Oral Roberts Cathedral Cruiser
On February 11, 1936, the Parade of Progress made its debut in Lakeland, Florida
using eight custom-built Streamliners. The Streamliners resembled large
moving vans. This version of the Parade ran until Pearl Harbor in 1941.
During this time the Parade stopped in 251 cities and played before
audiences of more than twelve and one-half million people.
Billed by GM in their 1936 promotional
literature as "Silver-Topped Streamliners" and refereed to as the "World's
Largest Highway Leviathans" at 33 feet from stem to stern, the 28 vehicle caravan,
including nine support semis, was an impressive site.
It's hard for many of us to imagine this, but
there were no 4-lane super highways in 1936 only 2-lane roads. It's been said that top
speed for the Streamliners was about 40 mph.
Unfortunately, this was a
very poor picture to begin with, and its been brightened as much as
possible, but, because of the rarity, its worth showing anyway. It
appears to be a roadside shot of the the Parade of progress pulled off
to the side of the road. You can just make out the Streamliners lined
up. Photo supplied by Bernard A.
The caption that came with this photo
"This is a
photo of the crew lowering tire pressure so the Streamliner would fit
under a bridge. They would let the air out of the tires right before
the overpass and once on the other side, they would have to refill all the
tires with air before proceeding."
With all the dirt piled up behind the
man in the coveralls, it looks like there might be something else
going on here as well. Remember, this was 1936 and paved roads were
not the norm. Photo supplied by Bernard A.
photo, provided by Michael Strainic, shows a Streamliner in a
Brownsville, TX parade in 1938. The photo is captioned, "The Charro Days
Parade, February 24-27, 1938." This may have been the first parade
for the festival, The first parade featured horse-drawn, hand-made
floats, charros and chinas on horseback. Most of the downtown store
windows were decorated for the occasion.