In 1939, General Motors made a statement about the future of the automotive industry. On the backdrop of rapid technological advancement and expansion of the American road system in the late 1930s, GM developed 12 Futurliner buses that toured the country in what was known as “The Parade of Progress.”
The parade, beginning at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, could have easily been plucked from the films Citizen Kane or Metropolis. The Futurliner buses featured iconic art deco bodywork and chrome side panels, and stood a massive 33 feet long by 8 feet wide by 11 feet tall, weighing more than 12 tons.
Today, car enthusiasts are setting their sights on one of the rare Futurliner buses, which will cross the auction block on August 6. With only nine surviving and just three examples in good condition, this automobile is recognized as Futurliner #3 by collectors. It has undergone a 19-month full restoration in Salt Lake City, Utah, and like the original, displays an Allison J-35 jet engine.
Another example, Futurliner #11, has crossed the auction block twice in the last 10 years, selling for $4M or more at both sales. The automotive world is already speculating on how much Futurliner #3 will fetch at auction next month.
Nothing is more symbolic of the dominance of General Motors and the time period than the Futurliner bus. The vehicle is not just a piece of automotive history, but is representative of trends in art, history, culture, and technology. To participate in the auction, visit the catalog and read the press release for more information.
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