Futurliner Scrapbook 
GM Futurliner Restoration Project
National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States

'33 World's Fair

1936 Parade
1938 Previews
1941 Parade
1953 Parade
1954 Parade


  Set Up
    Page 2
Cobo Hall
      Page 2
  Soap Box
  Air Power
  Old Scout

Appreciation Letters
In-Line Six
Other Futurliners
Oral Roberts Cathedral Cruiser

Out of the Muddle

1953 Shreveport -- One of the main attractions at the spectacular GM Parade of Progress is an animated "Out of the Muddle" display designed to focus public attention on city and suburban traffic needs by dramatically demonstrating possible solutions to common traffic problems.
    New highways, parking areas and other improvements appear as if by magic in model communities in the exhibit, housed in one of the big Parade of Progress "Futurliners."
    "This exhibit is General Motors' latest contribution toward keeping the public informed and interested in our nation's very serious highway problems," said Harlow H. Curtice, president of General Motors.
    The exhibit is the result of 18 months of painstaking work by a GM staff of engineers. The staff was advised by nationally known highway engineers and traffic experts.
    The exhibit consists of two displays on 16-foot-wide side panels, one on each side of Futurliner where they can be viewed by crowds outside the vehicle. The displays operate simultaneously.
    Model communities in the exhibit contain more than 1,000 "buildings," an estimated 1,500 plastic cars and trucks from one to two inches long, scores of trees and other fixtures.
    A complicated electrical system with 25 electric motors -- powered by a unit in the Futurliner itself when no outside power source is available -- operates the displays, automatically causing the cars and trucks to move, buildings to appear and disappear and traffic lights to flash.
    Recorded commentaries synchronized with the action explain what is happening.
    The display on one side of the Futurliner is called "Out of the Muddle -- Part I," and portrays the traffic congestion in a suburban community, its causes and suggested remedies. Part of this community is turned "upside down" by panels that revolve to show how express by-pass highways, planned community developments and other improvements can solve traffic problems.
    On the other side of the Futurliner, "Out of the Muddle -- Part II," offers a similar portrayal of traffic problems and solutions in a modern city, plus a cross-section of a "dream" city of the future in which underground thoroughfares and other improvements have all but eliminated most serious traffic problems.

Parade Director, John E. Ryan, points out various features of the display.

If you have any additional information about the history or whereabouts of additional Futurliners, we would like to hear from you. Our objective is to capture as much of the history of these vehicles as possible.

Copyright 1999-2018. All rights reserved.