1936-'40 Parade of Progress
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'33 World's Fair

1936 Parade
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1936 Parade of Progress The first Parade of Progress consisted of 8 huge, red-and-white, streamlined vans. The vans were custom built by Fisher Body's Fleetwood plant in Detroit. All eight were on a 223-inch truck chassis and were powered by GMC gasoline engines. Six of the Streamliners formed walk-through exhibits when joined together, three by three, with canvas awnings. Another van opened up to form a stage, and the eighth carried equipment.
    The 1936 Parade also used nine GMC and Chevrolet tractor-trailers. These hauled gear, tents, power generators, lamps, booths and additional exhibits. The Streamliners and support vehicles would arrive in town, set up a large tent, and put on a free scientific and educational show. The show was similar to that seen at the General Motors exhibit at the 1933-34 Chicago Worlds Fair.
    This first GM Parade of Progress road show was so successful that in 1940 General Motors built another set of special vehicles. These vehicles were called Futurliners and they took the show on the road until their hiatus during WWII.
    As far as we can tell, none of the 1936 Streamliners have survived.  Do you know of any?

    The above photo is a rare snapshot of the 1936-1940 Parade of Progress layout. The photo, unfortunately, doesn't show a good picture of a Streamliner (of which 8 were built), but the back end of a few of them can be seen to the far left of the picture. We're not positive where this photo was taken, but it could have been Cuba. The Parade did visit Cuba in 1937 and it's obviously a beach setting with palm trees. Photo supplied by Bernard A. Zink

    It's not know where this picture was taken either, but if you study it carefully, you can see the Streamliners on the right hand side of the picture all lined up. Notice the open access door toward the rear of the first vehicle. Photo supplied by Bernard A. Zink

This photo shows how the tractor-trailer rigs were used for displaying the early exhibits. In the later version of the Parade of Progress the Futurliners were used for displaying exhibits. Photo supplied by Bernard A. Zink

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