$4 Million for 1950 Art Deco Futurliner

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January 18, 2015
By James Massey

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - A 1950 General Motors Futurliner Bus has fetched $4 million at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The bus, owned by collector Ron Pratte, was sold for charity with all proceeds benefiting the Armed Forces Foundation.

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Back in the day, the Futurliner's Art Deco design was created by Harley Earl for General Motors "Parade of Progress."

The "Parade of Progress" was a traveling exhibition of prototype vehicles, promoting future technologies. GM's Heritage Center provides more about the 'Parade ' on their website. Here's an excerpt:

"The General Motors "Parade of Progress" was a large, multi-faceted road show that began touring across America in 1936. It represented an investment of millions of dollars and thousands of man hours. To a country reeling from first depression and then war, it brought the future to hundreds of small towns and rural communities. Its stage show and animated exhibits presented a dramatic picture of the cavalcade of American progress, telling how scientific research and engineering helped improve lives. A jet engine, radar, diesel-electric power, television, an electric ping-pong game with stereo sound, and a microwave oven were shown to amazed audiences."

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Why's It Valuable?

This Futurliner is just one of twelve built by the GM design staff under designer Harley Earl's direction.

Of the twelve buses built... ocations of five are listed as unknown (source: Wikpedia 1/18/15). With only seven known worldwide, it's extremely rare when one comes up for sale.

VIDEO: A Closer Look at a Futurliner (Source: garageorgantube's channel)

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