GM Paraders
GM Futurliner Restoration Project
National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States

'33 World's Fair

1936 Parade
1938 Previews
1941 Parade
1953 Parade
1954 Parade


Appreciation Letters

In-Line Six
Other Futurliners

Concept Cars
  The Show
  Pres. & Displays
  Futurliner Pics
  Tent Pics
  Advance Man
  Concept Car
  The Show
  ID Cards
Johns (uniform)
Oral Roberts Cathedral Cruiser

54 "Paraders"

    The "Paraders", as the staff referred to themselves, consisted of 40-50 young men. "They were all college graduates and taken from a cross section of the country," Edward A. Bracken, Jr. was quoted as saying for the Mar.-Apr. 1977 edition of Special-Interest Autos. He goes on to say, "There must have been at least 30 universities represented by these young men -- everyone the same age bracket and, I might add, all bachelors. It was our job to drive the trucks and, on arrival at the site, change into coveralls and put up the show. We then dressed and became lecturers on the exhibits. At the conclusion of each 2-4-day visit, we'd pack up and drive to the next town."
    Raymond E. Hayes writes an account of the 1936 Paraders in the same article. Hayes later went on to become GM's director of public relations field operations. "The three guys I broke in with, were from Harvard, Columbia, and Brown -- Eastern guys. We were all hired as lecturers, but there was an apprenticeship period. While you were apprenticing, they put you on the utility crew -- we called it the futility crew -- and that meant you didn't lecture until you learned every other job and also until one of the regular lecturers dropped out. What you did -- you reported from from the hotel to the show at about six o'clock in the morning in coveralls, and you waxed floors, took a stick with a nail on the end of it, picked up papers -- that sort of thing."
    We have received considerable information about past participants in the Parade of Progress and we're trying to add it to the website as time permits. They have sent photos, historical information and offered technical assistance. Please excuse us if we have missed anyone. You Paraders are doing an excellent job. Keep it up!

Paraders We Have Heard From

Raffee Johns Johns and his wife Esther paid us a visit. They brought with them his photos, newspaper articles, one of the lectures he gave at the Parade and paperwork describing the Parade of Progress. In addition he donated one of his uniforms so we could make a pattern from it and reproduce it.
Jack Burke Jack Burke, 838 Cedar Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. (847) 695-3046. Jack’s four-page hand written letter was full of the actual activities during the Parade. His letter was filled with stories of the activities, technical items and just a lot of good humor.
Harold  Hardenbrook Harold Hardenbrook, 675 C Versailles Circle, Elk Grove, Illinois 6000, (847) 593-6973. Harry provided an interesting account of his involvement with the Parade of Progress. Follow the link to the left for more information.
Jim Morris Jim Morris sent us over 40 slides from the early 50’s Parades that were very interesting. We’ve converted 16 of these to prints and flimsies to use in the presentation. Jim also sent us his address list of former Paraders to add to our distribution list. We understand the Jim was one of the few who traveled with the Parade from 1953 thru 1956 when it was terminated. Jim also writes that he would like to see a Parader reunion in the next few years with this project vehicle at the forefront. Thanks Jim for your photos and information. Please follow Jim's link for some great pictures.
William Noakes William Noakes, was a Parader in '53-'54 (joining at Frankfurt, KY per memory) and then moved to the Motorama for '55. He drove one of the tractor-trailer rigs and gave many of the science shows.
Tom VanVoorhis Tom VanVoorhis was an "Advance Man" for the parade. He sent a number of pictures and newspaper clippings. Please follow Tom's link for some great pictures.
Douglas Dean Douglas Dean and his wife took the time to drive from Lansing, Michigan and spend 5 hours in Zeeland going over the project and showing his slides taken during the Parade of Progress. Douglas also had some of his slides converted into photos. In addition he converted his better slides into a video presentation. Don was so impressed by his work he asked if Douglas could take the slides that Louanne had sent us and do a similar video. He did and the results are great.
Frank Faraone Frank Faraone supplied us with an excellent set of 8X11 photos of the Futurliners as well as the Parade of Progress. Everything that gets sent to us is cataloged by Don. In addition, if it needs to be copied and sent back, we do that. Converting slides to video that takes a long time, please be patient.
Victor Garske Victor Garske donated a video to NATMUS showing the General Motors Caravan of Progress, a newsreel announcement of the 1953 Parade of Progress, the actual Parade of Progress, and Our American Crossroads.
Renald Goyette Renald Goyette sent us slides and six pages of details in a letter. He not only remembered the human interest stories, the funny ones but also the technical details that fills in a lot of the questions that we keep asking.
Ed Harben Ed Harben sent us some published materials about the Parade of Progress. The other materials he sent contained information we had not known about before.
Louanne &  Dick Kay Louanne and Dick Kay supplied an excellent set of 35mm slides that Dick took during the Parade of Progress. We want to thank Louanne for taking the time to dig these out, as they are excellent. Every time we hear from a former Parader we learn something.
Charles Tangora Charles Tangora was a Parader for the Parade of Progress. Chuck started working with the Parade prior to the Parade starting. He was involved in supervising the installation of the displays that went into the Futurliners working with the H.B. Stubbs company. Once the Parade started he was an advance person that went out to the field the day prior to the Parade arriving and laying everything out. They would measure and chalk a field locating the Aero Dome tent and where each Futurliner was positioned. They would have chalk lines so that each Futurliner would just ride over the chalk line keeping the line at the center of the Futurliner until it arrived in its designated position. Chuck also worked on the Parade in 1953 and in addition to being an advance layout person worked as a lecturer in the Ultra Sonic display.
Richard Phillippi Richard Phillippi supplied a video of the Parade of Progress.

Copyright 1999-2018. All rights reserved.