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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: The GM & Norev Futurliner

Feeling more and more like distant eon history and not 50 year-old history, once upon a time, GM was the juggernaut American company and while the Futurliner program actually got its start at the 1934 World’s Fair, its “Parade of Progress” rolling road show really picked up steam in the 1950’s …

1953

(using) “12 “Futurliners.” These special, 33-foot long, streamlined coaches have 16-foot side panels that open to form stages and exhibit areas. The Futurliners contain some two dozen major exhibits. They range from a demonstration that covers refrigeration and insulation, to “Power for the Air Age,” the jet engine story.

The Parade’s stage show is presented in the aluminum and canvas Aerodome. Here is presented a show of achievements in such fields as electronics, aviation and chemistry. And it’s all free — no admission charge.

A crew of about 60 men, mostly young college graduates, operates the Parade. The men not only are lecturers and showmen; they also drive the vehicles, put up the tents and do the other necessary jobs.

The history of the Parade goes back to 1936. Sparked by GM’s famed scientist, Charles F. Kettering, the Parade took to the road in Miami, FL, and from then until Pearl Harbor in 1941, it played before more than 12-1/2 million people in 251 cities. It is planned to keep the new Parade rolling across the U.S. almost continuously all year long.”

More DETAILS HERE.

It is also flat out one of the coolest looking cars-trucks ever … which naturally GM pretty much neglected and forgot about until recently … But you can read it all about the Futurliner Restoration Project website with EVERYTHING you would ever want to know about it with hundreds of photos.

futurliner-main

And while there have been some previous diecast versions, no one had really done a proper 1:64 scale one … FINALLY, Norev (of France) has done one …

futurliner-gm

It does not come with the two Johnny Lightning 1950’s GM cars that would not have been out of place driving on the streets of the Futurliner as it roamed from town to town.

And yea, I was too lazy to go out to the garage to get a screwdriver to remove the base so just imagine it’s black asphalt? 😉

futurliner-gm-side

And of course, the Futurliner makes an appearance in CARS world (not directly) but in the CARS “World of CARS” backstory book … Flo & her three friends travel the country in their version of the Futurliner …

futureliner

futurliner-flo-right

norev-futurliner-flo

So, great Norev diecast … now, we just need a Mattel version to hold the 4 Showstopper CARS …

Thanks David V. for helping me track down the Norev Futurliner!

It does come on a base with an acrylic cover and looks great. Great detailing – I have not seen a lot of Norev diecasts (not much distro outside of Europe) but the ones I’ve seen all have excellent detailing.

In the 1950’s, GM also did up some really out-there concept cars to parade along with the Futurliner … can you imagine driving down the street in these? (BTW, these are also 1:64 scale diecasts from Norev).

firebird-i

firebird-ii

firebird-iii

There are also lots of YouTube videos of the Futurliner in action – just type GM Futurliner in SEARCH.


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13 Comments

  • 5oclockshadow says:

    I see Traver is in Va Beach on vacation.

    Kmart on Holland and Target on Princess Anne are usually good hunting grounds. 😉

  • MIKE says:

    I BOUGHT ONE OF THOSE IN A LARGER SCALE A FEW YEARS BACK IT , IS IN STORAGE NOW IT WAS APPROX $600 IN 97 ABOUT 25LBS OF DIECAST , THE 1:64 WAS AROUND $50 IF I REMEMBER

  • John in Missouri says:

    Met you need to send that thing to Aroldo for a little customizing! (for some Mini’s I guess)

  • Mike H says:

    In one of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, they reviewed a short titled ‘Design For Dreaming,’ where a girl attends an auto show, and then the Kitchen of Tomorrow.

    At the very end, the GM Firebird II appears, and the masked, tuexdo-ed man who has been leading her around, is there to present it. When he’s standing next to it, Tom Servo of MST3K quips of it: ‘the extension-of-my-manhood car!’ As the short ends, the girl and the dashing man take off in it, into the future, travelling the highways into the future, which is just a miniature model of cars going around on slot-tracks.

  • LiamsMom says:

    I love the futurliner in Flo’s story. It would be great if they did make one and it held Flo and her friends.

  • Mr. T says:

    I actually got to see one of these up close – one went up for auction at Barrett Jackson and sold for a million plus to a collector who lives here in Phoenix. He even drove it home!!! It was pretty neat!! Cool to see a piece of obscure history like that.

    • PirateDad says:

      Did you try to make friends with that dude…i know I wood have?!?!!

    • Bombero1956 says:

      We have one of them here in town. It belongs to the Peter Pan Bus lines. They completed restoring it about 9 years ago.

    • 5oclockshadow says:

      It sold for over 4 million.

      I remember bidding on an unrestored one of these about a month after that one went for auction. I was high bidder for a couple days at $49,000, but I think it eventually went for $150,000. My wife nearbout strangled me. 😆

      I actually like the original bubble top version better. I wish they would make all the earlier versions in diecast form too. They should make em with working overhead lights and changeable displays inside.

      I have no doubt we will see the Cars Futurliner produced in the future. Would make sense as a matty or SDCC exclusive.

      • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

        I watched that Jackson-Barrett auction (2005-2006). It was hammered down for $4.1 million which far exceeded what the seller had hoped it would go for. Due to its size it could not be brought up on the auction stage, but, it was displayed in the back of the facility. It is a beauty, and, it stole the show.

        (MET: Plus, you can run over a Dusenberg and not even have to slow down 🙂 ).

  • Brown Fury says:

    I could find room for that somewheres…

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