For those who didn’t get enough of the Futurliner #10 in 2018 or didn’t get to see it in 1955, there will be multiple opportunities to see the popular attraction at the 104th anniversary of the Oklahoma City International Auto Show.
The Futurliner #10 will be taking a tour through parts of midtown and downtown Oklahoma City around lunchtime on Thursday and then will be available to visitors to the OKC Auto Show this Friday through Sunday. The OKC Auto Show will be held March 5-7 at Oklahoma State Fair Park in the Bennett Event Center with doors opening at 8 a.m. each day.
“We had such a positive response to the Futurliner when we featured it in the OKC Auto Show in 2018 that we felt like we needed to bring it back this year,” Oklahoma City Auto Show Chairman Dale Daniels said. “It was such an historic occasion when it came to Oklahoma City in 1955 as part of the GM Parade of Progress and so many people were excited to see it when it returned as part of the show. We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to see it again, starting with the tour and Oklahoma History Center lunch and then throughout this year’s auto show.”
The Futurliner #10 will leave Oklahoma State Fair Park at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday and will arrive around noon at the Oklahoma History Center. Murphy’s CookShack will have barbecue available for those who want to purchase lunch while they check out the Futurliner up until around the planned departure time of 1 p.m.
“We plan to retrace parts of the routes the Futurliner took in 2018 and in 1955,” David Yarde, executive director of the National Automotive and Truck Museum (NATM), said. “While the tours varied from year to year, Oklahoma City provided a great location to show off the GM Parade of Progress as it traveled along Route 66. We had lots of positive feedback from people when we were at the OKC Auto Show in 2018 about how excited they were when they had originally seen it in 1955 and we encourage everyone to start new memories for their kids and grandkids by coming out and seeing the Futurliner #10 at this year’s event.”
The Futurliner #10 was one of 12 large dual-front wheeled display vehicles that crisscrossed the country in the early 1950’s, part of a General Motors promotion called the Parade of Progress. The GM Parade of Progress and its crew of about 60 young men carried futuristic and inspirational exhibits to millions of people across North America from 1936 through 1956.
The parade of Futurliners accompanied by GM’s newest cars for sale would pull into small towns just like the circus once did, set up at the fairgrounds or a park. This 1953 Futurliner, with 16-foot display doors on either side, was a perfect platform for static exhibits and live demonstrations of emerging technology of the future. The Futurliner #10 made its last appearance as part of the GM Parade of Progress in 1955.
“We are looking forward to seeing everyone either on the tour, at the lunch or during the show,” Yarde said. “We want people to come out to see the Futurliner. They are also encouraged to sit in the cab and experience it as if they were driving it themselves. It’s an experience they will never forget the rest of their lives.”
The planned route for the Futurliner tour will be to travel northbound on May from the Oklahoma State Fair Park to NW 23rd Street, then traveling eastbound to the Oklahoma History Center at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. After the lunch, the Futurliner will travel back west on 23rd Street, then south on Broadway, then west on Reno Street before pulling back into the Oklahoma State Fair Park.
“The Futurliner is ‘Wow!’ on wheels,” Jeff Briley, deputy director for the Oklahoma History Center, said. “In the history business, the ability to look at what the past thought the future would be is important. To have the Futurliner drive to our front door is absolutely a thrill. It is mechanical technology and imagination thrown into one amazing package that is like nothing else on wheels. I don’t know of many objects that evokes smiles and a sense of wonder like the Futurliner. The Oklahoma History Center is delighted to host this opportunity and we truly appreciate the Oklahoma City Auto Show and the National Automotive and Truck Museum for their friendship.”
The Oklahoma City Auto Show is one of the largest consumer shows in Oklahoma and will feature a variety of entertaining activities for adults and kids. In addition to the return of the Futurliner #10, the Oklahoma City Auto Show will spotlight dozens of automobiles from the Oklahoma Hot Rod Association; six “Ford v Ferrari” movie cars courtesy of Exotic Motorsports of Oklahoma; a drive-in movie screen featuring the Disney Pixar hit movie “Cars;” 18-Hole Mini-Golf Course Experience with proceeds benefiting the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma; exotic cars; a “Coffee and Cars OKC” event; pet adoptions from Subaru Loves Pets and Second Chance Animal Sanctuary; military vehicles; custom vehicles like Shelby, Roush, Black Widow, SCA, Rocky Ridge and Tuscany from Metro Ford Customs; a VIP event; and lots and lots of 2021 new cars and trucks from 17 automobile brands.
Among the precautions being taken are to have autonomous temperature checks at the entrances, hand sanitizing stations set up throughout the building, designated eating areas, and ongoing sanitizing and disinfecting of vehicles for the duration of the event. Additional COVID-19 safety information can be found at https://okcautoshow.org/covid-19/.
The Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association was formed on May 4, 1916 as the Oklahoma City Motor Car Dealers’ Association, and the first OKC Auto Show was held January 23-26, 1917.
Those interested in purchasing discounted e-tickets are encouraged to go to www.okcautoshow.org for additional information. Buy one get one free coupons are available at your neighborhood 7-Eleven stores.
Among the automaker brands participating in the show are Buick, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Genesis, GMC, Hyundai, Jeep, Lexus, Lincoln, Mini, Ram, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
The OKC Auto Show is sponsored in part by State Farm and 7-Eleven.
The Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association is a non-profit organization that exists to serve and promote the franchised new motor vehicle dealers of metro Oklahoma City and is the producer of the OKC Auto Show.