GM Futurliner is the Bus of the Future Created in the 40s by General Motors
If the minute you hear the name General Motors you make a connection with the image of a Chevrolet Corvette, a Camaro or a Cadillac, maybe your subconscious “knows” something, as the American manufacturer has outlined several plans since the early 40s, one of these projects that became reality being the bus GM Futurliner.
This GM Futurliner looks like an unusual means of transport that blends retro and futuristic elements, with elements from a caravan without being restricted from certain well-designed limits. The design adopted by Futurliner was conducted by Harley Earl, who is considered “the father of the American auto design” and the production of this bus was made by the giant General Motors.
1939 is the year when GM built 12 such vehicles that they planned to put into operation in the period between 1940-1941 to serve as technical support for the mobile exhibition Parade of Progress, which aimed crossing the United States to show the public the latest models of cars and the innovative technology of that time, which included jet engines, microwave ovens, televisions and stereo speakers.
The GM Futurliner was characterized by the following features: the height of 3.5 meters (the height of a house with two floors of that period), a width of 2.4 meters and a length of 10 meters. It had an impressive weight of 15 tons and could be supplied with 340 liters of fuel.
The top speed that could be achieved on this futuristic bus was 65 km/h. Between 1940-1946 GM equipped it with a four-cylinder diesel engine coupled with a manual transmission, but after that they took the decision to install a 5 liter GMC 302 six-cylinder engine, plus a Hydramatic transmission with four reports.
The arrival of the Second World War in 1941 sabotaged the Parade of Progress, but it was resumed in 1953 after General Motors decided to recondition and modernize the Futurliner buses. Unfortunately, in 1956 the project was stopped, two of the models being donated to the police department in Michigan and the rest becoming museum pieces, exhibits sold through auctions or purchased by amateurs who have restored them to the original state.