Futurliner frenzy

Angelo Van Bogart |

On Aug. 5 and 6, one of the 12 original Futurliners went where no Futurliner has gone before — the quarter-mile.

Volunteers of the NATMUS-owned Futurliner lined up Futurliner No. 10 at the Christmas tree at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, and set at least five records that weekend for racing the largest, heaviest, longest, tallest and most under-powered vehicle ever to run the quarter-mile at Summit.

According to Futurliner volunteer Don Mayton, a sixth “one-beer run” record was also set following the Futurliner’s run. He relates:

“This record was revealed to me by a spectator the day after the sizzling run on Saturday. He stated as he watched the Futurliner drive up to the starting line he grabbed a beer just as the white lights turned green and with the roar of the Futurliner’s engine, he took a swig of his beer. As the Futurliner’s 140-horsepower engine pushed its dainty weight of 30,000 pounds down the track ,our spectator continued to take swigs from his beer. Finally, as the ¼-mile came up and the lights flashed the run time of the Futurliner, our spectator took his last swig. No other vehicle on that track allows its spectators down one during their runs.”

With Futurliner volunteer Paul Prinzing at the starting line, the Futurliner registered a time of 41.199 seconds at 28.94 mph on Aug. 5. The following run on Day 2 of the Ames Performance Pontiac nationals at Summit, the Futurliner produced a better speed but a worse time: 45.574 seconds at 29.6 seconds.

These were certainly not the best times at the track that weekend (or probably ever), but it was probably ranks among the best track experiences had by a driver and spectators alike.


 

AND SPEAKING OF FUTURLINERS,

Yet another largely intact Futurliner has surfaced and will be offered by Worldwide Auctioneers at its 4th annual Auburn Auction on Sept. 3.

The Futurliner Worldwide Auctioneers will offer is Parade of Progress bus No. 3, which remains largely original with all of its letters and original panels intact; it even retains what’s left of its original tires, though it is fitted with new custom-made Coker rubber. This Futurliner was originally used to display the cut-away jet engine during the 1953-’56 Parade of Progress and will make an ambitious but worthy restoration project.

So, what’s the price of admission into the small, elite group of concept vehicle owners? The pre-sale estimate is $300,000-500,000, a bargain since a restored example sold for $4 million several years ago.

{{ This just in…. Futurline frenzy continues… with video! }}

2 Responses to Futurliner frenzy

  1. Dennis Reilly says:

    Whos idea was this,anyway?

  2. Rob Reilly says:

    Some years ago one of the car magazines took a Mercedes Benz GT (garbage truck) and the Goodyear blimp to the drag strip.
    I think the Futureliner could beat either of them.
    The blimp time was a couple of minutes. Wind direction was a factor.

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