- The crew has competed a week of
restoration activities in April to fix/repair a number of items. The
Futurliner was brought from the storage location to Don’s garage and a
big crew joined in for the 4 days of work sessions. A summer of shows
and hundreds of people climbing into the cockpit are showing some
expected wear and tear. But it is worth it to see the smiles, the
enthusiasm and recollections of people viewing the unique vehicle.
- Several areas were repainted or touched
up. The underside was also gone over completely, removing rust and
repainting where necessary.
- The gear motors for the large 16’ doors
were removed and new bearings installed.
- New weather seals were installed on the
16’ doors to correct some leakage we had last year (all car shows are
not sunny and bright!).
- The inventory of memorabilia was updated
and more supplies ordered. Our first supply of the new model (see photo
below) is nearly sold out and we are waiting for the next shipment.
- Electrical repairs were completed
including the tail lights and electrical control areas.
- The carburetor that was removed at
Hershey last year was disassembled in NC, the leakage area found and
corrected and tested on a ’59 Buick.
- A new exhaust cut-out valve has been
installed. You might ask why does it need an exhaust cut-out? Good
question – it was requested by the clean-up crew. Since the exhaust runs
straight up and out the top, the soot during startup adds to the work
required before each show. So, during warm-up, the exhaust is routed to
the ground to keep the top clean. These guys think of everything.
2007 Show Plan
- The show plans for 2007 are listed
below. Each show has a lead volunteer who is responsible for making
all the arrangements including transportation, volunteer staffing and
the overall show day schedule.
- June 1&2 – NATMUS, Auburn Indiana
- June 9 –Vicksburg Old Car Festival,
- June 10 – Concours d’Elegance, Ault
Park in Cincinnati Ohio (www.ohioconcours.com)
- June 15-16 – Mild to Wild show,
- July 6&7 – AACA Grand National at
Gilmore Museum, Richland, MI
- July 13 – Zeeland Car Show Parade,
- July 14 – Zeeland Car Show
- Aug. 3&4 – Red Barns, Gilmore Museum
in Hickory Corners MI
- Aug. 24&25 – AACA Fall National
Meet, Moline, Illinois
- Sept 7, 8 &9 – Salisbury House, Des
- For 2008, a few requests are being
considered and two dates are tentative. Stay tuned and check the web
site for the latest plans.
- The web site gets a lot of traffic. In
January, hits went over 231,000 in one day. The video clip added in
January ranked as #4 on the hit list with over 7,500 downloads for
- For December thru March for example,
we averaged 773 visits per day and 2700 pages are viewed each day.
Financial status - Poster, Hats, “T” Shirts
& a Neat Video:
- Items available thru NATMUS serve as
both fund-raisers for the Futurliner Restoration Project and interesting
memorabilia for all of you. The 40 minute video includes 5 minutes of
original movie footage from the early 50s with many shots of Futurliners
in action. The remainder covers this restoration project – the people,
the suppliers, the technical challenges and the results of the 7 year
project. The video is titled “Miracle at Beaverdam”, is available on
either VHS or DVD and can be requested from NATMUS for $25 (including
- A new scale model is now available for
$40 plus $10 S/H. It is 1/64 scale or about 6” long. It is an excellent
replica as you can see and comes in a clear plastic display case. (There
are other companies selling the same model on the Internet for $60 or
more so if you are interested, contact NATMUS.)
- Posters, polo and “T” shirts and hats
are available thru NATMUS. Prices and photos are on the web site -
- The Futurliner model built by Retro 123
is a large-scale model (33” long) with excellent detail including
operating doors and top light bar. Retro 1-2-3 has obtained a licensing
agreement with GM for its production and a portion of the proceeds are
returned to NATMUS to support this project. Cost is $1,845 + shipping
and handling. Photos are on our website. To purchase one, contact Retro
at 815-338-7693 (in IL) or check out their web site at
www.retro1-2-3.com. They are nearly SOLD OUT so hurry if you are
- Donations are still required for ongoing
repairs and maintenance of the Futurliner. Many people have been very
generous in their financial support of the project and all donations are
deeply appreciated. You can be proud to be a part of this very special
and unique restoration project. Donations can be sent to NATMUS, 1000
Gordon M. Buehrig Place, Auburn, IN 46706.
Zeeland, Michigan Parade
- The restoration took place at a small
crossroads called Beaver Dam. The nearest town is Zeeland, Michigan. The
downtown area, two blocks long, still resembles a 1950's typical small
town. We had been invited to participate in their annual car show which
is on Saturday, July 14, 2007. In the planning discussion the idea of
re-creating an actual Parade of Progress parade came up in the
discussion. It was then decided to stage this mini Parade of Progress
parade on the evening prior to the Saturday car show (Friday July 13).
The parade will include 1950's GM cars representing each of the car
divisions leading the Futurliner. We are also looking for a vintage
police car as well as a police motorcycle. This will be a fun event
since the plan includes a sock hop. The local restaurants plan to have
their employees dressed in 1950's clothes as well as 1950's menu but not
- Our plan is to video this event, and
combined with some other videos we took at other shows to make this
video available. Those looking to host the Futurliner in the future may
want to include such an event.
One of the original Paraders Harry Hardenbrook
passed away in December last year. He was very active with the parade of
Progress for many years.
We get numerous requests to bring the
Futurliner to shows around the country. This is no small effort of course
with something this size that requires a sizable staff to accompany it.
Because of this complexity, the crew and NATMUS have established the
following guidelines. Briefly, the sponsoring show will need to provide:
- Financial donation to NATMUS - $5000
- A tractor trailer truck to pull the
vehicle to and from the event. We have the trailer, just need the truck
to pull it.
- Secure storage and wash facilities at
- Expenses for volunteers. It requires a
crew of at least 4-6 of our volunteers with expenses for hotels, meals
- Power at the show of 110VAC with 30 amp
- Ability for the Futurliner crew to sell
memorabilia as noted below to help cover the on-going expenses of the
More detail is available if you are
interested. Once these requirements are agreed upon, the crew will see how
it all fits together with other requests, logistics of moving from one
site to another and availability of the crew to cover the show.