"From the Desert to the Sea, to All of Southern California." - Jerry Dunphy

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GM Futurliner in Van Nuys

In 1994 my Friend Grant and I spotted this unusual vehicle on a side street off of Vanowen St. between Havenhurst and Balboa Blvd. Grant told me he had previously seen the vehicle on Ventura Blvd. He knew it was from a world's fair but was not sure which one. That night I did some research and discovered it was from the 1939 New York World's Fair. It struck a chord with me because my dad had gone to that fair and had occasionally talked about it. He might had seen this actual bus.

I eventually put the photographs away and forgot about them until last week when I rediscovered the pictures and scanned them. This time I charged into the internet to look for more information. I found that GM made 12 of these traveling display buses for the 1939 World's Fair. I found many websites with information. Some spoke of two era's of buses, one from 1940 to 1952 and another era from 1953 to 1956. It was not clear if the same buses were used or if there was a second generation of buses. One website mentioned that 9 of the buses remain in various states of recondition. I believe the bus in our picture does belong to a gentleman from Los Angeles. Two buses were credited to California. According to the article the other bus did not arrive in California until about 1999. One other website had a picture of this same bus and the writer mentioned he too had seen the bus on Ventura Blvd.

My Flickr page has one additional picture of the front of this Futurliner. If anyone has any additional information I would love to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Yes I know of this bus. I have not seen it in awhile though. It used to be parked behind the Guitar Center on Ventura Blvd. I have been in the bus b4 but I was undergoing restoration. I believe it has been finsihed for a while now. The interior was done in 1930's style art deco. It is a pretty neat piece. I forgot the owners name he wanted our shop to do some work on it for free. It was not possible at the time.

Richard Hilton said...

I was told that the one behind the Guitar Center had been made into a beauty salon from the area.

You should post about the August 27th, "Taste of Van Nuys" Centennial celebration in the Civic Center. It is going to be a great time.

Harvey Tow said...

Years ago, I used to drive by this bus when parked on Moorpark St., in Sherman Oaks. Looking back, I wish I'd stopped and had taken a few photos. Oh, well...