This 31st issue of our
newsletter continues our plan for semi-annual newsletters now that the
vehicle is completed and on the show circuit.
This project has been an all-volunteer effort with the goal of restoring one of the twelve GM Futurliners, originally built in 1940, to its original and functional condition. The vehicle was donated to the National Automotive and Truck Museum by Joe Bortz in the early 1990’s and is still owned by the museum in Auburn, Indiana. The restoration project was led by volunteer Don Mayton in Zeeland, Michigan with a group of nearly 40 volunteers participating.
Mayton, Project Director
Tryon, Newsletter Editor
|2007 Show Plans – Completed!||
The project team had a very busy and
successful series of shows this year as listed below.
One of the highlights at
the shows is giving people the opportunity to sit in the cockpit. We’ve
had more favorable comments about that experience than about anything else
about the vehicle. It certainly is impressive and a great public relations
|2008 Show Plan||
A great new book for car
and truck buffs, General Motors Parade of Progress & A Futurliner
Returns has just been published by Futurliner #10’s owner, the National
Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States, Inc. (NATMUS).
With 232 glossy 8 1/2 x 11 pages (24 in color) and 380 pictures, the book tells two big stories: 1) the story of the General Motors Parade of Progress from 1933 to 1956 and 2) the amazing story of the resurrection and authentic restoration of Futurliner #10 in Beaverdam, Michigan by a group of highly motivated volunteers referred to as The Restoration Team. In addition, there are stories told by Paraders (men who traveled with and presented the various exhibits that constituted the parade) along with stories of each of the 9 (out of 12) surviving Futurliners.
The “General Motors Parade of Progress” section and the “Paraders’ Profiles” were written by Bruce Berghoff of Arcadia, Michigan, author of The GM Motorama: Dream Cars of the Fifties. The story of the restoration of Futurliner #10 was written by George Ferris, author of several articles on automotive history. Ably edited by Donald Bratt, a restoration team member, the book will be available in late November 2007 through the Futurliner web site www.Futurliner.org with links to the NATMUS store or by calling NATMUS at (260) 925-9100. The price by mail is $35 (which includes postage, taxes and handling) or $29.95 at the NATMUS museum store. All proceeds go to the National Automotive and Truck Museum for the preservation and ongoing exhibit of Futurliner #10.
If you remember the
struggle we had in duplicating the original Futurliner tires, we ended up
with wide white tires without the raised letters made by a local truck
tire repair facility here in western Michigan.
We now have exact reproduction Futurliner tires on the Futurliner (one of a kind) through another set of "Miracle's at Beaverdam". Here is the story! Shortly after the Canadian (FIDO) Futurliner sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona for $4.2 million an inquiry was received about where we had obtained the white wall tires for our Futurliner. During the discussion, the new owner Ron Pratte, was told that although we had white wall tires we could not get any one to produce a copy of the original tires as a donation to our Futurliner restoration. We also told Ron that the only tire company that even took the time to estimate the cost of producing these tires was Coker Tire. At that time just the estimate of making a tire mold was over $30,000. Ron asked for Coker’s phone number. A few weeks later I received a phone call asking for the original tire that we owned to be shipped to Coker tire. Just to get this monster shipped is a story in itself, see the web site. Coker then proceeded to have their engineers design a mold, then Coker had a prototype tire made, had testing done, DOT approval, General Motors approval, and then the process of manufacturing the tires. We actually received the tires in the late spring of 2007. We now have exact duplicates of the original tires that came with the Futurliners in 1941. These tires, in addition to the wide white 10:00 X 20" tires, include the raised letters that have "General Motors, Parade of Progress, US Royal and Fleetway".
This is a result of a gift from Ron Pratte as well the Coker Tire Company willing to take the job of doing all of the engineering and manufacturing.
Poster, Hats, “T” Shirts & a Neat Video:
We offer our sincere
condolences to two of our Futurliner families. Our Project Director Don
Mayton lost his daughter Leslie to cancer in September and volunteer Wayne
Jackson lost his wife Lois also to cancer this summer.
We get numerous requests to bring the Futurliner to shows around the country. This is no small effort of course with something this size which 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:
1. Financial donation to NATMUS - $5000
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 including the logistics of moving from one site to another.
Robert Brugman sent us the December 1955 roster of Paraders and personnel. It will be on file if anyone is interested in the details. Ken Kierman also sent us some info from 1954.
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