March 2, 2021
GM Futurliner to Make Appearance at the Oklahoma History Center
OKLAHOMA CITY — A rare piece of automotive history will arrive at the Oklahoma History Center on Thursday, March 4. The 1940 GM Futurliner No. 10 will be on display in the circle driveway of the History Center from noon to 1 p.m.
There were 12 Futurliners manufactured, with the purpose of transporting all of the components of the “Parade of Progress” exposition. The exhibition started touring the country in 1936 to give the public free demonstrations of the scientific and technological achievements of American industry. The Futurliners were specially built to carry animated exhibits. Their 16-foot side panels folded out to form stage platforms, and each vehicle contained approximately 900 cubic feet of internal exhibit space. They were equipped with lighting towers and public address systems. The stage shows and animated exhibits presented dramatic pictures of the cavalcade of American progress, telling how scientific research and engineering helped improve lives. Amazed audiences could see a jet engine, radar, diesel-electric power, television, an electric ping-pong game with stereo sound and a microwave oven in these traveling exhibits.
The vehicle on display, Futurliner No. 10, was used in exhibitions in 1941, and again from 1953–1956. On its tours, it visited nearly 200 cities in the United States and Canada, with 11 million people attending those exhibitions. Futurliner No. 10 is one of only nine remaining vehicles of its kind, and was the first to have been restored to its 1953–1956 appearance.
There is no charge to see the Futurliner, and a food truck will be on-site for visitors who would like to purchase lunch. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. For more information, please call 405-522-0765.
The GM Futurliner will be in Oklahoma City as part of the OKC Auto Show, sponsored by the Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association. The OKC Auto Show will be held at the Bennett Event Center on the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds March 5–7. For more information on the OKC Auto Show, please visit www.okcautoshow.org.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
Editor’s Note: Photographs to accompany the story can be acquired by contacting Steve Hawkins at the Oklahoma History Center at 405-522-0754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.