The first parade starts in 1936. The exhibitions are installed for two to four days in small towns in North America. They look like a circus. The lectures are made in a large tent with more than 1200 seats. The parade buses display the equipment.
The idea of Boss Ket was educational and generous. The themes were not limited to automobiles, but this great marketing operation enabled General Motors to meet in three years 12.5 million visitors in 251 towns in USA, Canada, Mexico and Cuba.
The Parade of Progress was a great success, which enabled GM to organize their sales network throughout North America. In 1940, the original eight buses are replaced by twelve huge vehicles 3.5 m high and 10 m long manufactured by GMC Trucks and bodyworked by Fisher : the Futurliners.
The war interrupted the operation, and the Futurliners waited until 1953 to go on parade. Communication techniques had changed in the meantime and the operation, now less efficient than the direct exhibition of cars in the GM Motoramas, was stopped in 1956.
The Futurliners were dispersed. GM offered two of them to the Michigan State Police, who used them for awareness of road safety under the name of Safetyliners.
A Futurliner was sold for $ 4.3 million including premium by Barrett-Jackson on 21 January 2006. This bus carefully restored in its original GM colors and inscriptions will be sold at no reserve to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation by the same auction house at Scottsdale on January 17, lot 2501.
SOLD for $ 4M hammer price for charity
No fees applied.
$ 4.6M total raised for this lot on behalf of the Armed Forces Foundation.