic looking structure with a 46-foot tower and served as an information center with exhibits.

ALL-AMERICAN SOAP BOX DERBY
    This display appealed to the appealed to minors. On display was a racer that won one of the greatest of boy’s classics along with pictures of "Derby Day" in Akron, Ohio.

EDUCATIONAL EXHIBIT
    Information was provided via "request cards" which could be mailed to GM requesting the educational booklets on display.

MIRACLES OF HEAT AND COLD
    This was a two-part lecture demonstrating how heat and cold serve us in our homes and daily lives.

OUR AMERICAN CROSSROADS
    This animated display changed every 10 minutes to show how communities would change in the future as a result of the automobile.

DIESEL POWER PARADE
    The subject was a two-cycle high-speed diesel engine and it’s uses.

WORLD OF SCIENCE
    The lecturer explains friction in the atmospheric ocean that we live in.

ENERGY AND MAN
    A lecturer shows how man may harness energy from the sun in the future.

HIGH COMPRESSION
    This hands on display allow the visitor to push the buttons and learn how high compression engines and better fuels boost car efficiency.

OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTH
    This exhibited provided an opportunity to win model cars from the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild.

VERSATILE METAL POWDER
    The lecturer explains how parts are made from this materials and how it helps speed production.

POWER FOR THE NATION’S LIFELINES
    For the train lover, this display was synchronized with voice and action of the Diesels on the rails. The lecturer also covered the economic implications that modern railways would have on the future of our country.

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