The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Classic Restos: US Tour - GM Futurliner Ep 7 Part 1 Future Transportation as Envisioned in the 1940s and '50s by GM

First introduced by GM in 1940-41 and used from 1953 to 1956 in a second life after World War II, the vehicle of the future as seen by General Motors was two stories tall, over ten feet long, weighed in at 15 tons, had eight tires, and could only manage 38 mph with its six cylinder engine. (The introduction to this vehicle begins at roughly 1:30 if you want to cut to the chase.) It was used as a portable show for fairs and such, drawing large crowds wherever it went. Taller than the trailers on tractor trailers (or Prime Movers in New Zealand as you'll find out here), this machine was designed to draw attention. Based on the streamlined passenger trains of the period, this shiny, streamlined machine gave a sense of speed it just didn't produce. Still, with the center top of the roof rising up to reveal floodlights and the side panels rising to unveil large displays (like "The Miracles of Hot and Cold" ... which included an early microwave I'm told), it's ability to draw a crowd was tremendous.

A grand total of twelve of these beasts of tomorrow were made, nine of which still exist, and three remain in running order. Enjoy this rare treat, seeing the future that never was rolling down the street!

For more automotive nostalgia, see the following posts:, and the idea that never quite goes away, the flying car:

For trains of tomorrow, see: and

Again, I'm glad some of these "things of tomorrow" remained firmly in yesterday!!!

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