GM Futurliner Restoration Project
National Automotive and Truck Museum of
the United States
'33 World's Fair
Roberts Cathedral Cruiser
|Bud Jeneau submitted the
following photo which he found in the GM archives. The photo is that of the 1940 version
of the Futurliner (note the clear canopy over the driver) before their makeover in 1952.
The 1940 version was only used from January, 1941 until the war started in December of
1941. After World War II they were used in a Detroit parade celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the automobile.
Note: Bud Juneau is a member of the Society of
Automotive Historians, writes articles and does automotive photography for most of the
American vintage car magazines. He has met with Bob Valdez and did an extensive photo
shoot for an article on his Futurliner and met with Brad Boyajian, another Futurliner
This is an excellent picture of the 1940
version of the Futurliner. Note that the light bar is extended and turned on and note the
huge generator exhibit in the display area. It looks like the generator is powered by twin
engines, one on either side. From what we've picked up, the display was actually a
"working display" and generated electricity for the show. It's hard to see, but
from this and other pictures there appears to be heavy glass in front of the display,
presumably to deaden sound while the lecturer spoke.
This is also a rare picture of the 1940
Futurliner version. The photo was taken in the summer of 1941 by Bob Kinsman. He wrote:
"I read with considerable interest the article in the March 9
issue of the Chicago Tribune describing your work in restoring a GM Futurliner. I also
perused your web site for further information. I am enclosing a picture to add to your
collection which I took in the summer of 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. We visited the
exhibits in the evening and I remember being totally enraptured by the many demonstrations
and machines on display. Two things which still stick in my mind are an Allison V-12
engine which I believe was used in the P-51 fighter and also in PT boats and a
demonstration of the effects of anti-knock agents in gasoline. They had a small gasoline
engine which they ran with various grades of fuels in it. Anyhow, I was so impressed that
I convinced my parents to take me back the next morning and I snapped this picture of one
of the Futurliners all packed up and ready to roll."
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