GM's '36 Parade of Progress
GM Futurliner Restoration Project

National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States

'33 World's Fair

1936 Parade
  Page Two
More History
  Page 2
Power Plant
  Plant Crew
News Clip
C.S. Mott
On Tour

1938 Previews
1941 Parade
1953 Parade
1954 Parade

Appreciation Letters


In-Line Six
Other Futurliners
Oral Roberts Cathedral Cruiser

The following article was taken from "Special-Interest Autos", Mar-Apr. 1977. It was written by Bill Williams, Associate Editor. Please note that references to people and time-frames are only relative to 1977.

First Parade assembles in front of Detroit’s downtown GM Building.

GM’s first Parade of Progress opened in Feb. 1936 at Lakeland. FL (shown here and on opposite page). Streamliners were tied together with awnings, and command car was a stretched 1936 Chevrolet.


First series Streamliners – eight of them – were built in Fisher Body’s Fleetwood plant. They  where gasoline powered and contained exhibits and stages. 


In  1940, the first series of Streamliners were replaced by a second set. The revamped streamliners had such modern amenities as power steering, articulated dual front wheels, Dual-Range Hydra-Matic, automatic headlights dimmers, bubble cockpit, and much more. The second set consisted of 12 units instead of the previous eight.

Second series was dusted off in 1953 to become third parade of Progress; it drives away from the GM Building for its final tour. The Parade ran until mid-1956.

Futurliners opened up to form stage and exhibits. Young college grades became show lecturers but also performed menial chores such as driving trucks, picking up rubbish, and setting up tents. Jack Jerpe, Parade’s leader, stands in center of the front row in lighter suit. 

One of the Parade’s dioramas showed 50 years of change in 10 minutes of movable, automatic scenery. This $1 million exhibit used to be at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. GM has since reclaimed it and we believe it to be in storage.

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