1939 GMC Futurliner

Star Car Dennis Albaugh Collection

ST

Special Feature Car

One of 12 GMC Futurliners built for Parade of Progress. Futurliner #3 recently became a part of the Dennis Albaugh collection in Ankeny, IA. No. 3 with the chassis number ADF859017 displays a cutaway Allison J-35 to illustrate how jet engines worked. The GM Futurliners were a group of custom vehicles, styled in the 1940’s by Harley Earl for General Motors and an integral part of the company’s Parade of Progress – a North American traveling exhibit promoting future cars and technologies. Each Futurliner featured heavily stylized Art Deco, streamlined body work, deep red and white roof paint, and large articulated chrome side panels. General Motors originally built eight giant streamliners designed to cross the country as part of the Parade of Progress mobile technology and innovation display in 1936. The dozen Futurliners built to serve the same purpose didn’t come along until 1941. Stretching to more than 33 feet long and reaching a height of more than 11 feet, the Futurliners originally used a Detroit Diesel 4-71 four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmissions, and dual wheels front and rear to move around their 33,000-pound bulks. They were later upgraded to a military-grade 302 cubic inch GM straight six gasoline engine with an automatic transmission. The driver enters the cockpit via an internal stairway in the nose to command the Futurliner from a towering perch. Put into storage right after Pearl Harbor, the Futurliners wouldn’t see the light of day again until 1953.

Built by GMC Truck and Fischer Coach and Body

  • Owner

    Dennis Albaugh Collection

    Make/Model

    1939 GMC Futurliner

    Engine

    302 CI

    Horsepower