the 12 Futurliners made, our Futurliner was known as #10. When GM
discontinued the Parade of Progress the Futurliners were sold off to
various interests. A couple were purchased by the Michigan State
Police and yet another was purchased by the Oral Roberts Ministries.
Our Futurliner, #10, was purchased by the Goebel Brewing Company,
headquartered in Detroit.
we disassembled the Futurliner we discovered Goebel Brewing Company
literature behind the seats in the cockpit. Later, volunteer Howard
Sullivan, looking through literature from his dad's collection of
promotional materials, found a postcard
with a Goebel Beer Futurliner. Now the rest of the story...
Fred and Marge Carpenter have a business selling
automobilia. They attend many car meets over the eastern half of the
country. In 2004 they were at the annual Oldsmobile Homecoming and
among their material was some Futurliner
literature. Fred and Marge have been great in promoting this project
through their business contacts.
Al Batts had made several color booklets for the volunteers to carry
with them and Fred had one of them hanging at their booth in Lansing.
An attendee saw the booklet and exclaimed to Fred that he
knew the person that drove the Goebel Futurliner. Immediately Fred
turned his business over to Marge and Fred engaged this person in
conversation. (continued below)
Goebel Land Cruiser was billed as "A new concept in
Public Relations!" The postcard that these pictures were
taken from stated that it included a complete P.A. system, a
17 ft. x 8 ft. stage, microphones, dual speakers, phonograph,
radios, tape recorders, stage lighting and area
left hand side of the Futurliner carried an illuminated and
narrated display board explaining the manufacturing process of
The Goebel Land Cruiser could
be requested to play picnics, fairs, fund raising, parades,
speeches, shows, or any other outdoor activity.
To make a long story short Fred was promised that
this person would get the person who was the Goebel Futurliner driver
to call Fred. Subsequently Fred Carpenter received a call from Frank
Frye who worked for Goebel Beer in the late 1950's. Following is Frank and
Jack Frye's story that Fred received by phone as well as letter:
"The public relations department of Goebel
Brewing Company on Rivard St. in Detroit bought Futurliner #10 (our
present Futurliner) in 1956. Goebel had it refurbished at a display
firm in Detroit. (A black and white photo shows the right side with
painted graphics on the side just above the aluminum ribbed trim and
GOEBEL BEER on the front and the sides.
The refurbishment for Goebel Brewing Company included making the curb
(right side) a stage for the speaker for Goebel. In fact, the photo
shows Frank Frye himself posed making his
speech. On the opposite (left side) is a
miniature brewery that lays out how Goebel Brewing makes their beer.
Frank Frye was the first driver in 1957 or 1958.
Frank worked previously as a part time tour guide in the Goebel Circus
Room all through college. He then took the full time driving job for
about 2 years.
As Frank recalls, Goebel used it initially only in
Michigan. However, since Goebel also marketed in the French Quarter of
New Orleans, Frank remembers driving it down there for two or three
weeks. (Does any one down in New Orleans have photos or has time to
search the local newspapers or library?)
Frank used to keep a cooler of canned been behind
the driver's seat which was dispensed only to the local beer
distributor sponsoring the activity. (Beer was never dispensed to the
public.) One time, in Lansing, Michigan, the radiator sprung a leak
and the engine was overheating, so Frank poured several cans of beer
into the radiator and limped to the nearest GM Dealer for service. As
a result, Frank made it to the next activity on time.
Since the Futurliner had a complete and powerful P.A. system, it was
usually used as a Central Stage by the committee for many types of
outdoor activities. Homecoming affairs for the many smaller towns in
Michigan were one of Goebels most frequently requested activities with
fairs and parades also quite popular.
When Frank left Goebel Brewing in 1958 to resume
his graduate school work, his brother, Jack Frye, took over as the
driver of the Land Cruiser. Shortly thereafter, Goebel Brewing started
to experience financial problems and in 1960 had to discontinue the
Land Cruiser program. The company was eventually bought up by the
Strohs Brewing Company in 1964.
Frye was laid off and Goebel sold the Land Cruiser to Pulte
Construction in Detroit. Pulte Construction subsequently hired Jack
Frye to drive the vehicle to Florida where they had a large
subdivision building project they wanted to promote. Just southeast of
Tallahassee, near the town of Perry, the engine threw a rod and caught
fire. Jack had to scramble out of the vehicle and seek help. Jack also
remembers that a local newspaper reporter came out to the site of the
breakdown and took pictures. He subsequently made arrangements to have
the vehicle towed to Pulte's construction site where he left it and
returned to Detroit."
We want to thank Frank and Jack Frye for providing this information.
This type of information again fills in more details of the history of
Futurliner #10 and its usage after its time spent with GM's historic
Parade of Progress. We also want to thank Fred Carpenter for pursuing